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Posts Tagged ‘art technology’

Young Chinese artist Li Hui lights up Netherlands: an Art Radar interview

Posted by artradar on September 28, 2010


CHINESE ARTIST SOLO EXHIBITION LIGHT ART NETHERLANDS

Li Hui at work. Image courtesy of Ministry of Art.

Li Hui at work. Image courtesy of Ministry of Art.

Following his impressive solo exhibition last year in Mannheim, Germany, young Chinese artist Li Hui brings yet another surprise to the European art scene. In the pitch-dark exhibition space provided by The Centre of Artificial Light in Art in the Netherlands, Li Hui presents a spectacular display of four of his light works entitled “Who’s afraid of Red, Amber and Green?. The show, which runs from 16 July to 24 October this year, showcases Li’s experiments with laser and LED light.

The current show, the title of which may remind people of Barnett Newman‘s painting Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue?, exhibits four of Li Hui’s works: Amber, Reincarnation, Cage and Everything Starts from Here. The works were selected jointly by John Jaspers (director of The Centre of Artificial Light in Art), Christoph and Cordelia Noe (co-directors of The Ministry of Art who represent Li Hui) and the artist.

In an interview with the museum, printed on the museum guide, Li Hui describes his works:

“I can imagine that if someone sees my work for the first time, it can have a very strong visual impact. Just like in Newman’s paintings, the bright colors first have to get stored in one’s brain. I also understand that there are elements in my works that might make people feel a little puzzled or even a little scared when first confronted with them. However, from what I have experienced, it is not just the visual impact, but also the ‘otherness’ or their mysticism that can have this kind of result. It is somehow similar to … Shamanism.”

Art Radar Asia spoke to Li Hui about the ideas in his works, the challenges he faces and his future plans.

Light not an intended media

Specialising in sculpture at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, Li Hui learnt to use stainless steel and wood but not light. In fact, he never meant to use light in all of his works, and would not call himself a light artist. It was in the process of production that he thought of light as a possible media for some of his works. He gives an example of how he came up with using LED light for Amber.

“I wanted the transparent material to glow, and I found that LED light is the only light that can produce the effect I wanted. The material is also thin enough for me to install inside the work, so I used it.”

Using LED light led to his discovery of the properties of laser light, a non-heating light which produces pure colors, and he started to experiment with it for other works. Light is not a usual medium for art in China or the world and Li says of this phenomenon,

“Light doesn’t seem like a material that can be used in art – if you do not handle it well, the outcome will be awful. Everyone can use light in their work, but light may not always be a good material to help them express what they want to express.”

"What I want to create is smoke rising from the bed softly and freely. It is a work that would evoke emotions, but this may not be obvious from photos," relays Li Hui. Reader's who are interested in experiencing these emotions firsthand can click on the image to watch a video. (Please note that the video is presented in Dutch.) 'Reincarnation' (200 x 110 cm; height variable) is a sculpture made of laser lights, fog, metal and medical bandage to create a mysterious, psychedelic, religious visual effect. In Buddhism, reincarnation means cycle or life circulation – the recurring process of our spirit being incarnated in another life after we die. Image courtesy of Ministry of Art.

"What I want to create is smoke rising from the bed softly and freely. It is a work that would evoke emotions, but this may not be obvious from photos," relays Li Hui. Readers who are interested in experiencing these emotions firsthand can click on the image to watch a video. (Please note that the video is presented in Dutch.) 'Reincarnation' (200 x 110 cm; height variable) is a sculpture made of laser lights, fog, metal and medical bandages. Image courtesy of Ministry of Art.

At this point, Li hasn’t thought about specialising in light art, and says that he would use whatever materials suit his concepts. Asked about what he is going to do next, Li says that he is interested in the spiritual and the inner world. When asked whether there are particular philosophies that Li Hui wants to convey in his works, he answers no.

“I want to create feelings which cannot be expressed in languages. There are just too many works attached [to] some kind of philosophy, but to me that’s not what art is about. You create feelings in art – if you can feel it, others will feel it too.”

