Archive for the ‘Crossover art’ Category
Posted by artradar on August 31, 2010
ART PROFESSIONALS CHINESE CONTEMPORARY ART ART HISTORY
Weng Ling has been an essential figure over the course of Chinese contemporary art history. Since graduating in art history from the Central Academy of Fine Art (CAFA) in 1989, she has achieved much. In this Art Radar interview, Weng outlines the relationship, as she sees it, between fashion and art and demystifies the perception of her as a “fashion-forward person”, as well as providing insight into the day-to-day activities involved in creating a television art show and running a premier art institution.
She was named director of the Gallery of the Central Academy of Fine Art in 1996, where the likes of Wang Guangyi and Zhang Xiaogang had their first solo shows. In 2001, she curated a breakthrough show called “Towards a New Image: Twenty Years of Chinese Contemporary Painting – 1981-2001”. For the first time, a canon of Chinese contemporary artists showed their works at national museums in China. In 2002, she helped curate the Shanghai Biennale “Urban Creation”. She then moved on to the Shanghai Gallery of Art at Three-on-the-Bund, a high-end lifestyle project backed by Chinese American lawyer and entrepreneur Handel Lee. The gallery enjoyed critical success during the six years under Weng Ling’s direction.
In 2008, she returned to Beijing to run the Beijing Center for the Arts at Ch’ien Men 23, another integrated premier lifestyle development with her long-term business partner Handel Lee. In 2010, she ventured into media to produce and host “Arts China”. “Arts China” was the first in-depth interview program to focus exclusively on the top names in the art and culture world in China, including Xu Bing, Zhang Xiaogang, Zhang Huan, Tan Dun, Cui Jian, and more. Weng Ling blurs the lines between visual art, architecture, design and environmentalism. She collaborates with artists, designers, businessmen, scientists and some of the top institutions and museums in the world.
Art Radar Asia met up with Weng Ling one afternoon to discuss some of her projects.
Weng Ling, an essential figure in China's contemporary art community. Image courtesy of Beijing Centre for the Arts.
Weng Ling on “Arts China”
How did you decide to focus on contemporary art when directing the Gallery of CAFA?
It was a natural choice for me. I like art and sincerely wanted to introduce contemporary artists’ reflections on society to a broader audience. I don’t think one has to be a contemporary art connoisseur to have contact with contemporary art itself. Many in the West started promoting Chinese contemporary art because some of the works reflect the conflicts in contemporary Chinese society. After Western capital was injected into the market to raise the monetary value of Chinese contemporary art, Chinese media started following the hype. Neither of the two groups really appreciates Chinese contemporary art based on a very genuine interest in Chinese artists.
Does this partially explain why you ventured into media and produced “Arts China”?
Indeed. The media tends to misinterpret me as a very fashionable person. My work always centers on promoting the most cutting-edge and avant-garde art projects and ideas. So that partially explains why the media could misread me as a “fashion-forward person”. My work can be challenging, as I often face doubt and lack of understanding. This is also the predicament many celebrated artists, designers, architects, directors and musicians find themselves in. So I thought it would be nice to have a casual chat with these friends of mine, in order to showcase the real art and culture figures in China.
The final product looks incredibly real and has a documentary feel to it. How was the process?
It involved a huge amount of work, it sometimes took a full day to record one interview. Luckily, as old friends recounting life and the old stories over all these years, we were very engaged in the conversations. For example, Wang Guangyi looked so carefree on the outside when sharing his longing to hold on to his earliest emotions as a young artist. It was so touching and I almost cried. I have to activate all of the different “channels” in my brain during these interviews, talking like an “insider”. It was quite demanding physically and intellectually. Many museum directors really appreciate “Arts China”, recognising its value in recording Chinese contemporary art history.
Weng Ling on Beijing Center for the Arts
To you, what’s unique about the Beijing Center for the Arts (BCA)?
