Posts Tagged ‘installation’
Posted by artradar on October 15, 2010
NEW MEDIA ART FESTIVAL INSTALLATION
Akbank art centre, Istanbul continues with its exhibition “The Rhythm of Istanbul“, in collaboration with the Akbank Jazz festival. Marking the twentieth anniversary of this world renowned music festival, it will feature installations by six internationally acclaimed artists working in sound and new media.
Julian Opie, 'Rod and Verity Walking', 2010, lightbox installation. Image courtesy of Akbank Art Centre.
Curator Gisela Winkelhofer is using the commission to approach the use of sound and rhythm and to explore how movement combines with the architectural spaces of the festival, shedding new light on the confrontation between mass media and the individual.
Angela Bulloch, 'Progression of 8 Peverted Pixels', 2008, 7 DMX modules, 1 black box module. plexiglas, printed aluminium panels, DMX cables, 1 RGB lighting system DMX controller, size 52 x 52 x 52 to 62 x 70 x 62 cm. Image courtesy of Akbank Art Centre.
Accordingly, artists with a reputation for transforming the spatial encounter will be present. Canadian-born Berlin-based Angela Bulloch is showing her Progression of 8 Perverted Pixels (2008), taking the light transmitted from ordinary TV programmes, abstracting them beyond recognition and projecting them as shape-changing beams.
Specially commissioned by the festival, Tony Oursler‘s new work also evokes the spectator’s virtual relation to their surroundings. Both movement within the work and the transgression of different media takes central place in the exhibition. Another new work Rod and Verity Walking (2010) by Julian Opie positions itself on the fringes of two distinct mediums, in this case film and drawing.
Tony Oursler, 'Marlboro, Camel, Winston, Parliament, Salem, Marlboro Light, American Spirit', 2009, PVC tubes, video projection, dimensions varied. Image courtesy of Akbank Art Centre.
Related Topics: festival, installation, sound art, crossover art
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Posted in Electronic art, Festival, Laser, Light, New Media, Turkey | Tagged: Akbank, Akbank Jazz festival, Angela Bulloch, architecture, contemporary art, exhibition, festivals, Gisela Winkelhofer, Hugh Govan, installation, installation art, Istanbul, Julian Opie, Light art, Marlboro Camel Winston Parliament Salem Marlboro Light American Spirit, movement, New Media, Peter Kogler, Progression of 8 Peverted Pixels, rhythm, Rod and Verity Walking, Sound art, space, Stephan Reusse, the individual, The Rhythm of Istanbul, Tony Oursler, Turkey, Video art | Leave a Comment »
Posted by artradar on September 15, 2010
TAIWANESE CONTEMPORARY ART INSTALLATION TAIWAN-CHINA RELATIONS ARTIST INTERVIEW
When Tsong Pu was studying overseas in the 1970s he would introduce himself as Chinese or as being from China. Later, as China opened it’s borders and more art from the country was exposed to the outside world, Tsong began to introduce himself as Taiwanese. Now, he introduces himself as a Shanghai-born artist who lives in Taiwan.
Cultural relations between Taiwan and China have always been complicated and the current success Chinese contemporary artists are enjoying globally generally outstrips that of artists who are living and working in Taiwan. Although originally from China himself, abstract artist Tsong Pu does not see much collaboration between the two countries.
“Each side does their own thing. At the moment you will find that very few Taiwanese artists show their work in Mainland China, in galleries or in museums. But you will find that many artists from China show their works in Taiwanese galleries or museums.”
Tsong believes that Taiwanese artists and art professionals need to work hard to change this situation, “to give collectors and buyers more confidence in Taiwanese art.” He goes on to state that the Chinese art market is created and supported by the Taiwanese collector.
“Much of the artwork coming out of China is being sold to Taiwanese collectors. The [Taiwanese] government supports Chinese artists, but the Chinese government doesn’t support Taiwanese artists.”
This view is expressed in the installation One Comes from Emptiness (2009, mixed media), which we discuss with Tsong in this article. Blake Carter, writing for the Taipei Times in November last year, talked about the piece:
“I was surprised to find that some of the ropes he installed at the Biennial fall onto a bent metal signpost that reads ‘Taiwan Contemporary Art Museum.’ There is no such place. Many artists complain that Taiwan’s museums – especially in the capital, and specifically the Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM) – don’t pay enough attention to the country’s artists.”
Blake went on to say that “Taiwanese artists are relegated to the museum’s smaller galleries downstairs while Chinese artists Fang Lijun, Cai Guo-Qiang and Ai Weiwei get large exhibitions at TFAM.” When asked by Blake whether One Comes from Emptiness was a comment on Taiwan’s art institutions and their treatment of Taiwanese art and artists, Tsong replied, “Yes.”
This is part three of a three part series. In this part we relay to you Tsong’s views on the artistic relationship between Taiwan and China and look at two further installations by the artist. Both of these works are tied to the artist’s signature grid pattern, the repetition of 1 x 1 cm squares often intersected with a diagonal line. This grid form is represented in the weave of the nylon rope in One Comes from Emptiness (2009, mixed media) and pulled apart and reconstituted in the separate canvases of Declaration Independence (first presented 1996, mixed media). For more on what to expect from the first and second parts of this series, please read the notes at the bottom of this post.
Tsong Pu, 'One Comes from Emptiness', 2009, mixed media installation, 10 x 1075 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.
One Comes from Emptiness (2009, mixed media installation) was shown at Viewpoints and Viewing Points: 2009 Asian Art Biennial. In your artist statement for this exhibition you suggested that people from the West and people from the East will perceive this installation differently. Could you explain further?
“I tried to pretend that the rope is just like calligraphy: more natural and softer. This soft line is like Chinese calligraphy or Chinese traditional ink painting. When you see a Chinese courtyard, it makes you feel very natural, it’s soft…. It has something representing the water, the wind, the earth. I used very simple lines or string to create circles. These circles remind me of a Japanese courtyard, its oriental elements, and the lines are like the rain. A traditional Chinese courtyard always expresses these kinds of things. I tried to … merge [this] with Western style.
The steel part is more structural – it has more strength – and represents Western art expression: strong, energetic, long lasting. I am influenced by an artist from England called Anthony Caro who creates sculptures from steel.”
Why do the circles overlay the steel?
“At the very beginning, I tried to present only the circles and the simple white lines but I thought it was too beautiful…. It didn’t have any power. [The circles overlap the steel because] the nylon rope is soft and flexible. It can’t be cut or broken and it will flow over things. Of the material, you can see that one is soft and one is hard, so they contrast. That is the basic structure [of the work]. Different style, different shape, different material, different thinking. But when they come together they can merge.”
