Amy DeCillis: Art Show Critiques

1000mHome

This was very interesting because the artists Pan Jianfeng, Qiu Anxiong, Qiu Jia, Shi Zhiying, and Shen Linghao all wanted to challenge the common idea of what an art museum is. Instead of having a white box, they wanted to make the exhibit like a home. They envisioned it as a home for returning artists and the community at large. In their statement, they mention how they hope that visitors and artists would come together and relax on the grass in the middle room.

They also mention how this was different from other museums that have objects that are “not to be played with,” but they too have objects on the grass that have clear “do not touch” signs. I felt like the artists encouraged visitors to interact with the room like sitting on the couches or lying on the grass and found it a bit confusing when I saw that I couldn’t touch the secure wooden structures that look like they are supposed to be played with

I do think that this concept is interesting and artists and visitors should have a space where they can come together and interact, but I felt like this project kind of fell flat because there weren’t any artists present and it didn’t feel like I was really interacting with anyone. It might have been better if they had videos of the artists working in the room or some sort of projection mapping to help visitors feel the artists presence because it just felt like any old living room to me.

One part of the “art museum home” was this side room that had photosensitive paint and UV light. If you stand next to the wall when the light is one, once it is turned off, your shadow will be printed onto the wall for a few seconds before fading away. I played in this room for probably half an hour striking different poses and taking photos. I think this is what interactive media arts is all about––using different creative materials to give users an interactive experience. I also loved how I became the artists and was able to create anything I wanted. The use of photosensitive paint and UV light is also another example of where science and art come together which is an intersection that is becoming more and more interesting to me.

 

儿戏

This exhibit is the French artist Seth’s interpretation of the city through his childlike perspective. I was not really interested in the theme of this exhibit, but I feel like the installation aspect was executed really well, and it definitely inspired me for future projects.

My favorite part was the video on display because the ceiling of the room had a mirror so it looked like the video was projected onto multiple parts of the room. I liked this because I thought that it was not only creative and simple, but also really immersive. I asked a lady working there if the ceiling was naturally reflective like that or if it was installed for this video and she said that it was specifically designed for this video. While I think it was really interesting, I am unsure of how it relates to Seth’s purpose for the video or the exhibit as a whole.

Another part of the exhibit that I found interesting was images on the wall with a small hole that you could look through to see another picture. I think this was really cool because it was really interactive and creative. There were also sounds playing on a speaker so it felt like you were really outside on the street when you were looking at the picture of the wall. This small installation detail was really effective, and I think it would be something I’d like to use one day if I get the chance.

Overall I thought the exhibit was light and creative, but I was slightly uncomfortable with the fact that the artist was a foreigner marking up the city. Even though graffiti and tagging is art, I don’t know if the average Chinese person who lives in the places Seth is tagging feels the same way. I am curious as to whether or not local law enforcement is okay with this and what the locals think of his work and his interpretation of China.

Art Exhibition visit blog post #2 – Grace

On April 27th, I went to Shenzhen Design Week and visited Minding the digital. As part of the earliest exhibition opened for SZDW, this show is very high-level and it gathered plenty of pieces and installations that perfectly combine art and new media expressions. Therefore it is also probably one of the most “IMA” show in China that one can find.

  • Interplay 2.0

Lam Miu Ling, an assistant professor in the City University of Hong Kong created this piece. It allows users to touch and interact with projected content (a girl dancing) on a custom-fog screen. This installation explores some unnoticed possibilities of interacting with machines.

It creates an illusion of this dancer dancing in front of you. The half-transparent feature of water mist also gives people a feeling of light-weight and mysterious. Even the cool feeling that my skin got when I put my hand onto the mist was part of the experience. I feel like my perception on existed categories of art should always be subject to change, because as it is the truth, boundaries are for people to break.

  • ANIMA II, by Studio Nick Verstand, 2017

ANIMA means soul in Latin. This artwork is an interactive installation that investigates communication between human’s inner emotion and the external physical world surrounding them. The sphere hung in the middle of the dark room represents an intelligent and emotional entity. It communicates with people by getting people’s distance to it and replying them with an array of audio expressions. The inspiration comes from Chinese “Wu Xing” philosophy.

Being in the darkroom, coming close and stepping back again and again, seeing the texture on the sphere as well as listening to the changing audio, I was imaging what if the ball is the Earth and my moving body represents human. I could only guess what the sphere was trying to say to me, and probably the only good way to live with it together is to keep a balanced and appropriate distance between me and it.