We are a hybrid art institution between an art museum and a commercial gallery. On one hand, we discover and promote good Chinese contemporary art that confronts reality and/or has traditional Chinese underpinnings. On the other hand, we are dedicated to promoting collaborations between contemporary art and other disciplines and creating internationally valuable projects. With no precedent in China, it is very interesting to create this space.
It sounds like BCA is your new brainchild, a way in which many of your past experiences can come together naturally.
Yes. Our “BCA Green Art Project” series last year included “Shan Shui: Nature on the Horizon of Art” and “3D City: Future China”, focusing on nature and the urban city respectively. We cooperated with many top-notch artists, architects, scientists, environmentalists and NGOs, governments and businesses from around the world to realise the project. It was a world-wide conversation well beyond the traditional definition of “art”, but a blending of knowledge from many fields. I have previously created fine art exhibitions, city/architecture exhibitions, seminars and have long supported environmental groups and all of these experiences have become a solid foundation for me to draw from to conceive large-scaled cross-disciplinary projects.
So far in your art career, how do you make decisions about which projects to run? Is it based on your instinct, chances, responsibilities or love of art?
I champion artists’ freedom and bravery – this is the “romantic attitude” I hold. Anyone can be an artist and any project can be realised. Creativity has no limit. Whilst I do believe all the work should aim for a high professional standard in its own right, be it music, visual art, design, architecture or others. Like a scientist, I approach each new art project with caution and a rational mind. There are tons of possibilities to create something meaningful in this era in China, and due to this sense of responsibility, I must carefully review all the potential projects.
Weng Ling on crossover collaboration
You have had vast experience collaborating with partners in various fields, including design, architecture, real estate development, and corporate branding. What do you think of the trendy partnership between fashion brands and art?
Many owners of the fashion houses are art collectors who promote the creation of new art. Many fashion designers have fine art training, too. However, Art and fashion must each keep their independence when partnered up – art can easily be overtaken by the commercial demand of the fashion brand. The most meaningful and lasting collaboration is built upon borrowing the strength from the partner to elevate one’s own strength. Both parties must contribute the best of their own strengths.
Unlike their foreign peers, local Chinese businesses aren’t usually used to the idea of sponsoring art. Is that the case in your experience?
Many Chinese entrepreneurs and businessmen are my good friends. I keep learning many things from them, just like from artists. Chinese entrepreneurs have an enduring power to survive in a complex environment. Since the 90s, I have been receiving sponsorship from Chinese companies. They do not necessarily understand art itself, but want to help the ever changing Chinese art scene in any way they can.
On the other hand, the government should really implement policies to encourage corporate sponsorship. The current tax incentive is far from enough. I believe the government’s attitude is like forward-moving water, so as long as we hold an active conversation with them, things can be changed.
Finally, what do you think of the current vibe of the Chinese art scene?
Oh dear, after visiting many institutions in the UK, I have concluded, it’s so not “romantic” (laughs). Because there is no room to challenge myself, and no possibility to challenge the future. The system is so well-developed and built-up over there. Yet in China, there is a force to create something new and we never know what the height of our achievement will be. The historical meaningfulness might be beyond our imagination.
It’s true that China has many problems to deal with, but I am trying to contribute my own bit. The key is to have a humble heart and peace within, no matter which field one is in. The world doesn’t only rotate around people with money, but is transformed by the most creative individuals.
Related Topics: profiles, curators, business of art
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Posted in Art spaces, Beijing, Business of art, China, Corporate collectors, Crossover art, Funding, Interviews, Multi category, Professionals, Profiles, Weng Ling | Tagged: art, Arts China, Beijing Center for the Arts, Chinese contemporary art, contemporary art, cross-over, curator, Shanghai Gallery of Art, sponsorship, Sylvia Xue Bai, Three-on-the-bund, venue in Beijing, Weng Ling | 7 Comments »
Posted by artradar on August 24, 2010
MARRAKECH MOROCCO ART FAIRS ARAB ART
In October this year, the tourist hotspot Marrakech, Morocco, will host the country’s first modern and contemporary art fair. The fair points towards a growing trend of interest and investment in art in the Middle East where Dubai, currently the top art city in the Middle East, is facing increasing competition from upcoming art ventures in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. (Read our report on this recent trend.)