So they can exist together?
“Yes, yes. Together they can generate something new, a new way of thinking.”
Is there anything else you’d like to say about One Comes from Emptiness?
“This work was created in 2009. During this year a major typhoon hit Taiwan. This typhoon caused a landslide which covered a mountain village. Because of this event, the natural environment and the view of the landscape was changed. A house that has been moved or destroyed might not actually look so terrible in its new position. After you have viewed it for sometime, you might realise that it actually looks quite beautiful.”
Tsong Pu, 'Declaration Independence', 1996, mixed media installation, 480 x 260 x 360 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.
We are interested in your installation Declaration Independence (first presented 1996, mixed media) because you showed it in 1996 and then again this year at your TFAM retrospective, “Art From the Underground“. Can you explain the relationship between the objects and each painting?
“The idea for this work comes from [Transposition of Light and Water (1992, mixed media installation)] but it is represented in a different space. I took one cube from this work and distributed it into several pieces.”
The way you have used the gallery space in Declaration Independence is quite different to how you have used it in other installation pieces.
“These are canvases, just like [The White Line on Grey (mixed media, 1983)] is a canvas. I used the same technique [to paint them both]. The ones that are the same are grouped together. The paintings are like different pages in a book; the pattern [on the canvases] resembles words without any special meaning.
This [coat hanging on the wall] is an object and this object has some dimension – it is 3D and not flat – but [the paintings] are flat, so when they are placed with the 3D objects they will have a conversation. The paintings are like a code and when I separate them in this way they are like the pages [of a book] on the wall.
The paintings have no meaning, but the objects may project some meaning onto them. Among the objects are some maps. When all these things are separate they have no meaning but when they are placed together they could have some meaning. I am not sure whether the paintings influence the objects, or the objects influence the paintings. When you open a book there is a lot of information in it. It is like this book on the wall has been opened and many things have started to happen. There is a conversation between [the paintings and the objects], a relationship.”
And is it you, the artist, who brings meaning to this book, or is it the task of the viewer?
“It should be both. I hope it is the viewer.”
Tsong Pu, 'Declaration Independence', 2010, mixed media installation, 480 x 260 x 360 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.
About this series
This Art Radar interview with Taiwanese artist Tsong Pu has been presented in three parts. In part one, Master Tsong discusses two works in which he has used and adapted his most well known technique, a 1 cm by 1 cm grid pattern. In part two, the artist speaks on two very different installation pieces, close in date of construction but not in their theory of development. Part three talks about some of the artist’s most recent installation work.
We have also premised each part with some of the artist’s views on the current Taiwanese contemporary art industry, as developed from his roles as mentor, curator and master artist.
Related Topics: Taiwanese artists, interviews, installation art
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Posted in Artist Nationality, Business of art, Collectors, Conceptual, From Art Radar, Installation, Interviews, Promoting art, Styles, Taiwanese, Themes and subjects, Tsong Pu, Z Artists | Tagged: abstract art, abstract artists, abstract paintings, Ai Weiwei, Anthony Caro, art collecting, art collectors, Art From The Underground, artist interview, artist interviews, Blake Carter, Cai Guo Qiang, Chinese art, Chinese artists, Chinese calligraphy, Chinese contemporary art, Chinese contemporary artists, Chinese courtyard, Chinese ink painting, collector, Collectors, cultural relations, Declaration Independence, Eastern art expression, Fang Lijun, government, installation, installation art, installations, Japanese courtyard, Kate Nicholson, mainland China, mixed media, mixed media installation, nylon rope, One Comes from Emptiness, Painting, paintings, retrospective, series, shanghai, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei Times, taiwan, Taiwanese, Taiwanese art, Taiwanese artists, Taiwanese collectors, Taiwanese contemporary art, Taiwanese contemporary artists, Taiwanese installation art, Taiwanese installation artists, Taiwanese painters, TFAM, The White Line on Grey, Transposition of Light and Water, Tsong Pu, typhoon, Viewpoints and Viewing Points - 2009 Asian Art Biennial, Western art expression | Leave a Comment »
Posted by artradar on September 11, 2010
BRITISH-CHINESE ARITST PHOTOGRAPHY NEW MEDIA MULTIMEDIA RESIDENCY INTERVIEW
QUAD Gallery at Derby, UK presents UK and China-based artist Dinu Li’s past, recent and newly commissioned works in a solo show “Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is Mystery“. This show is partly supported by the ArtSway Associates scheme that Dinu Li is a member of. In this interview, Li discusses the creative inspiration behind his works and ArtSway introduces its unique programme, too.
Dinu Li’s work draws together China’s past and present in a range of medium, including photography, film, video and recently performance. Informed by his personal experiences and thanks to his astute observations, he is fascinated by the spaces in between the personal and political, the public and private. Across all his projects, Li has explored these themes: time, space, change, where things come from, where things go to next, the essence of culture and the interrogation of a vernacular.
'Family Village' (2009). Installation view at ArtSway’s New Forest Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale. Image courtesy of the artist.
In 2009, Dinu Li was selected to take up a residency at ArtSway, the contemporary visual arts venue in the New Forest, Hampshire, UK. ArtSway provides full curatorial support, mentoring and advisory support for all of their selected artists. After his residency, Dinu Li was invited to become an ArtSway Associate, a scheme providing legacy support for ongoing development and mentoring with Mark Segal, ArtSway’s director, and other industry professionals.
Art Radar Asia interviewed Dinu Li and ArtSway curator Peter Bonnell to discuss Li’s works and ArtSway’s initiatives.
Dinu Li on his works and inspirations
Your work deals a lot with the passing of time by drawing together China’s past and present. Which elements of China’s past and present do you highlight and put in contrast to each other? And why?
Since 2001 I have spent more and more time in China. Over this period, I have seen and experienced a tremendous amount of change taking place throughout the country, at an epic, breathless and almost seismic scale of transformation. This is most noticeable when walking in a neighbourhood I should be familiar with, only to find it almost unrecognisable a year later due to the way it has developed and evolved. People have also changed considerably in this period. There is a sense of ceaseless appetite to consume ideas, experiences and lifestyles.
As a reaction to all these changes, I decided to collaborate with my mother several years ago, in an exercise to identify and retrace the exact sites of her memories. One of the concepts I am trying to grapple with at the moment is to interrogate the relationship between obedience and power in connections to Confucius and Mao.
How did you first become fascinated by this subject and formulate your creative process? Also, did being away from your motherland play a role in the process?
My initial fascination with China came about as a young child growing up in Hong Kong, when my mother used to tell me stories about our motherland. I remember walking around in Guangzhou wearing my favourite trousers with the letters ‘ABC’ stitched on one leg. This became a point of contempt, as people of all ages called me an ‘imperialist pig’ for daring to wear such trousers in public.
