Posted by artradar on July 6, 2010
AI WEIWEI CHINESE ART HONG KONG ART SPACES ARTIST COLLABORATIONS
With a new project, Chinese art all-rounder Ai Weiwei, in cooperation with American artist Vito Acconci, has brought fresh dialogues between the East and West to Hong Kong, a monumental event in Ai Weiwei’s career and for the Hong Kong and the Asian art scenes.
A view of "Acconci Studio + Ai Weiwei: A Collaborative Project", an installation work recently shown at Para/Site art space in Hong Kong.
“Acconci Studio + Ai Weiwei: A Collaborative Project“, held at Hong Kong’s Para/Site art space, has provided the opportunity for Ai Weiwei to meet and work for the first time with Vito Acconci, an American artist whom he admires.
Like Ai Weiwei, Acconci shifts between performance art and architecture, and has gained a global reputation for his bold art stunts.
In his 1971 performance entitled Seedbed, Acconci engaged his visitors in restrained sexual intimacy by masturbating continuously under a wooden platform in a gallery.
A recent article published on Time Out Hong Kong describes the artist as someone who “works not as a singular artist but as an architect and ‘collaborator’ for Acconci Studios. The controversial questioning of his earlier career has been replaced with an intellegent whimsy in design. Structures roam, twist and fold within their sites. Each edifice constantly contemplating the function of space and the understanding of linear time and form.”
Having been involved in design, architecture, curating, writing and publishing, Ai Weiwei is one of the most controversial contemporary artists of his generation. Asked to describe his art by the Financial Times, Ai Weiwei gave the following reply:
“That question makes me almost speechless, because I wonder how much do I know about it, even though it was me that did it? What part is conscious and is that consciousness important? And what part has come out only because of the public’s sentiment? And is that important?”
An article recently published in the Guardian noted that Ai Weiwei’s work “has become overtly political, blurring the boundary between art and activism”, referring to the artist’s Remembering installation. This artwork was comprised of 9,000 children’s backpacks, in reminiscence of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake casualties.
In recollection of Ai Weiwei’s past performances, an article published in the Financial Times discussed both Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn (1995), “a triptych of photographs in which he is seen casually dropping a 2,000-year-old vase to shatter on the ground”, and an exhibition of 46 avant-garde artists including himself called Fuck Off (2000), which was closed down by authorities. The artwork’s Chinese title was the milder Uncooperative Approach. Despite his strong defiance against the Beijing government, Ai Weiwei was the designer of the Bird’s Nest at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Vito Acconci and Ai Weiwei in discussion regarding "Acconti Studio + Ai Weiwei: A Collaborative Project", an installation work recently shown at Para/Site art space in Hong Kong.
Acconci Studio + Ai Weiwei: A Collaborative Project
For “Acconci Studio + Ai Weiwei: A Collaborative Project”, Para/Site was transformed into a three-dimensional grid where Ai and Acconci developed their work “in constant mutation and accumulation during the two months that it [was] open to the public.” The end product was an unorthodox, multilayered installation with an accumulated collection of new works, models, drawings and various materials that were accumulated as a result of ongoing discussions between Ai Weiwei, Vito Acconci and their studios.
“The collaboration with Vito Acconci at Para/Site art space is an effort in figuring out ways to collaborate, ways [of] defining the actual process of working together. Through the development of a gallery project we are to think [of] the formation of a city.” Ai Weiwei (as quoted on the Para/Site website)
“I would never have imagined that today I could become active in art and have a chance to meet Vito…I was a young man just come from China. I was trying to be part of art history, but then it was impossible…Neither of us have any nostalgia towards the past, but we are both ready to think about today. That is our common ground.” Ai Weiwei (as quoted by the Financial Times)
The project is not just an interesting addition to Ai’s collection of stunning works. As Alvaro Rodriguez Fominaya, the Executive Director and Curator of Para/Site, told Art Radar Asia, it has also created a platform for dialogues about the arts in Hong Kong and, on a larger scale, throughout Asia.
“This project reflects the complex production system that surrounds the creation of new works of art/projects in the 21st century. Dialogue is an important element of this project, which is as much about exchange of ideas as it is about production. Until now most exhibitions in this part of Asia focused on exhibiting a relevant Western artist or showcasing a leading artist from Asia. But the dialogue between what is happening in different parts of the world is lacking. This conversation is conducive to new ideas and it opens new paths of research. Then, there is also the challenge to put together practitioners from different generations, that also operate within different studio cultures. It proves Hong Kong can be a platform for leading international projects, and positions this city as a destination for art lovers, and not just a stopover. It is also a picture of what Hong Kong could be in the international scene if we had some rigorous planning and more opportunities to engage with current discourses around the world. This project is about taking curatorial risks, to start a journey without knowing the final destination.”