Gjdn Neshat's 'Untitled96'. Neshat is a participant in this year's Marrakech Art Fair.
Morocco, characteristically, is a country that culturally and geographically straddles the “east meets west” junction. That the Marrakech Art Fair shares some of these characteristics make it all the more special. Out of the thirty galleries exhibiting at the fair, half come from the Arab world, primarily North Africa while the other half come from Europe. For art lovers, this could provide an incredible opportunity to sample international contemporary art.
The city also plans to host simultaneous art events throughout the days of the fair. Some of these are special exhibitions at select museums and galleries in Marrakech. The idea behind engaging the city as a giant art fair in itself is to offer rare insights into Moroccan heritage and its contemporary art world.
The Marrakech Museum, for example, is hosting “Resonance: Contemporary Moroccan artists across the world”, which showcases fifteen artists of Moroccan origin who are based outside of Morocco. Inventing and re-thinking ideas of identity versus the global, these artists will work through various mediums such as painting, installation and video art to map new thoughts about the reality of art in Morocco. Another interesting intervention looks at the culmination of popular culture and art. Six graffiti artists will create spontaneous art to the music of Moroccan rapper BIGG over the period of one night.
Zoulikha Bouabdellah's 'Love'. Bouabdellah is a participant in this year's Marrakech Art Fair.
Other events include talks such as the panel discussions led by Roxana Azimi, a specialist in the international art market, that will deal with the twin issues of “Art market in the Arab world” and “The role of patrons and collectors.” Pascel Amel, a writer and director, will lead a debate on “Art in Morocco at the dawn of globalization.” The talks seem to be marked with hope and enthusiasm for the place of Moroccan art in the world market as well as a belief in the possibility of internal development.
Fifteen of the galleries invited to the fair will respond to a set theme of “From Orientalism to nowadays.” The Jean Brolly gallery is one such participant that intends to showcase work by two artists of different origins – Mahjoud Ben Bella and Francois Morellet. Local galleries are active participants at the fair. The Tindouf Gallery and the Galerie 127 are based in Marrakech itself. Other galleries that are showing at the fair come from Tunisia, the UAE, France and Morocco. The fair will be held from 9 to 11 October this year. For more details, visit the fair’s website.
Related Topics: art fairs, Middle Eastern art, promoting art
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Posted in Africa, Asia expands, Business of art, Crossover art, Fairs, Globalisation, Middle East, Promoting art, Venues | Tagged: Abu Dhabi, Ananya Mukherjee, art fairs, art fairs in Asia, Art in Morocco at the dawn of globalization, Art market in the Arab world, art news, Asian art fairs, BIGG, contemporary art, Dubai, East meets West, Europe, France, Francois Morellet, Galerie 127, Gjdn Neshat, Global art, graffiti art, Identity art, installation art, Jean Brolly Gallery, Mahjoud Ben Bella, Marrakech, Marrakech Art Fair, Marrakech Museum, Middle East, Middle Eastern art, modern art, Moroccan heritage, Morocco, North Africa, October, paintings, Panel discussions, Pascel Amel, rap music, Resonance: Contemporary Moroccan artists across the world today, Roxana Azimi, Sharjah, Talks, The role of patrons and collectors, Tindouf Galler, Tourism, Tunisia, UAE | Leave a Comment »
Posted by artradar on July 28, 2010
YOUTUBE GUGGENHEIM VIDEO ART ONLINE BIENNIALS
The world’s most popular online platform for video sharing, YouTube, will soon be put to the test as a potential new platform for art expression in joint initiative with the Guggenheim Museum. Launched this year, YouTube Play. A Biennial of Creative Videos is a creative video competition and art project committed to the exploration of online video art.