Li Hui says about his work 'Cage': "There are two cages inside the work made of laser beams. Laser beams are special in a way that they look tangible while in reality they are not. The two cages appear alternatively so that a group of people who find themselves 'trapped' in the cage in one moment would suddenly find themselves outside the cage in the next. This work brings out the contrast between reality and illusion." 'Cage' (each 200 x 200 cm; height variable) is made of laser lights, mirrors and iron. Image courtesy of Ministry of Art.

Li Hui says about his work 'Cage': "There are two cages inside the work made of laser beams. Laser beams are special in a way that they look tangible while in reality they are not. The two cages appear alternatively so that a group of people who find themselves 'trapped' in the cage in one moment would suddenly find themselves outside the cage in the next. This work brings out the contrast between reality and illusion." 'Cage' (each 200 x 200 cm; height variable) is made of laser lights, mirrors and iron. Image courtesy of Ministry of Art.

Technological skill toughest obstacle

You may imagine Li Hui’s laboratory crammed with a lot of professional equipment to support his experiments, but in reality he has to seek technological support from others, such as LED light producers, to create his light works. In fact, technology is one of the greatest challenges in the artist’s production process.

“It is impossible to do the works in my own studio. I have to cooperate with others. I don’t have their professional equipment. It is very costly…. The most difficult [thing] is skill – I am not talking about artistic skill, but technological skill. Sometimes the problems are just impossible to solve.”

For Li Hui, every work is born from rounds of brain-storming followed by rounds of experiments in an effort to work through and predict potential problems.

“Experiments push toward the final outcome. At the initial stage of production, I may draw on the computer. Then I begin experimenting with materials. For example, I test a few shots of laser beams with smoke and find the proportion that suits what I want to express.”

Li Hui says about his work 'Everything Starts From Here': "This is a discovery in an experiment. The light beams strike through the transparent dining goblets to project a very impressive light image on the wall. Most of my works are large but this one is not because it is an experimental work." 'Everything Starts From Here' (20 x 30 x 20cm) utilises laser lights, a metal box with a crank, glass and projectors. Image courtesy of Ministry of Art.

Li Hui says about his work 'Everything Starts From Here': "This is a discovery in an experiment. The light beams strike through the transparent dining goblets to project a very impressive light image on the wall. Most of my works are large but this one is not because it is an experimental work." 'Everything Starts From Here' (20 x 30 x 20cm) utilises laser lights, a metal box with a crank, glass and projectors. Image courtesy of Ministry of Art.

Ministry of Art dedicated to Chinese art in Europe

Art Radar Asia spoke with Christoph Noe, one of the directors of The Ministry of Art, an art advisory and curatorial company based in China which represents Li Hui, to find out more about how European opportunities are secured for Chinese or other Asian artists.

“The Ministry of Art … has a broader scope than [just being] a gallery. Our idea is to give artists the opportunity to cooperate with museums or art institutions in Europe … as a lot of the Chinese artists have already had the opportunity to exhibit their works in China or Asia, and some of them lack the opportunity to exhibit in Europe. We come in with our expertise because of our European origins and networks with European institutions. Once we are excited about a Chinese artist we can find an institution that fits very well for that artist.”

Li Hui will participate in a group show called Internationale Lichttage Winterthur 2010 in Switzerland in November. He will present another solo exhibition in June 2011 in Berlin, Germany.

CBKM/KN/HH

Related topics: Chinese artists, light art, museum shows, emerging artists

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Artprice launches web-based art collection management and valuation service free to subscribers

Posted by artradar on February 17, 2009


ART MANAGEMENT  VALUATION

Free asset valuation and management tools are ubiquitous in the financial sector and it was just a matter of time before similar offerings were released by art service companies.

Artprice offers automatic valuations of collectors’ portfolios using a tool which draws prices from its database. It remains to be seen how well this works as credible valuations of comparatively illiquid and non-homogenous art assets require judgment which, one would imagine, is beyond the capabilities of technology. But we are ready to be wrong. If any readers have tried the service, feel free to leave your comments below.