According to the art space’s website, Para/Site was chosen as the base for the project because of its autonomy from large organisations, enabling it to accommodate the innovativeness of the project.
Related topics: Ai Weiwei, collaborative art, venues – Hong Kong, Chinese artists
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Posted in Activist, Ai Weiwei, American, Art spaces, Artist Nationality, China, Chinese, Collaborative, Crossover art, Events, Gallery shows, Hong Kong, Installation, Interactive art, Medium, Photography, Sound, Sound art, Styles, Themes and subjects, Trends, Venues, Z Artists | Tagged: 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Acconci Studio, Acconci Studio + Ai Weiwei: A Collaborative Project, Ai Weiwei, Alvaro Rodriguez Fominaya, American artists, architects, art and design, Beijing government, Bird’s Nest, Carmen Bat Ka Man, Chinese art, Chinese artists, collaborative art, contemporary art, contemporary Chinese art, controversial art, Design, dialogues, Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn, Financial Times, Fuck Off, Guardian, Hong Kong art spaces, installation, installation art, installation artists, Para/Site, Para/Site Art Space, performance art, performance artists, platform, Remembering, Seedbed, Sichuan earthquake, Time Out Hong Kong, Uncooperative Approach, Vito Acconti | 3 Comments »
Posted by artradar on May 12, 2010
HONG KONG PUBLIC ART EXHIBITION
Galactus, by Simon Birch. Hope and Glory installation shot.
Simon Birch, Hong Kong’s celebrated Englishman artist of Armenian heritage, becomes the ringleader of artists in his conceptual circus ‘Hope and Glory,’ which features a bevy of artists as creative collaborators.
The exhibition, curated by Valerie Doran in Hong Kong, is comprised of 20 interlinked multi-media installations and takes on enormous proportions with a force of 16 credited arts professionals and organizations supporting Birch’s efforts.
Under Birch’s artistic direction, the creative team successfully realizes a space of wonder, effectually filling a 20,000 square foot facility with a visual reinterpretation of the sensory experience of a traditional circus in the middle of urban Hong Kong.
Installation and sculpture
The exhibition’s installation and sculpture works dominate the sprawling art space to create a fantasy atmosphere. Viewers wander throughout the space, which has been turned into a surreal labyrinth and enter interactive video pods, where they individually experience custom-made video works complete with meticulously crafted costume production, sound design, and film editing.
Themes: art as a spectacle, as circus
The monumental show explores various major themes, including the idea of art as a spectacle; a fascination with circuses and sideshows, science fiction and ‘hero’ mythologies, all while maintaining an acute awareness of traditional craftsmanship and the labour involved in art production.
The nature of the exhibition required extraordinary measures to properly express Birch’s vision. Curator Valerie Doran writes:
“Collaborating with artists, designers, actors, filmmakers, technicians, curators, educators, costumers, photographers, to bring this world into being, was necessary. And locating this world in a centralized space in Hong Kong was also necessary.”
All 20 works comprising Hope and Glory can be viewed online here, courtesy of the 10 Chancery Lane Gallery in Hong Kong, which represents Birch.
The creative collaborators who were an integral part of expressing Simon Birch’s vision of Hope and Glory include:
Zero Contact Point, by Cang Xin. Hope and Glory installation shot.