Today, I look back at that moment as both significant and pivotal. Even for a seven year old, I could sense the difference when crossing the border from the British-governed Hong Kong of the 70’s to a China still very much gripped by the ideology of Mao. That demarcation seemed to define how we would live out our lives, depending on which side of the demarcation one is situated. I learnt ones dreams and aspirations are intrinsically connected to the times we live in. And so the approach to my work involves an element of interrogation, and to discover one’s position within a space, and how that space alters in time.
The physical distance from having grown up in the West plays an important role. Whilst the distance gives me a certain vantage point to view things, my perception is nevertheless affected by the media around me, and how China is viewed by Western journalists, politicians, businesses, the art world…
'Ancestral Nation' (2007). Installation view at ArtSway, UK. Image courtesy of the artist.
As an artist closely observing life, do you feel in today’s China that the demarcation is still so binary? Today, many native Chinese move from one culture to another and they may come to discover that China, despite it being their homeland, has layers they knew existed…
Defining China in contemporary times is complex, as the nation is transforming at such a rapid pace. On the one hand, there is a strong sense of nationalism and patriotism, as demonstrated during the Beijing Olympics in 2008. As China expands, the complexity of its national borders becomes increasingly contentious, as its neighbours watch in awe but ultimately in apprehension.
On the other hand, China fully embraces today’s global ideologies, albeit controlled and mediated by central government. Unlike any other time in its history, the China of today is very much integrated with a much wider perspective, which ultimately reduces the feeling of stepping into a different zone when crossing into its borders. Today’s China is equally adept at both Chinese and Western medicine. Walking down a high street, one can find a Starbuck’s as easily as a teahouse. And so the concept of space changing in time is very much in evidence in China.
Dinu Li on his choice of medium
Your works encompass a range of medium. Which medium did you first come into contact with?
Photography was something I came to by accident in my mid-twenties. Up until that point, I had not thought of wanting to become an artist. But as someone who had been dealing with time and space throughout my life, coming into contact with photography seemed like a very powerful intervention, something I could not ignore or resist. It was the perfect medium for me to enter a different juncture in my life, and enabled me to grapple with so many ideas that had been swirling round in my head for so long.
Following that, when did you incorporate other medium and how have you come to that decision?
Once I understood what I could do with a still image, I then wanted to explore different ways of perceiving the world. From that point, I also wanted to integrate and embrace a sense of immediacy within my practice. The immediacy I am talking about can often be found in children, who carry a fearless spontaneity in the way they approach art making. Once I adopt that as a position, it alters the way I work, and so from that point, my practice became more experimental, and I was able to really explore my work by using sound, moving imagery, animation and recently performance.
In particular, how to you decide between using camera and performance?
There is a sense of mediation whether I am in front of or behind the camera, but I guess the difference is in the idea of being inside or outside of something. For instance, there are times when I simply want to be an observer, or play the role of a voyeur. But at other times it may be absolutely necessary to be inside the artwork itself, in which case, performance comes into the fore.
'Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is Mystery' (2010). Installation view at QUAD, Derby, UK. Image courtesy of the artist.
Dinu Li on ArtSway and similar programmes in Asia
How has ArtSway helped you in your career, both during the residency and after?
Working with ArtSway exceeded all my expectations of a publicly-funded arts organisation. One of ArtSway’s key strengths is their notion of nurturing a long-term relationship with the artists they work with. It’s an investment they place upon a relationship built on trust. My three-month residency was extremely productive, as not only did I develop new ideas, but was invited by several institutions to exhibit my work, one of which resulted in a newly commissioned catalogue. In 2009, I was represented at ArtSway’s New Forest Pavilion for the 53rd Venice Biennale.
Do you know of any similar programmes in Hong Kong, China or the Asia region?
In 2009, I was selected to participate in a three-month international residency with OCAT in Shenzhen, China. As far as I know, this is one of the few, if not the only, state-funded residency schemes in China. The programme and staff at OCAT were very supportive of my research and went out of their way to help me as far as they could. They also gave me maximum flexibility and freedom to develop my work as I wished, without pressure to arrive at an end point. In that respect, they operated in a similar manner to ArtSway.
Peter Bonnell on ArtSway and their residency programme
We noticed that ArtSway has a range of initiatives and a packed calendar. Broadly, how do you describe ArtSway as an institution?
Open since 1997, the gallery exists to present accomplished and challenging contemporary art works in a supportive and relaxed environment. ArtSway supports artists [through the Residency and Associates programmes] to take risks, and also for the general public to engage with the gallery and work on display – and these visitors come from near and far to participate in workshops, talks and events.
Can you introduce the ArtSway Residency programme’s offerings?
Once an artist is selected for a residency, they can expect our full curatorial, mentoring and advisory support. We very often host artists in residence here in Sway in England’s New Forest, and can offer the use of a free studio space. In addition, artists are given an attractive fee, and funds towards researching and producing new work, as well as travel and accommodation funds. We also provide marketing expertise for their subsequent exhibition in ArtSway’s galleries.
In 2005, 2007 and 2009 ArtSway has presented an exhibition of the work of many previous artists in residence as part of ArtSway’s New Forest Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. This particular exhibition provides a significant international stage for many of the artists we have worked with in the past – with curators, writers and galleries from around the world coming to see their work.
Do artists with a residency all naturally become ArtSway Associates afterwards?
Since the year 2000 ArtSway has supported approximately thirty artists in making new work, but not all of them have become ArtSway Associates. There are currently ten artists who are part of the programme – all of whom were invited to become an Associate.
Many of those who are selected, once approached, felt that the continuing support of ArtSway would be beneficial to their practice. However, many artists who have completed a residency or commission with ArtSway are associated with other galleries, usually ones that represent them and offer an existing high level of support.
View of ArtSway. Image courtesy of ArtSway.
How have artists benefited from the Associate programme?
The Associates programme has been a huge success to date – offering all artists involved a great deal of support and funding in regard to such things as website training and development, publications, marketing, critical input, and support and advice from ArtSway Director, Mark Segal on funding applications and proposals. Other industry professionals providing mentoring sessions include Matt’s Gallery director Robin Klassnik.
How do artists with Chinese decent benefit from ArtSway support? Is it necessary that he or she has lived or worked in the UK?
ArtSway does not target artists from any particular ethnic group or country, but we do try to ensure that our various opportunities are available to as many people as possible.
However, we have in the past targeted a specific organisation to work with – such as the Chinese Arts Centre (CAC) in Manchester. The intention was to work specifically with a Chinese artist, and we collaborated with CAC to both develop a strong partnership with a high-level organisation, and also to tap into their expertise and knowledge of the Chinese arts scene.