A media and an art institutions are cooperating to find out how the internet is changing the video art form and whether there is art in online videos – an emerging media which is continually establishing new ways to create, distribute and consume videos.
The promotional imagery for YouTube Play. A Biennial of Creative Video.
“This collaboration with YouTube gives us a chance to explore digital media, bring it into the museum, and see how it functions, see if it functions. And through the process learn more about the phenomenon, because we would like to believe that art is transformative.” Nancy Spector, deputy director and chief curator of the Guggenheim Foundation (as quoted in the Otago Daily Times)
For the competition, each applicant may submit one original video entry of ten minutes or less that he or she has created in the past two years. When the competition closes for entry at the end of this month, a team of Guggenheim curators will review all the entries and create a shortlist of 200. A separate jury of nine professionals – from various disciplines such as visual arts, filmmaking, animation, graphic design and music – will then select twenty to be screened in four Guggenheim museums worldwide. All 200 entries will be available to view on the YouTube Play channel.
“We are, in a sense, inviting people to raise the standards of YouTube. This is aspirational for people who are interested in seeing their work be taken artistically.” Nancy Spector, deputy director and chief curator of the Guggenheim Foundation (as quoted in the Washington Post)
The project provides an opportunity for anyone, albeit art professionals or amateurs, to submit an innovative, original video to YouTube Play to compete for the chance of having his or her winning entry shown in October in four Guggenheim museums simultaneously: the Solomon R. Guggenheim in New York, the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin, the Guggenheim Bilbao in Spain and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. The jury is looking for innovative works that debate on, discuss, test, experiment with and elevate the video medium. They expect to see something “different” – not “what’s now” but “what’s next”.
“People who may not have access to the art world will have a chance to have their work recognized. We’re looking for things we haven’t seen before.” Nancy Spector, deputy director and chief curator of the Guggenheim Foundation (as quoted in the New York Times)
To express your thoughts and opinions of the biennial visit The Take, a platform for commentary and discussion of the project by Guggenheim-invited guests, staff, and web site visitors.
Related Topics: media – video, themes and subjects – technology, events – biennials
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Posted in Art and internet, Biennials, Business of art, Crossover art, Emerging artists, Events, Medium, Museums, New Media, Overviews, Promoting art, Technology, Themes and subjects, Trends, Video | Tagged: art and technology, art and the Internet, art awards, art competitions, biennial, Carmen Bat Ka Man, collaboration, Deutsche Guggenheim, Guggenheim, Guggenheim Bilbao, Guggenheim Museum, internet, Internet channels, Nancy Spector, New Media Art, Online art, online video, Otago Daily Times, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Solomon R. Guggenheim, The Take, Video art, video art competition, video sharing, Washington Post, YouTube, YouTube Play, YouTube Play. A Biennial of Creative Videos | Leave a Comment »
Posted by artradar on July 27, 2010
CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS CELEBRITIES REALITY TV
From dance competitions to rehab, it seems that no subject is left untouched by reality television producers. Even the act of finding a spouse has been successfully commercialised for audience entertainment. Now, with Bravo TV’s new series, Work of Art: The Next Great Artist, viewers can get a glimpse inside of the often misunderstood world of contemporary art. But at what cost?
Reality TV and contemporary art finally meet
While some shows bank on the star appeal of celebrities and athletes, others take virtual unknowns and catapult them to instant, albeit usually shortlived, fame. Some shows evoke groans of annoyance as others reign in viewers eager for enterainment or curious about the show’s focus. Bravo TV has churned out a string of successful competitive series in several disciplines including fashion, cooking, and modeling just to name a few.
As of June 2010, Bravo branched out into art with the premiere of it’s new series, Work of Art: The Next Great Artist. For executive producer Sarah Jessica Parker, the show is about making art accessible to audiences who may consider it to be a “rarefied” world. In addition to giving the fourteen featured contestants a shot at a substantial amount of cash, USD100,000 to be exact, the winner also wins an opportunity to exhibit their works at the Brooklyn Museum. Such high profile spaces are rarely made available to emerging artists.