  • Touchy, Eric Siu, 2012

Touchy is a wearable device that transforms a human being into a functioning camera. It works like this: the wearer of it is “blinded” until someone touches his/her skin. The physical contact triggers the camera shutter to open. When people touch the performer for more than ten seconds, the camera snaps and display the image on its screen. This device intends to encourage people to connect more with people in the physical world.

I have always been interested in technology’s power to change interpersonal relationships. The photo and video documentation of it show so many happy smiling faces of people playing with it, and I think this outcome is one of the ideal ones that I would love to see. The device does not have to be practical. Its job is to trigger people’s thinking on the possibilities of people interacting with one another, offline.

Art Exhibition visit blog post #1 – Grace

On April 4th, I went to the Low Resolution show in M50. It was supposed to be a joint show of Jim Campbell and Peili Zhang, but Zhang’s one and only site-specific work was under maintenance, so the Low Resolution show by Jim Campbell was the only exhibition I went to that day.

Campbell’s works are revolutionary. He extends the definition and range of video art. All of his works exhibited were in 3 dimensions. Instead of projecting from a big projector, he likes to utilize small LEDs and control the change of every small LED and map the light onto the canvas. What’s more interesting is that the LEDs are meant to be part of the work.

  • Commuters / Exploded View

It is my favorite piece of the show. I stayed there for twenty minutes or more for that one single piece.

https://vimeo.com/51348837

Every little LED in the LED cube is pre-programmed. Only when viewers step back and keep a distance from the installation are they able to see the pattern in it. This work being in the form of an LED cube placed in a dark room has already conveyed a lot of its concept. Also the name of it contains both the content (commuters in the subway) and the media through which Campbell constructed the video piece. It gives people the feeling of being underground, watching the nameless people come and go quickly. The delicacy of it made viewer there stood still and watch, with their mouth open because they were so shocked.

Exploded Flat II

close up on one LED, Exploded Flat II

 

Home Movies

 

Home Movies

 

close up on Home Movies

Campbell’s works remind me of Eliasson. They both take into consideration the materials that they use in their works. Other pieces in this Low Resolution exhibition, e.g. Home Movies, Exploded Flat II, Scattered 12 (Women’s March on Washinton) all featured this.

Museum Visit 2 (Leah)

PSA Power station of Art Show
Location: Power Station of Art
Date: April 27th
During the visit to PSA to look at the theater, we are going to the use for final performance, I had a chance also to visit the PSA and looked at the exhibition in there. Here are some pieces that interested me the most.
Everything That Rises Must Converge
It is the first artwork I saw in the PSA next to the little theater. It is impressing for its large size and its way that hanging on the ceiling. The big sculpture connected with mental components and different objects gives a strange feeling or modernism and mentalism. It is hard to find a structured meaning on that but you can certainly feel something from that. It is named Everything “That Rises Must Converge”. From my understanding, the sculpture itself shows this “converge” from the trend that all the branches go into one central point. As it hanging on the ceiling with branches falling, it gives a feeling that all the branches were grown from the ground and gradually rises on the air, the center point is where every branch converge. There are a lot of ladders making up the branches. The ladder can represent “way and road towards higher level” since people use a ladder to reach higher places, so the ladders also emphasize the feeling of rising.
Here is the first piece that everyone entering from the big entrance can see. The big excavator keeps grabbing a bunch of clothes on the top. After a while, it will drop it to the clothes hill again. But every time when it drops the clothes, some of the clothes will drop and slip to the bottom of the clothes mountain so every time the clothes mountain will become flattered. But the process goes really slow since only one or to T-shirt will actually drop and slip away and there is such a big mountain.
The huge size amazed the audience who are visiting PSA from the first sight. There are two spots as well to see the work. You can either see that from the entrance, which gives you a downwards view to look up at the top of clothes hill and the excavator. But on the Third floor, there is a platform where you can see the whole process from the top and this spot gives an even more complete view of the artwork. This design of museum works a lot for this piece to provide different views for the audience to get a different experience.
Another interesting place in PSA is in their balcony, there are flags designed by different artists.
The audience can also enjoy the view of Huangpu River from the balcony, with flag waving in the wind. Flags there are like trees of art, they represent each designer own feeling but together to become a big piece of the flag as well.
Power Station of Art is a big and interesting place worthy of exploring more.  The special location and architecture helped to provide impressive experience for its audience. Different shows holding throughout the year also attract me to visit there more than one times.