The artist who was selected for the residency partnership with CAC was Beijing-based photographer and filmmaker Ma Yongfeng – an artist who had not worked extensively in the UK prior to our working with him.
Related Topics: interviews, residencies, venues
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Posted in Art spaces, Chinese, Connecting Asia to itself, Curators, Events, From Art Radar, Gallery shows, Globalization of art, Hong Kong Artists, Identity art, Installation, Interviews, Medium, Migration, Performance, Photography, Professionals, Profiles, Residencies, Space, Themes and subjects, Time, Trends, UK, Venues, Video | Tagged: 53rd Venice Biennale, art, art professional interviews, art professionals, art residency programme, artist interview, artist interviews, artist residency, ArtSway, ArtSway Associates, Beijing, british-chinese artist, Chinese art, Chinese artists, Chinese Arts Centre (CAC), Chinese new media, contemporary art, Dinu Li, Film, Hampshire, hong kong, Identity art, installation, Ma Yongfeng, Manchester, Mao, Mark Segal, Matt’s Gallery, migration art, multimedia, New Forest, New Forest Pavilion, OCAT, performance art, Peter Bonnell, photography, QUAD at Derby, residency, Robin Klassnik, Shenzhen, Sylvia Xue Bai, Tomorrow is Mystery, UK, venue in UK, Video, Yesterday is History | Leave a Comment »
Posted by artradar on September 7, 2010
DIGITAL ART SINGAPORE PUBLIC ART
Racing fever hits Singapore as the city prepares to host the Singapore Grand Prix from 17 to 26 September. And with the expectant influx of tourists, preparations are in full swing for the Digital Nights Showcase (DNS). The festival entails interactive new and digital artworks that will be displayed simultaneously with the Grand Prix for ten nights, allowing locals and tourists to enjoy works by internationally acclaimed European artists.
The DNS will feature at the Singapore Arts Museum and Orchard Road, Singapore’s high fashion street and as part of this, artist Tom Carr is getting ready to present his work for the first time in Asia. DNS Project Manager, Frederic Chambon says of the festival,
“Digital Nights will present some of the best works of world-renowned French and European artists in the digital arts field. Visitors of all ages and backgrounds will be able to interact with the artworks, designed to envelop the senses through stimulating visual and digital technology.”
A preparatory drawing for Tom Carr's 'A Red Carpet for Orchard Road' (detail). Image courtesy of the artist.
Tom Carr, one of a handful of contemporary European artists chosen to present at the DNS, will be showing A Red Carpet for Orchard Road. The artwork projects a red carpet onto the street, inviting everyone to walk on the digital projection for their moment of VIP experience. Unlike a real red carpet, the projections will not be static. Carr’s audience can play with shadows and lights, and become a part of the installation by moving around with the projection. A euphemism for celebrityhood, A Red Carpet invokes celebrity notions of beauty and fame; the location of Carr’s enterprise, Orchard Road, is also Singapore’s go-to street for celebrity fashion.
Carrʼs light projections have been shown at museums such as the Musée dʼArt Moderne de Céret in France, the Science Museum in Barcelona, Spain and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, Spain. Carr lives and works in Sant Quirze del Valles, Spain. The dual concepts of space and time appear often in his works – most so with his famous installation for the Miro Foundation. His first project in Singapore is being facilitated by Bartha & Senarclens, Partners. Frederic de Senarclens from this firm says,
We are very excited to introduce a work of art by Tom Carr to the Singapore public. Public accessibility of new media and digital art in Singapore has increased tremendously in recent years, a demonstration of the governmentʼs recognition of the long-term implications of enhanced urban living through exposure to art and culture.
Digital Nights is being held from 17-26 September, 2010 in Singapore.
Posted in Art spaces, Artist Nationality, Electronic art, European, Festival, Installation, Interactive art, Laser, Light, Museum shows, New Media, Open air, Participatory, Public art, Singapore | Tagged: Ananya Mukherjee, Bartha & Senarclens, Digital Nights Showcase, Frederic Chambon, Frederic de Senarclens, installation, Madrid, Miro Foundation, Muse Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Musee d'art Moderne de Ceret, Orchard Road, Partners, Red Carpet for Orchard Road, Sant Quirze del Valles, Science Museum Barcelona, singapore, Singapore Arts Museum, spain, Tom Carr | Leave a Comment »
Posted by artradar on August 26, 2010
ART FAIRS TAIWANESE ART EVENTS INTERNATIONAL ART ASIAN CONTEMPORARY ART
Art Radar presents a Sunday at Art Taipei 2010 in nine images accompanied by quotes from Korean gallery director Jung Yong Lee and the refreshingly honest Pearl Lam, panel members at the 2010 Art Taipei Forum, five gallerists presenting their thoughts on the fair, and Australian new media artist Josephine Starrs who spoke at the one of the Art Taipei 2010 Weekend Art Lectures.
Pearl Lam, Director of Contrasts Gallery, and Jung Yong Lee, Director of Gana Art, speaking at the 2010 Art Taipei Forum. Image property of Art Radar Asia.
Pearl Lam, Director, Contrasts Gallery, as heard at the 2010 Art Taipei Forum conversation, Asia International Galleries: The Next Movement: “When the price goes up very high it goes down very fast. It happens to design and it happens to contemporary art. So in the last six months people have been very careful and very cautious about contemporary art, but in blue chip artworks like the post-war or the impressionist it is just going up. And there are a lot of private sales, a lot of secondary market sales. So most of the galleries are actually making money from the secondary market.
Collectors are actually referring to the auction prices as a reference and a lot of young collectors need the auction to validate the price. But I have my thoughts about auctions because auction prices, for me, are never accurate unless they are a really high price like 20, 30, 40 million USD 1. Because it’s very easy; you can put a painting in an auction, we can get all our friends sticking our hands up, push the price up…. So my way of seeing things … most of the auction houses are making money from private clients.”
Joanna Li, Fish Art Center, beside Huang Poren's stainless steel sculpture 'What the heck!'. Image property of Art Radar Asia.
Joanna Li, Fish Art Center: “This is my fifth time at Art Taipei. In the past two years we have brought brand new artworks [to the fair] and all the artists are Taiwanese. They’re still young, around 26 years old. We also have modern artists…. We have sculptures, oil paintings. We have sold more medium priced artworks…. [The collectors are] from Taiwan, a few customers are from Hong Kong and China.”
Outside Art Taipei 2010's main exhibition hall. Image property of Art Radar Asia.