The cast of Bravo TV's 'Work of Art: The Next Great Artist'.
But could all of this backfire? Some argue that reality TV oversimplifies certain disciplines or even presents a distorted idea of what it’s actually like to be a successful artist, dancer or model. There is also the question of whether critics and other artists will take the show’s contestants seriously. Even so, the series aims to show, in an entertaining manner, that art is not exclusive or elitist. It is something that everyone can experience, even on a daily basis. In an article published by Zap2It, Parker states:
I want to express that we all have art in our home, whether you save a postcard from a friend or put your son’s or daughter’s drawings up on the wall. That’s art, and you are part of it … and it shouldn’t be any less accessible to you than to anyone else.
As for contestants, there are those who view the competition as merely a starting point, regardless of whether they win or not. Reality stars are made quickly and can fizzle just as fast if their careers prove to be lackluster. Such possibilities don’t seem to daunt most of the artists on the show, many of whom seek to at least stand out and generate some buzz around their name. Most of the fourteen selected artists are in their twenties, few are experienced, and all are hoping that this chance of a lifetime is worth the risk of failure in front of thousands, if not millions, of viewers.
Profiles of the judges can be found here.
Vietnamese artist Trong eliminated in second round
Artist Trong Nguyen.
Brooklyn based artist and curator Trong Nguyen falls into the small category of contestants who have already achieved success. It was not enough, however, to guarantee him a spot in the third round. At only 38, he has had several international solo and group exhibitions, received numerous grants and is currently an editor for ArtSlant.
We’ve summarised below an interview with ARTINFO in which Trong discusses the artists’ attitudes towards the show, issues with judges and why he joined the cast.
When asked if he feels animosity towards reality programming, Trong expresses amibivalence, a sentiment that was reflected in his second-round installation, What Would Tom Freidman Do? (2010).
The piece itself was about my ambivalence … I thought that any serious artist, when they’re talking about making a reality show about art, has to have subversive reasons for doing the show.
In regards to the anti-reality TV phrases written on the television sets, Trong states “… the truth kind of hurts sometimes”. The judges eliminated Trong in the second round; his truthful remarks may have indeed struck a nerve. That is not to say that the judges fawned over Trong from the start. Some snapped back with what Trong hinted were unhelpful critiques.
The judges are so defensive that they end up ignoring what you have to say, which I feel is so unconstructive … I think they actually dote on certain works and certain people on the show for whatever reason, and it hasn’t felt constructive to me.
As a more seasoned artist, Trong questions the usefulness of critiques especially when aimed at the younger contestants whom he “feels protective of”. Equally so, Trong questions the ability of these artists, many of whom are fresh from undergraduate studies, to make work with depth at such a young age.
At that age, no matter how talented you are, you just haven’t experienced life enough to really make art that has substance to it … An art career is such a long thing — you have emerging artists out there who are still in their 50s, it’s not like any other profession.
Not only does Trong feel that many of the artists are too young, but they are also putting themselves in a vulnerable position too early. The possibility of ruining ones’ career before it starts is all too real for these young unknowns, although Trong has the immunity of experience and reputation.
One of my main things I said to myself: ‘There’s no way this is going to affect my career negatively.’
Trong's piece from his eliminating round, 'What Would Tom Friedman Do?' (2010, installation).
With all this, one may wonder why join the cast in the first place? But for Trong, the answer is simple.
If someone asked you to do the show, would you do it? … you have this great opportunity to experience this, why wouldn’t you do it? It’s the difference between living an active life and living a passive life. So I always go for the route of active.
Seems like an easy choice but becoming a great artist is never that simple. Mega-artists and art superstars are nothing new, but can one be made on television? The show’s intentions of giving aspiring artists a chance while exposing audiences to the art world are noble, yet using reality TV as a medium could be problematic.