Valerie Doran (Hong Kong)- Curator
Paul Kember and Kplusk Architects (Hong Kong) – Exhibition Technical Design
Anothermoutainman (aka Stanley Wong, Hong Kong) – Graphic Design
James Lavelle and UNKLE (London) – Composition and performance of soundtracks for films: ‘All Heads Turn As the Hunt Goes By’,’Juggernaut’, and ‘Clear Air Turbulence’
Gary Gunn (New York) – Composition and production of soundtracks for films: ‘The Arrival Vengeance’,’I used to think I was the Blade Runner, now I know I’m the replicant’, ‘Tannhauser’, and ‘Azhanti High Lightning’
LucyAndBart (Amsterdam) – Designers for ‘Crystallized’ hologram, and design consultant for ‘Twilight Shadows of the Bright Face’ costumes
Florian Ma (Hong Kong)- Film editing and graphic design
Alvina Lee Chui Ping (Hong Kong) – Costume production for ‘Twilight Shadows of the Bright Face’
Robert Peckham (Hong Kong) – Concept and educational consultant
Prodip (Hong Kong) – Production of paintings re-interpreting ‘Twilight Shadows of the Bright Face’
Bamboo Star (Hong Kong) – Production of Film ‘The Heaven 17’
Douglas Young (Hong Kong) – Co-design and production of ‘Crawling from the Wreckage’ living room environment
Cang Xin (PRC) – Creation and production of ‘Zero Point Contact’ Sculpture
Wing Shya (Hong Kong) – Photography and production of ‘Hutton’ film
Eric Hu (Hong Kong) – Co-production and filming of ‘Kho Virap’ film
Eddie Cheung (Hong Kong) – Composition and production of soundtracks for ‘Kho Virap’ film and ‘Crystalised’ hologram film
Non-profit public art with Hong Kong government support
Hope and Glory runs from April 8- May 30, 2010, and is presented by the non-profit Birch Foundation with generous support from the Hong Kong government as a cultural enrichment for the Hong Kong public. The exhibition event is held in an ideal location which was made available to the Birch Foundation free of charge. Entry into the exhibition is free, and a series of innovative forums and interactive educational events exploring topics and questions generated by the artworks will be held throughout the exhibition period.
Twilight Shadows Of The Bright Face, opening performance, by Simon Birch. Hope and Glory video installation shot.
Fri 07 May 2010 . Forum 1 ‘Art as Place’
Fri 14 May 2010 . Forum 2 ‘Re-Generation, De-Generation’
Fri 28 May 2010 . Forum 3 ‘HOPE & GLORY : The Making’
Exhibition and Forum Location:
1/F Cornwall House
TaiKoo Place, Island East
Hong Kong (MTR: Quarry bay, Exit A)
Open Daily from 10 am – 8 pm (Free Entrance)
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Posted in Art spaces, Cang Xin, Conceptual, Curators, Events, Fantasy art, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Artists, Installation, Interactive art, Nonprofit, Painting, Performance, Public art, Sculpture, Shows, Simon Birch, Sound, Sound art, Stanley Wong, Stanley Wong Anothermountainman, Surrealist, Valerie Doran, Video | Tagged: Artistree Swire, Bamboo Star, Birch Foundation, Cang Xin, Douglas Young, Eddie Cheung, Eric Hu, Florian Ma, Gary Gunn, Hong Kong public art, Hope and GLory, James Lavelle and UNKLE, LucyandBart, Paul Kember and Kplusk Architectss, Prodip, Robert Peckham, Simon Birch, Stanley Wong, Valerie Doran, Video art, Wing Shya | Leave a Comment »
Posted by artradar on July 29, 2009
Emily Jacir, Stazione 2009
ART PALESTINE VENICE BIENNALE
The debut of Palestine contemporary art at the 53rd Venice Biennale (June 7th – Sept. 30th) attempts to elevate Palestine art to the international spotlight. This post explores whether Islamic art from Palestine has been marginalized and to what extent the inaugural show throws light on Palestinian art today.
In the past, Venice played a merchant role as a fulcrum between the Western and the Islamic world. Now, as an artistic realm, Venice gives Palestinian art its virgin step to impress a wider audience in the west.
However, contrary to traditional art, contemporary Palestinian art does not equate to Muslim art, and perhaps that’s why the work of seven participating artists is being featured at the Biennale. To avoid religious controversy, Muslim message is absent, whether or not it’s a true representation of Palestinian art is questionable, but Palestinian art does emerge in a gamut of forms.
Instead of pushing forward a message, it is more about preserving a collective memory. Subject to approval, chef d’oeuvres such as Gregor Schneidor’s enormous black cube, inspired by the Ka’aba in Mecca, did not pass through the religious sensitivity screening.
While accepted in the Muslim community in Germany, it was rejected at the Biennale in 2005 because some viewed it as a terrorist threat. Despite Venice’s ingrained connections to Islam culture, what is representative of all Islamic symbols is still not tolerated at the exposition.
If the theme does not revolve around Islamic roots, Palestinian artists must borrow other elements from their culture and history to assert a unique statement about their artwork. Free from religious implications, their artwork references Palestinian issues both on a local and global scale, bridging the past and the present.
Among the participating artists at the Biennale, Emily Jacir installs a stazione that encourages cultural exchange between Venice and the Arab world within architectural space and design. Situated on all of the vaporetto #1 stops, stazione provides a link between Venice’s heritage and the Arabic world, with Arabic translations inscribed on the shops in order to inform tourists of the rich origins.