Mizuma Sueo, Director, Mizuma Art Gallery (Tokyo, Beijing): “This is our second time at Art Taipei. Today’s audience, there are so many people … but the last three days a little less. It’s a little less than last year. Sales are stable. We have sold some [works by] young Japanese artists and Chinese artists, but we have sold only one piece to a Taiwanese collector. The other pieces were sold to a Korean collector, Hong Kong and Japan. The audience is mainly Asian.”
Inside Art Taipei 2010's main exhibition hall. Image property of Art Radar Asia.
Jung Yong Lee, Director, Gana Art, as heard at the 2010 Art Taipei Forum conversation, Asia International Galleries: The Next Movement: “When the crisis came we had a very hard time,… I’m from a commercial gallery and we have to sell a lot of artwork to maintain our operation. But when the crisis came there were literally no sales for at least six months to over a year. So what we ended up doing was, since we couldn’t find a client who was investing, who was collecting art for their collections, finding clients who were companies and local governments who had a lot of promotional money to spend. We did consulting for companies. We made outdoor sculptures, we decorated lobbies for hotels, the façades of buildings; we did a lot of projects like that. And we also helped to make art parks or small private museums.”
Chen Liu, 'Blue Blossom Standing above the sea', 2010, oil on canvas, 200 x 140 cm. Image property of Art Radar Asia.
Junghwa Ryu, Curator, Arario Gallery (Cheonan, Beijing, Seoul, New York): “Art Taipei 2010 is more organised than the last one. Many visitors are interested in new contemporary art and we feel that the Taipei government has supported the fair well with their policy of focusing on an international base. However, the results for the sales are … not good as of now. Hanna Kim (1981, Korea) and Osang Gwon (1973, Korea) have been paid much attention. I guess in general the Taiwanese love a more light and cozy style than heavy and serious.… They are sensitive to trends and new skills.”
Sculptures by Taiwanese artist Ju Ming. Image property of Art Radar Asia.
James Hsu and Elise Chen, Ping Art Space (Taipei): “This is our third time here. Obviously it’s more international this year because there are more galleries participating in this art fair and we have collectors from Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia. In the past we would mainly have Taiwanese collectors…. Five years ago there might be just one Japanese gallery here but after this year there is this reputation in Japan that there is a good market in Taiwan. So this year there are 26 galleries from Japan. Also, in Taiwan, we have this history of collecting contemporary art for 20 years [and] after this period of time you can see that the market is getting better and better. Last year the economic crisis affected the market a lot and so this is like a rebound.”
Digital print by Australian media artists Josephine Starrs and Leon Cmielewski, part of their 'Downstream' installation, as exhibited at Art Taipei 2010. Image property of Art Radar Asia.
Josephine Starrs, as heard at the weekend art lecture, Recent and emerging trends in Australian media art: “This is some of the work that we are exhibiting here at Art Taipei in the <Encoded> exhibition. ‘Downstream’ explores new ways of representing the relationship between nature and culture. We are imbedding poetic text into [satellite] images of landscapes at particular risk from climate change. The work focusses on the degradation of the Murray-Darling, the largest river system in Australia, but it could be any river system in the world that is in danger from changes in climate.
We have changed the satellite imagery to write text in the landscape imagery, as if the landscape is sending us messages. When we started looking at this landscape imagery we noticed that the river almost looked like writing already. So we decided to change the river and embed this text from a famous Australian poem. The words say, ‘and the river was dust’.”
Shen Bo-Cheng's 'Read- Lleine Eschichte Der Photographie' (2010), exhibited as part of Art Taipei's MADE in TAIWAN - Young Artist Discovery event. Image property of Art Radar Asia.
E.D.Lee Gallery Co., Ltd (Taipei): “We have been to Art Taipei twice. This year it is more international, a lot of foreign galleries have joined us here and there are a lot more people. We have sold many works today. This year all of our artists are from Taiwan. Almost all of our collectors are Taiwanese but we also have collectors from Japan and Korea.”
Yan Chao, 'The Width of the Strait', 2009, mixed media on canvas, 150 x 180 cm. Image property of Art Radar Asia.
We hope to bring you more on Art Taipei 2010 in the coming weeks, including an overview of what was said at the 2010 Art Taipei Forum sessions and public art lectures we attended.
Related Topics: art fairs, collectors, business of art, gallerists/dealers
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Posted in Business of art, Collectors, Events, Fairs, From Art Radar, Gallerists/dealers, Globalization of art, Interviews, Overviews, Professionals, Promoting art, Taiwan, Venues | Tagged: 2010 Art Taipei Forum, Arario Gallery, art auctions, art collectors, art fairs in Asia, Art Taipei 2010, Art Taipei 2010 Weekend Art Lectures, Asia International Galleries: The Next Movement, Asian art auctions, Asian art fairs, Australian new media art, Blue Blossom Standing above the sea, blue chip artworks, Chen Liu, Chinese collectors, climate change, Contrasts Gallery, curator, Downstream, E.D.Lee Gallery Co., economic crisis, Elise Chen, Encoded, Fish Art Center, from Art Radar, gallery director, Gana Art, Hanna Kim, Hong Kong collectors, Huang Poren, installation, James Hsu, Japanese collectors, Joanna Li, Josephine Starrs, Ju Ming, Jung Yong Lee, Junghwa Ryu, Kate Nicholson, Korean collectors, Leon Cmielewski, Ltd, MADE in TAIWAN - Young Artist Discovery, Mizuma Art Gallery, Mizuma Sueo, Murray-Darling, Osang Gwon, Pearl Lam, Ping Art Space, poetry, private sales, Read- Lleine Eschichte Der Photographie, Recent and emerging trends in Australian media art, Sakshi Gallery, satellite imaging, sculpture, secondary market, Shen Bo-Cheng, Taiwanese collectors, The Width of the Strait, Viki Kuo, What the heck!, words in art, Yan Chao | Leave a Comment »
Posted by artradar on August 17, 2010
TAIWAN CONTEMPORARY ART ARTIST INTERVIEW INSTALLATION
In this second of three interviews, Tsong Pu reveals the concepts behind two important installations, Transposition of Light and Water (1992) and Backyard in June (1997). In it, he shows that works aren’t always created in ideal gallery spaces and what this means for the art work, and we see his unique grid concept move off the canvas. Additionally, independent art space funding issues are framed by a discussion of Tsong Pu’s involvement in the 1988 founding of Taipei’s IT Park Gallery.
Master Tsong developed his trademark 1 cm by 1 cm grid technique very early on in his career; it is evident in 1980s mixed media canvases like The White Line on Grey (1983). The installations discussed in this interview represent a ten year progression on this idea, pushing the interview into the 1990s.