Do you think the series can live up to its name and purpose or will it fall flat? Post your comments below.
Related Topics: celebrity art, crossover art, Vietnamese artists
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Posted in Artists as celebrities, Asian, Celebrity art, Crossover art, Emerging artists, Installation, New York, USA, Vietnamese | Tagged: art as popular culture, art in the media, art on TV, artist interview, artists on TV, Celebrity art, celebrity artists, competitions, contemporary art, contemporary artists, Emerging artists, Erica Holloway, installation, installation art, installation artists, interview, pop culture, popular culture, reality television, reality TV, Sarah Jessica Parker, Trong Nguyen, Vietnamese artists | Leave a Comment »
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 June 30, 2010
CHINESE ART HONG KONG ART GALLERIES BIOLOGICAL ART
Chinese artist Lu Yang has shocked and electrified the Hong Kong art scene with her recent solo new media exhibition, “A Torturous Vision“, held at Input/Output (I/O).
Lu Yang's exhibition "A Torturous Vision" was presented by Input/Output in Hong Kong from April to June this year.
Showcasing her latest music video work Dictator, Lu Yang takes the audience onto a mind-boggling journey that aesthetically explores the biology of control systems in living frogs and amphibians. Progressing from her previous work Happy Tree, which shows living animals being treated with a centrally controlled pulse of electricity in a small tank, Lu Yang extracts some footage from the work and transforms them into highly aesthetical and technical forms that are presented with the accompaniment of sound composed by Wang Changcun.
Lu Yang’s ‘Dictator’ and ‘Happy Tree’ in I/O gallery’s latest bio art show.
“This work was created after I determined Happy Tree would not be exhibited again, and I had to find another way to complete the work besides including living animals. At that time Happy Tree remained incomplete in my mind, and I felt there were a number of possibilities related to the work that still needed to be pursued. I also felt there was a need to complete the work, so I chose to create a music video, but I must say apologetically, that I used the same electrical current to create the video track.” Lu Yang, quoted taken from an interview with Robin Peckham.
Despite Lu Yang’s vow to never again exhibit Happy Tree, she has been persuaded by I/O to show it again alongside Dictator and another video showing the process of applying electricity to frogs. On top of the three video installations, the exhibition also presents canvases showing two of the four projects with which Yang cooperated with science teams, including Zombie Music Box – Underwater Frog Leg Ballet and Ultimate Energy Conversion – Instruman.
Lu Yang is a graduate from the China Academy of Art in the Master of Arts New Media department. Although she is not the first to exhibit bio (biological) art in Hong Kong, nor the first to explore bio art in China, where the art form is growing among young graduates, she has radically challenged the boundaries of art set by Chinese philosophy with her anti-humanistic approach.
The artist expressed to Art Radar Asia that there are certainly boundaries that she sets for her art, but that these boundaries cannot be marked with tapes or frames. Asked how she draws the line between science exploration and science exploitation, Lu Yang made the following reply:
“Since I have not had another professional background for science, I just understand it through self-learning and I create works in between arts and science by combining them. However, my arts are not always in this format; I still have many other different works. My limited abilities in science prevent me from investigating it professionally, but the ultimate goal of science is to serve and explore for mankind, while art challenges certain questions.”
Lu Yang's canvas work 'Ultimate Energy Conversion – Instruman'.
In Hong Kong, where new media art is marginalized and considered quirky, the gallery was established a year ago to become the only art space in in the region that is primarily focused on the genre.
“The only way to raise it [new media art] out of it [the state of being marginalized and considered as quirky] is to engage in dialogues about it.” Rachel Connelly, Assistant Creative Director of I/O
Asked why the gallery decided to show Lu Yang’s work despite its ethical controversy, Connelly says that since the work inspires people to reconsider their identity and know more about themselves, the topic is rich and interesting enough to make the ethical concerns relatively less important.