From the press release:

Artprice launches My Art Collection, the first free and confidential art portfolio management service. This service, now available to Artprice’s 1,300,000 subscribers is available…for professional or amateur art collectors anywhere in the world. However much you spend on art, the value of your collection is evolving at an ever-faster pace as the art market becomes increasingly sensitive to economic and geopolitical events. With Artprice’s unique and free service My Art Collection, you can follow the value evolution of your collection as a whole with regular revaluations for each of the works in the portfolio.

Using a simple tool that takes full advantage of Artprice’ knowledge in the sector as world leader in art market information, collectors can follow the financial value of their works and their portfolios at just a glance.

This exclusive service enables Artprice subscribers to take full advantage of their immediate access to Artprice’s leading standardised marketplace and to buy or sell elements in their collections in reaction to market fluctuations.

Moreover, in just a couple of clicks, Artprice subscribers can access the pay-service Artpricing: within 48 hours, our analysts (art historians, professionals and econometricians) can provide updated valuation of works. Artprice subscribers can also access the Artprice databases which contain more than 25 million auction results, indices and price statistics for over 405,000 artists.

In addition, this portfolio valuation service will give our subscribers access to online insurance services with quotes calculated in real time by Artprice and its art insurance partners, thereby accelerating the notion of an immediate financial guarantee of their works.

Related categories: collectors, market watch

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Add-art replace ads on the web with art shows, Brooklyn Museum’s curator of Asian art leads the way

Posted by artradar on February 9, 2009


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ART TECHNOLOGY CURATORS

Add-Art is a ground-breaking software service internet users can download  to replace ads on internet sites with art images from a curated database. The site is calling curators to contact them to assist with curating shows, each show will last 2 weeks and comprise 5-8 artists. 

Brooklyn Museum held its show of Hiroshige’s One Hundred Famous Views of Edo by Joan Cummins, curator of Asian art in 2008. The software was produced by Brooklyn-based developers explaining the Museum’s early involvement. News of the software is now gaining traction and circulating the internet blogs and art news sites such as Fast Art.

One of the disadvantages of the software is that the images have to be cropped to fit standard ad templates but the Hiroshige show demonstrates that a compelling exhibition can be created despite these limits. There does not appear to be any hard data on the number of viewers at this stage but according to the site, there is potential for hundreds of thousands of users.

From the Add-art website:

Add-Art is a Firefox extension which replaces advertising images on web pages with art images from a curated database. It is a free and open source project, currently being developed at the Eyebeam Development site.Of the 100+ add-ons available for Firefox, “adblockers” are the most popular. The most current, Adblock Plus, has over 18 million downloads (as of May 2008 ) since Jan 2006 (currently over 250,000/week). It’s predecessor, Adblock, has been downloaded over 8 million times. These extensions work by preventing advertising images from downloading and replacing the ads with blank space. Their popularity has risen as pop-up ads, banner ads, and ads incorporating sound and animation have permeated the internet.

For many, replacing ads with blank space would be enough. Add-Art attempts to do something more interesting than just blocking ads – it turns your browser into an art gallery. Every time you visit the New York Times online or check the weather you’ll also see a spattering of images by a young contemporary artist.

The project will be supported by a small website providing information on the current artists and curator, along with a schedule of past and upcoming Add-Art shows. Each 2 weeks will include 5-8 artists selected by emerging and established curators. Images will have to be cropped to standard banner sizes or can be custom made for the project. Artists can target sites (such as every ad on FoxNews.com) and/or default to any page on the internet with ads. One artist will be shown per page. The curatorial duty will be passed among curators through recommendations, word of mouth, and solicitations to the Add-Art site.

With the overwhelming popularity of adblockers, if Add-Art were to attract 5% of existing users, the numbers would be in the hundreds of thousands.

Related links: Brooklyn Musuem Add-Art blog, Add-Art website,

Related categories: Museum shows, reports from New York, art spaces, curators, technology

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