During this time, in 1988, Tsong Pu and three other artists, Liu Ching-tang, Chen Hui-chiao, and Huang Wen-hao, founded IT Park Gallery, one of Taipei’s older gallery spaces and a recipient of the Taipei City government’s 13th Taipei Cultural Award in 2009. When they first opened the space it was unique in Taiwan. As Tsong Pu elaborates, “During that time, there were some similar [galleries] but none exactly the same. The partnership was different, even the interior design was different. Some of the [other spaces] were just rented houses without renovation.”
Tsong Pu's trademark grid technique is clearly demonstrated in this detail of his 1983 canvas 'The White line on Grey' (mixed media, 194 x 130 cm). Image courtesy of the artist.
To this day it is non-profit, although there is talk of turning the second floor of the gallery into a commercial space later this year, and from 1988 to 2005 was mostly self-funded. With no profits coming in, it was often hard to obtain funding. “There were always friends and relatives helping us all along, supporting us with small amounts of money,” says Tsong Pu.
While IT Park Gallery now gets some funding from the government – they apply for fund support from the National Culture Arts Foundation every year – Tsong Pu says the biggest constraint on the gallery is still financial. As he explains, today there is greater competition: “In the past, there were no people showing contemporary art but now it’s like everybody is doing it.”
He elaborates further on government support for contemporary art spaces: “The Taiwan government will always observe your operation only and they will not provide help. It’s only when you are successful they will help. Otherwise, they won’t. Unless you become very well-known overseas, then the government will help you.”
Tsong Pu is no longer involved in the management of IT Park Gallery, but through his association with the space, his work as a teacher and a judge, and his regular attendance at local exhibitions, he often finds himself exposed to new contemporary Taiwanese artists. Named as a “father figure to many young artists” by the Taipei Times he acts as a curator, selecting young and emerging artists for exhibitions: “… because I teach in two art schools; sometimes I’m the panel judge for competitions; I also visit exhibitions quite often. I will keep those young artists in my memory. Sometimes when I need to organise an exhibition I will get certain people to join certain kinds of exhibitions.”
This is part two of a three part series. In this part we look at how an installation created by Tsong Pu in the 1990s, Transposition of Light and Water, still reflects the unique grid technique he began using ten years earlier. We also look at an installation, Backyard in June, that has been exhibited five times and changed its name twice since its creation in 1996. For more on what to expect from the first and third parts of this series, please read the notes at the bottom of this post.
Tsong Pu's 'Transposition of Light and Water' (1992) on display at Taipei Fine Arts Museum. Image courtesy of the artist.
Transposition of Light and Water (1992) was given the Award for Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Art in 1992. It is now held in Taipei Fine Arts Museum‘s (TFAM) permanent collection, is that correct?
Yes. It is collected by TFAM.
Can you explain the concept behind Transposition of Light and Water? I understand it relates to early works such as The White Line on Grey (1983). How?
It’s actually related to the other one [The White Line on Grey] because their forms are the same. Maybe the differences are in the space, sizes, materials. The concept is basically the same; it’s just that it’s not in a square shape. This part [Master Tsong points to the glass boxes] is originally the grid box, taken out. And then a glass [plate] has been inserted to make the slash line. So this part [Master Tsong refers to the 1 cm by 1 cm boxes in The White Line on Grey] has been taken out, and it became this shape, form.
This is the cube, and then you can see the glass, that is the bisecting line. Because this is glass, it’s transparent, so you can see the inside. You can see the light, when the light goes through the glass it creates a rainbow. It’s on the ground, so you can see that there’s a line on the ground, just like the line on the canvas [The White Line on Grey].
This work dismantles [the grid pattern in The White Line on Grey] piece by piece.
You can see the relationship between The White Line on Grey and Transposition of Light and Water and the progression from one to the other. What about the other objects? How do they relate to the installation overall?
This is a tool, a clip… It’s just a coincidence. I use this to support [the glass cubes]. This is its only function. Because I was worried that after I added the water, plus the optical line, plus sunlight, there may be some movement in this line.
[These elements] added a feeling of time.
Can you explain how?
This is water. It will evaporate. It will disappear. I also put some iron on top and on the side. It will corrode, because the iron, the water and the sun will react together. Maybe you can see that there is, that this work is on the ground but with the water, with the iron, with the sun, they enable the work to show the concept of time. We can see that the glass and the water, they have a transparent quality so it’s more pure. When I see this work I think that it’s very beautiful.
So when TFAM displays it now, do they put water in it? Do they place all of the elements together?
Yes, it’s on display now and they put water in it.
Tsong Pu's 'Backyard in June' (1997, mixed media, 420 x 420 cm) shown restrospectively this year at Taipei Fine Arts Museum. Image courtesy of the artist.
Could you please confirm for me why this same installation piece has two different names, A Space Not for the Chorus (1996) and Backyard in June (1997)?
I’ve exhibited this twice. [A Space Not for the Chorus] is in a square shape. When I first did this work in exhibition, the venue space was not ideal, [there were other artworks on display around it]. That feeling was like, for example, if you are a singer and you don’t have the right partner to sing along with. It will not work.
That’s why I picked that name.
Let’s talk about Backyard in June then.
It’s in the right space.
Yang Wen-I was the curator for the “Segmentation-Multiplication: Three Taiwanese Artists exhibit at the 47th International Biennial of Visual Arts (Venice, Italy) in 1997. She is quoted in Taiwan Panorama as saying Backyard in June “is making a piercing commentary on the state of the Taiwan environment, human and natural.” How is this work doing that?
In the 1990s in Taiwan, if you were in Taiwan during this period you would have noticed a lot of political reactions in art. In a painting, the mediums blend together, but if I make an installation or a sculpture the mediums are separate. The elements are separate.
During the 90’s, there were a lot of elections and political disputes in Taiwan. [Yang Wen-I] felt that my work… each part is not attached together, they are separated…
Is that important to your work, when you do an installation compared to a work like The White Line on Grey?
To me it’s a habit more than importance. It’s not very important. When people look at my work, they will feel that it’s like the political situation in Taiwan. One moment they are attached to each other, the next moment they are separated, then re-attached, and separated again.
This separation is shown because it was originally a vase, a flowerpot.
Can you elaborate on what were you trying to show or achieve with this separation?
It’s very simple…. Originally it’s a physical item, a container. A little bit like in a cartoon, it’s been pressed or squeezed, spread into circles; a little bit like in a comic. In reality, it wouldn’t happen this way. I’m using a comic style. When you squeeze [the pot], it will become this way… But in reality, it’s impossible [for the pot] to become this.