“A Torturous Vision” has attracted a great range of visitors from tourists and interested individuals to students, architects and engineers. It has provoked conversations and discussions among visitors, – just what Rachel Connelly wanted and expected – while exploring different topics such as the definition of new media art and bio art versus science.
Related Topics: Chinese artists, gallery shows, venues – Hong Kong
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Posted by artradar on July 29, 2009
STREET ART HONG KONG
Christophe Schwarz, aka Zevs, an acclaimed Parisian artist on exhibition at the Art Statements Gallery in Hong Kong (July 16-Sept 30 2009), gained massive fame recently for an ‘action-art’ incident on July 13th, when black paint was dripped down a Chanel logo on the Armani building in Hong Kong’s busy Central district. He is now detained in Hong Kong, with his passport taken by authorities until the matter is resolved in court in August. Damages are reportedly 6.7 million Hong Kong, or $850,000 USD. Erin Wooters chats with Zevs about his art, the arrest, and his views on brands.
I love the artwork on display here at your show. Did you create it all here in Hong Kong or elsewhere?
Thank you. Yes, I made it all here in Hong Kong in a studio space associated with the Art Statements Gallery. As you can see, I’m also continuing my work on unfinished pieces right here in this exhibition space.
LV Liquidated Black Murakami by Zevs, 2009. Acrylic on Metal. HK$220,000
Do you own or consume any products made by brands depicted in your artwork?
Not really, I don’t buy designer products like Chanel or Louis Vuitton, but I do drink Coca Cola. And I have tried McDonald’s food before, although I don’t eat it regularly.
Liquidated McDonald, by Zevs, 2009. Oil on wood. 120 x 62 cm. HK$98,000
How did you choose the dripping effect for your artwork and the Chanel street piece?
The dripping in the Chanel street piece demonstrates an ongoing theme in my artwork. I have worked with the dripping effect for awhile, starting when I added a dripping blood effect to large-scale photographic billboards of models. I would make it appear like they have been shot or something violent has happened to them. The purpose of this was to get the viewers to stop associating themselves with the model in the photography, as I believe that people automatically identify themselves with such images. However, viewers are repulsed by violence and do not want to associate violence happening to them, and then the viewer is forced to consider the image in an entirely different way. I kept working with the dripping effect throughout my work because it conveys multiple meanings, and visually shows stark contrast and beautiful pattern and texture.
Liquidated Coca Cola, 2009, by Zevs. Oil on wood. 150 x 150 cm. HK$135,000
How do you create the dripping effect?
With suringes loaded with paint. I get them at a local pharmaceutical.
Did you expect the reaction you got from the Hong Kong authorities and Armani?
No, actually, I didn’t anticipate their reaction. I used a water-based paint that can be removed with the proper cleaning materials, but no one in Hong Kong seems to be equipped to clean it. That is why it is just covered up right now. And unfortunately, the $850,000 price that is being requested for damages is the estimated price for the entire building’s wall.
Liquidated LV, 2009, by Zevs. Oil on wood. 120 x 62 cm. HK$98,000
How was the arrest? Were you treated respectfully during detainment?
The Hong Kong authorities did treat me well. They did not put me in handcuffs or make me uncomfortable. I was detained for about 24 hours and will have a court hearing in Hong Kong.
Have you ever been arrested for creating street art before?
Not really, nothing like this. Oh, once in Paris I was. I was outlining shapes of shadows on the street in chalk, similar to the idea of bodies being outlined in chalk.
Do you plan to create any more street art in Hong Kong while you are here?
No, definitely not.