Shadi HabibAllah, Ok, hit, hit but don't run 2009
Another artist Shadi HabibAllah, through video and animation of hominoids, delves into the visual perception of natural objects surrounding us in the mechanical state – that work is a living experience, not just a visual reference.
To evoke notions of collective past memories, Taysir Batniji uses multimedia approach by playing the “Date Video”, significant in abstracting a process where time is suspended, as the ticks resonated the length of time since the border closures that forbid him from returning home.
Via photography and video of the panorama of the structural architecture and geography of the Shufhat Refugee camp in Jerusalem, Jawad Al Malhi explores the refugee population that is marginalized and neglected. Since outsiders don’t have access to narrow passages in the camp, the panoramic view enables exploration of the image of camp as well as the entropic nature of the space of the camp. By exploring claustrophobia and containment within the camp, he casts light on the dark side of reality in the land of promise.
Taysir Batniji, Atelier 2005
Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti employ a sound installation device to explore the contemporary spatialization of urban centers. They take a dialogue in the dark approach, where the visitors enter a black-out room, blinded and only able to hear murmurs and cries of recorded discourse of what it is like to live in the Palestinian community. Heartbeats and musical interventions compounded the effect further. These two artists endeavor to illustrate the Ramallah Syndrome, which references the illusion of the new spatial social order and economic opportunities after the Oslo peace process. They question how Ramallah maintains as the city of Normalcy despite Israeli occupation and daily destructions.
Last but not least on the list of exhibiting artists, Khalil Rabah applies the Biennale idea to his work “A Geography: 50 Villages -The 3rd Riwaq Biennale”. This imaginary biennale takes place in the public space of 50 Palestinian villages, all of which are characteristic of ancient and original architecture and archways. While it rethinks confinement in physical space , it also runs parallel with Riwaq’s goal to protect and promote cultural heritage in Palestine. Meanwhile, by omitting large-scale and formal artistic presentation, it protests against the homogenization of the standard in the international art market. Moreover, it reexamines the biennale culture and ways to link Palestine art with the rest of the world.
Contributed by Wendy Ma
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Posted in Biennials, Calligraphy, Electronic art, Fantasy art, Islamic art, Italy, Palestinian, Photography, Religious art, Sound art, Time, Venice, Video | Tagged: Alessandro Petti, Biennials, Emily Jacir, Gregor Schneidor, imaginary biennale, Islamic art, Jawad Al Malhi, Khalil Rabah, palestine, Palestinian art, Palestinian artists, Sandi Hilal, Shadi HabibAllah, Sound art, Taysir Batniji, Venice | Leave a Comment »
Posted by artradar on July 2, 2009
DIGITAL ART TAIWAN
First of its kind in Asia and six years in the making, the NT$25 million (US$756,000) avant-garde art facility, the Taipei Digital Art Center, is now officially open to the public.
Taiwan News has the full report:
.. the site of Digital Art Center is very close to the future location of the Taipei Performing Arts Center in Shilin, and it also neighbors the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, making the whole surrounding area a cultural stronghold in Taiwan’s capital city.
Ma Chun-fu, Kodomo Manufacture at Taipei Digital Art Center
The first DAC exhibitions include The Light of Historical Ending by Tao Ya-lun and Kodomo Manufacture by Ma Chun-fu.
The Light of Historical Ending is a laser projection piece that creates stunning effects when light beams pass through a visitor’s body.
Ma’s Kodomo Manufacture employs suspended channels to symbolize factory production lines – a cynical take on an educational system that churns out “good children” as production line outputs.
The centre’s first example of installation art is Tseng Wei-hao’s Speaker Tree, which won top prize in the first Taipei Digital Art Awards in the interactive installation category.
Tseng Wei Hao, Speaker Tree, sound installation, ink, speaker, pencil 2006
The Taipei Digital Art Center is located at 180, Fuhua Rd., Shilin, Taipei, near Zhishan MRT station. For more information, please call (02)77360708.
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Posted in Children, Electronic art, Emerging artists, Gallery shows, Human Body, Laser, Light, Museums, New Media, Nonprofit, Sound, Sound art, Taiwan, Taiwanese | Tagged: arts in Taipei, digital art, installation art, Kodomo Manufacture, Ma Chun-fu, sonic art, Speaker Tree, Taipei Digital Art Awards, Taipei Digital Art Center, Taiwan artists, Taiwan contemporary art, Tao Ya-lun, The Light of Historical Ending, Tseng Wei-hao | Leave a Comment »