It’s like in cartoons, when an object has been hammered… If it’s not a cartoon, you won’t able to see that kind of effect – spreading [out] circle by circle. This is an exaggeration. Normally when we watch cartoons, when [a character] hammers something, the cartoonist is able to draw out the visual effect.
[Backyard in June] feels a little bit like archeology…. When you are doing archaeological research, maybe you will also put it this way [Master Tsong refers to the placement of each piece of broken pot]; collect these pieces, label them with numbers.
About this series
This Art Radar interview with Taiwanese artist Tsong Pu has been presented in three parts. In part one, Master Tsong discusses two works in which he has used and adapted his most well known technique, a 1 cm by 1 cm grid pattern. In part two, the artist speaks on two very different installation pieces, close in date of construction but not in their theory of development. Part three talks about some of the artist’s most recent installation work.
We have also premised each part with some of the artist’s views on the current Taiwanese contemporary art industry, as developed from his roles as mentor, curator and master artist.
Related Topics: Taiwanese artists, Tsong Pu, interviews, installation art
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Posted in Art spaces, Artist Nationality, Artist-run, Business of art, Conceptual, From Art Radar, Funding, Installation, Interviews, Promoting art, Taiwanese, Tsong Pu | Tagged: 1 cm by 1 cm grid pattern, 13th Taipei Cultural Award, 47th International Biennial of Visual Arts, abstract art, abstract artists, archaeological research, archeology, art exhibitions, art funding, artist interview, artist interviews, artist-run spaces, Award for Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Art, Backyard in June, cartoon inspired art, Chen Hui-chiao, comic art, contemporary Taiwanese art, government funding, grid technique, Huang Wen-hao, installation, installation art, installations, IT Park Gallery, Kate Nicholson, Liu Ching-tang, museum collections, National Culture Arts Foundation, non-profit, Taipei, Taipei City, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei Times, Taiwan Panorama, Taiwanese art, Taiwanese artists, Taiwanese contemporary art, Taiwanese installation artists, TFAM, The White Line on Grey, Transposition of Light and Water, Tsong Pu | 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 21, 2010
ART PROFESSIONAL INTERVIEW INDONESIAN ART EVENTS
In an Art Radar Asia exclusive interview with Cemeti founder Nindityo Adipurnomo, we hear the fascinating story of their latest venture working collaboratively with artists from Myanmar. Read on to learn how cultural conflicts and artistic disappointments were eventually resolved.
New Zero Art Space in Myanmar and Cemeti Art House in Indonesia joined hands in June this year to present the collaborative project and exhibition “+Road|5 Myanmar Artists + 5 Jogja Artists“ in Yogyakarta.
Within a tight schedule of two weeks, five Burmese artists and five Indonesian artists interacted and produced performances, videos and installations.
These creations acted as a language through which the two distinctive cultures could communicate their differences, resolve conflicts and move closer to mutual understanding.
The five participating Myanmar artists included Aye Ko, (Executive Director of New Zero Art Space), May Moe Thu, Htoo Aung Kyaw, Nwe (Thin Lei Nwe) and Zoncy (Zon Sapal Phyu). The five Indonesian artists were Doger Panorsa, Ikhsan Syahirul Alim (Ican), Restu Ratnaningtyas, Ristyanto Cahyo Wibowo and Wibowo Adi Utama.
To understand more about how the collaborative project came into being, how the event was viewed by the local art community, and to gain some insight into the Indonesian art scene, Art Radar Asia spoke with Nindityo Adipurnomo, one of the executive directors of Cemeti Art House.
+Road| 5 Myanmar Artists + 5 Jogja Artists, a collaborative exhibition currently being held at Indonesian art gallery, Cemeti Art House.
From a commercial art promotion to a cross-cultural art exchange project
Nindityo Adipurnomo explained that the idea of collaboration between the two art spaces was initiated by Aye Ko, Myanmar artist and director of New Zero Art Space and Community New Zero Art Space. Ko thought that, by hosting a project of this kind, New Zero Art Space might land an exchange grant from the Asian Cultural Council in New York. With this in mind, Ko proposed the idea to Mella Jaarsma and Nindityo Adipurnomo, co-owners/coordinators of the renowned Indonesian gallery Cemeti Art House and winners of the 2006 John D. Rockefeller 3rd Awards, who expressed a keen interest.
Art censored in Burma
The couple saw “+Road” as an excellent opportunity to develop networks within regions such as Myanmar. They had learnt much from New Zero Art Space and they had been seeking opportunities to cooperate with them since attending the New Zero Art Space organised 2007 ASEAN Contemporary Art Exchange Program, an event open only to members of the space. Of the programme, Adipurnomo recalled how each of the artists, gallery owners and art activists who participated had to bring along a single painting of a limited size with no political message. The night before the event, the Burmese police came and censored the art works on display, and removed the works of four Burmese artists. Despite this horrific episode, the programme was fruitful; each of the art activists present conducted informative talks.
In addition, “+Road”‘s aims were in line with the project-based platform Cemeti Art House has been working under since the beginning of 2010. This new platform focuses on an alternative approach to art and society in Indonesia. They have a successful model to follow; Landing Soon (2006-2009) was a three year exchange program in which one Dutch artist and one Indonesian artist resided in Yogyakarta and received assistance, guidance, and support from the studio manager through weekly progress reports.
“The reason [for launching the new platform] was because we were fed up with all the exhibition models, art fairs, auctions in Indonesia; [these events] never pay attention to invest in a kind of healthy regeneration of the art scene. No, I’m one hundred percent sure that they do not realise this. The Indonesian commercial art scene has been investing in promotion only.” Nindityo Adipurnom
Conflicting goals of Burmese and Indonesians
However, it turned out Aye Ko wasn’t thinking about the kind of collaborative exhibition Adipurnomo had in mind. Basically, he just wanted to use Cemeti’s exhibition space for a group exhibition of five Myanmar artists and five Indonesian artists, where published catalogues could distributed. His commercial approach to the collaboration, which did not aim to provide any platform for meaningful interactions among artists, was certainly not what Cemeti Art House wanted.
“We did not want to only organise a promotional exhibition that has no interesting curatorial subject, not being involved in how artists go through their process before presenting their works in exhibition. And so we, in the end, asked [the artists] to just come to Yogyakarta; not bring any paintings with them. Instead, each of [the artists] should be well prepared with an individual artwork presentation in Power Point to see what we can do together.” Nindityo Adipurnomo
Jaarsma and Adipurnomo tried carefully to intervene and transform the cooperation into a “mutual exchange project” instead: a program involving short events such as artists’ talks, discussions, workshops and master classes, allowing both groups of artists to understand each other better and create possibilities for a deeper collaboration, with an exhibition as the end goal. And in Jaarsma and Adipurnomo’s eyes, it was a success. “+Road” became a truly collaborative project for the ten artists involved, where they could engage themselves in intensive cultural exchanges and meaningful interactions.