Contributed by Erin Wooters
Zevs’s Site: www.gzzglz.com
Video Interview of Zevs for SCMP
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Posted in Branding in art develops, China, Crossover art, European, Galleries, Gallery shows, Graffiti, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Artists, Interviews, Painting, Public art, Urban | Tagged: action art, Armani, art and brands, art and consumerism, art and retail, art Louis Vuitton, Art Statements Gallery, artist arrest, brand, Chanel, Christophe Schwarz, Dominique Perregaux, dripping art, dripping logos, French, graffiti art, hong kong, Hong Kong art, Liquidated Coca Cola, Liquidated LV, logo, street art, Zevs | 1 Comment »
Posted by artradar on July 28, 2009
LOUIS VUITTON EXHIBITION REVIEW HONG KONG
The historical roots and modern artistic expression of a luxury brand are revealed at ‘Louis Vuitton: A Passion For Creation,’ presented as a 3-part series by the Hong Kong Museum of Art. In the first installment of the exhibition, the story of the brand’s evolution is told through the display of original products and artworks from the 19th and 20th centuries and the new millennium. The show begins quietly, showcasing old original Louis Vuitton pieces that champion form and function. However, soon aspirations are revealed to challenge the limits of brand identity and demonstrate the ever-evolving nature of this luxury name.
'Louis Vuitton: A Passion For Creation' Exhibition Entry, Hong Kong Museum of Art
The brand is shown from its humble beginning, when the spirit of travel inspired the original concept for Louis Vuitton. However, a new identity emerges under the art direction of Marc Jacobs, who was appointed in 1997.
The show demonstrates LV’s progression with pieces that reflect modern international urban culture by Takashi Murakami of Tokyo, and Stephen Sprouse, who emerged from the arts scene in New York. The chosen works on display suggest that Louis Vuitton has grown from its origins as the image of Western sophistication into a reflection of international artistic attitudes, sometimes fantastic or defiant, but always luxurious.
'Panda' by Takashi Murakami, 2003. Fiberglass.
Of particular significance is Murakami’s Panda, made in 2003. The massive multicolored, cartoon-like fiberglass panda appears to be rising out of a classically inspired Louis Vuitton trunk, suggesting the surreal new direction he envisions for the brand. Indeed, Murakami’s vision for the modern Louis Vuitton is a frivolous world, a brightly-colored childish fantasy. In contrast, Marc Jacob’s Spring 2008 interpretation for the brand challenges boundaries with a provocative ‘naughty nurse’ theme, and Stephen Sprouse’s Spring 2001 graffiti-inspired pieces challenge the established high-end identity with defacement.
Louis Vuitton Spring 2008, by Marc Jacobs
Although this show may first appear to be another form of marketing, it does a fair job of demonstrating the art of creating a powerful brand and the evolution of its identity. It would be over-reaching to say the Louis Vuitton products themselves are presented as special works of art. Instead, the real magic that Louis Vuitton shows is the ability to build off an original concept while not changing its foundation, and continually applying a fresh mystique every few seasons by modeling products after fine art by edgy, of-the-moment artists. Louis Vuitton is artfully alive and growing, but its roots are still intact.
It is still unknown who exactly came up with the concept for the show. Although the show would have more legitimacy if it was the brainchild of Mr. Tang Hoi-Chui, Chief Curator of the Hong Kong Museum of Art, and his associates at the Hong Kong Leisure and Cultural Services Department, it is unlikely they alone conceived the premise for an exhibition on Louis Vuitton . Who approached whom for this collaboration is unclear, and Art Radar will be investigating the source of the show. In the meantime, however, expect to see commercialism and art continue to merge in the Asian art scene, which like Louis Vuitton, is also alive and growing into something different.
Showing at the Hong Kong Museum of Art, May 22-Aug 9, 2009. $30 HK admission
Contributed by Erin Wooters
Other Reviews of Louis Vuitton, A Passion for Creation:
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Posted in Branding in art develops, Brands, China, Chinese, Consumerism, Crossover art, Events, From Art Radar, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Artists, Logos, Museum shows, Museums, Reviews, Shows | Tagged: art reviews, Asian Contemporary Art, Design, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Passion For Creation, Stephen Sprouse, Takashi Murakami | Leave a Comment »