Mix of talents strongly affects resulting artwork
The choice of the five Burmese artists and the five Indonesian artists was made separately by New Zero Art Space and Cemeti Art House respectively. Adipurnomo launched an open application, attracting nearly seventy artists, and selected five from this group. He admits to being disappointed with the choice made by New Zero Art Space. Among the five Burmese artists, only two were professional artists, while the rest of them were new members of New Zero Art Space and were very amateur beginners. In contrast, the Yogyakarta artists selected by Cemeti Art House had a lot professional experience.
Disappointment at Cemeti
“[The Burmese artists] are bad painters: they cannot draw, have no sense of colour and have, in fact, a very superficial sense of exploring materials… While our local Yogyakarta artists you can see, … that they were very well trained academically, strong and skillfull in model drawings, sketches, colours, well experienced in treating materials with good sense.” Nindityo Adipurnomo
Burmese artists favour performance art, political art
Although the Burmese artists were generally inexperienced painters, their strength lay in performance art, an artistic skill which the Yogyakarta artists were either still developing or not interested in exploring.
“My very personal observation was that the artists from Yangoon were very much into performance art. They are very direct, expressive and always fulled of political intentions in their performance. They really use their body as the most direct tool and medium…. It often becomes a physical movement that is very close to a dance performance. One of our local artists participating in this project was [hesitant] to join the workshop on performance!” Nindityo Adipurnomo
This mix of opposing artistic strengths, differences which became very apparent during the workshops, influenced what was produced for the exhibition finale. “+Road” showcased a lot of video works and photographs, and a smaller number of installation and performance pieces, with no paintings at all.
Zon Sapal Phyu's 'Revolution of Own Space' (mixed media).
Aye Ko's 'No Money, Hungry, Hard Eating' (photography, video).
Wibowo Adi Utama's 'Art-NARCHY' (video).
Ikhsan Syahirul Alim's 'Commando Dance' (video, karaoke).
More opportunities open up future collaboration
Overall, Cemeti Art House viewed the collaboration as a successful pilot project, achieving its aim of engaging artists from two cultures in interactions that led to a gradual mutual understanding.
“[The] major understanding [the artists] did have was cultural dialogues. This is something that I find you can not just improvise in an Internet facilitation. You really need to [be] facing each other. Building up your assumptions, making a lot of missunderstandings and opening up conflicts, so that in the end you will understand each other better. We did ask every Indonesian artist to be a partner everyday by sitting on the same motorcycle – one motorcycle for two artists – during the two week intensive dialogue…. The time was just too short for so many reasons. But now we know better how to handle and open up more networks with young artists, who are really willing to continue in a deeper context.” Nindityo Adipurnomo
Working towards a healthy regeneration of the Indonesian contemporary art scene
Adipurnomo considers Cemeti Art House to be ground-breaking in promoting a healthy regeneration of the Indonesian contemporary art scene, which has grown largely commercially up to this point. From “rumours and a very quick-glimpse analyzation and observation”, he suggests that banks have been gaining control of the Indonesian art market.
Banking money makes a mark in the Indonesian art market
“In the beginning, [art] was dominated by rich people around the tobacco industry. Of course, Dr. Oei Hong Djien was the respected ‘pioneer’ of the Indonesian collectors, among many others who were more nationally known; Dr. Oei Hong Djien is going international quickly. He was also very generous in educating and influencing many other rich Chinese people in the tobacco industry to invest their capital in art. Starting from that mile stone, Indonesian art dealers and collectors [were] growing fast. Most of [these collectors] were hunting names instead of, you know, a ‘quality’. They created many kinds of tricks in order to get as many ‘big names’ as possible, which they could easily call ‘masterpiece’ makers. Auctions and art fairs were becoming a medium for them to gamble in so many tricky ways. This rapid growth of gambling spirit stimulated many other rich people, out of this tobacco industry, to borrow money from banks to join this gambling. That is the way banks are now getting involved. A lot of bankers started to invest their capital in the arts.” Nindityo Adipurnomo
New Jogyakarta Art Fair attracts outside collectors
With the opening of the Jogyakarta Art Fair recently, art dealers and bankers, many of whom had never visited the region before, flocked to Cemeti Art House to see what was happening. This is, perhaps, further evidence that the Indonesian arts scene is commercialising.
“Cemeti Art House is considered to be ground-breaking in promoting a healthy regeneration of the art scene. We have only been ‘fighting’ for that faith for so long. Of course, we are not the only ones. There are many others, such us Ruang Rupa in Jakarta, and the new comers like JARF (Jatiwangi Artists in Residence Festival), Forum Lenteng, and many other smaller scale [organisations] who come up and disappear and come up with different formulas [only] to dissappear again.” Nindityo Adipurnomo
Related Topics: Myanmar artists, Indonesian artists, art spaces, collaborative art
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Posted in Art spaces, Artist Nationality, Artist-run, Business of art, Collaborative, Collectors, Events, Gallery shows, Indonesia, Indonesian, Interviews, Multi category, Myanmar/Burmese, Nindityo Adipurnomo, Performance, Promoting art, Venues | Tagged: 'Art-NARCHY', 'Commando Dance', 'No Money, 'Revolution of Own Space', +Road| 5 Myanmar Artists + 5 Jogja Artists, art and politics, art collectors, art commercialization, artist collaborations, artist collaboratives, ASEAN Contemporary Art Exchange Program, Asian Cultural Council, Aye Ko, banks and art, Carmen Bat Ka Man, Cemeti Art House, collaborative art, corporate collectors, Doger Panorsa, Dr. Oei Hong Djien, Emerging artists, emerging artists in Asia, Forum Lenteng, Hard Eating', Htoo Aung Kyaw, Hungry, Ikhsan Syahirul Alim (Ican), Indonesian art collectors, Indonesian art scene, Indonesian art spaces, Indonesian artists, installation, installation art, interview, JARF (Jatiwangi Artists in Residence Festival), Jogya artists, Jogyakarta Art Fair, John D. Rockefeller 3rd Awards, karaoke, Landing Soon, May Moe Thu, Mella Jaarsma, mixed media, mutual exchange project, Myanmar art, Myanmar art spaces, Myanmar artists, New Zero Art Space, Nindityo Adipurnomo, Nwe (Thin Lei Nwe), performance art, photography, Restu Ratnaningtyas, Ristyanto Cahyo Wibowo, Ruang Rupa, video performance, Wibowo Adi Utama, Yogyakarta, Yogyakartan art, Zoncy (Zon Sapal Phyu) | 1 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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