Rockbund Art Museum Visit Note

Exhibition: Walking On the Fade Out Lines

Artists:

(Collection by Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo) Victor Alimpiev, Massimo Bartolini, Vanessa Beecroft, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, Maurizio Cattelan, Damien Hirst, Marine Hugonnier, Hassan Khan, Donghee Koo, Sarah Lucas, Mark Manders, Paul McCarthy, Gabriel Orozco, Paola Pivi, Navin Rawanchaikul, Charles Ray, Yinka Shonibare, Song Tao, Rudolf Stingel, Pae White, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Zhang Ruyi

Curator: Larys Frogier, Hsieh Feng-Rong

I visited RAM for its new exhibition Walking On the Fade Out Lines. It is a collective exhibition from an Italian art foundation. The theme of the exhibition dealt with Otherness. Considerable photography, installations, sculptures, video installations and music installations are included in this exhibition. Topics ranging from exoticized culture and identity, environmental activism, war and peace, urban construction, feminism…and more.
Here are some of my favorite pieces:

This is Affectionate Men by the British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare. He redesigned a suit using very “Africanized” patterns. The metaphor is pretty obvious. But what interests me, is the patterns themselves. They are all designed by the artist instead of collecting from fabric market. Even though they are all personal design, I can immediately recognize they are African patterns.

Actually, they are different types of fabric and design styles from African garment as well, but I fail to recognize the difference. I think the question of “Why can I do so?” may have larger implication on cultural stereotype, media representations and more.
This s a sculpture by the English artist Sarah Lucas titled Nice Tits. All the “tits” on the wall is made of stockings stuffed with cotton. I really like Lucus’s sense of humor in her work but still sharply pointed out the problem. Woman’s body is objectified not only by nudity, but also by its shape, size, texture, color and more.
This is Love is Great by Damien Hirst in 1994-1995, which was produced in one of his most productive periods. I have a different response to his painting than his famous aquariums. Even though they are using very similar techniques and way of expressions. Love is great can be seen as a 2D version of the aquariums. But it is more subtle and quiet compared to the aquariums. Anyway, I really love his works.

Ying – Exhibition Response 2

Xiang Jing – Through No One’s Eyes But My Own

Long Museum, West Bund, Shanghai

Ancient Greek used sculpture as a means to approach perfection and to be close to the gods, but Xiang Jing is doing the opposite. What struck me the most about her sculptures is the realness of Chinese women. Because of their specific face and body features, when I looked at them, I felt like I am looking at living human beings. Although there is nothing but emptiness in their eyes, it has a sense of helplessness and hopelessness that I can relate to. We all have moments of emptiness like this. Meanwhile, they all have their own facial expressions and gestures, sometimes clothing, so specific that I can make up the whole background story by just watching them.

Xiang Jing’s sculptures constantly remind me of the women that has been in my life. I think it’s because she captures the what Chinese women is confronting very precisely. One of them reminds me of a lady selling milk in my old neighborhood when I was 5 or 6, and I haven’t really think about her since then. Somehow the sculpture just dig out my old memories, which is a peculiar experience. It also occurs to me that, at a very young age, I was already paying more attention to the women around me, because I was more sensitive about them.

Your Body (2005)

There are three things I love about this sculpture.

The size. This is a huge sculpture and the experience of standing in front of it is very different from seeing Xiang Jing’s other life-size sculptures. The power structure between the viewer and the subject is totally changed. She is not something I can observe as an outsider anymore. She gains a voice and I have to listen. I am just amazed by the power brought by the size.

The elimination of everything. No clothing, no hair, no makeup. Everything that represents femininity in society is removed. Is she still a female then? How should man look at her now? For me, I think this is a bold challenge to the patriarchal society that always requires us to “be a lady”.

The position and the staring.  She is sitting with their legs spread wide open,  big painted eyes staring down quietly at passersby. The honesty reminds me of Manet’s The Picnic. They are both so sure and have no fear of showing themselves. But Manet’s painting contains teasing and lust somehow, while this is just a woman.

 

 

Museum Visit 1 (Leah)

Art viewing blog assignment

Exhibition of sculpture: Xiangjing : Through no one but my own (向京,没有人替我看到)

Location:Long Museum (West Hall)上海市浦东新区罗山路2255弄210号

Date: February 25th.

 

 

The visiting to Long Museum’s exhibition is quite an interesting experience. Artist Xiang Jing used sculptures as tools to let audience explore in her mind and her imaginary world. Most sculptures are in form of the human, but there are also some animals or magical creatures. But all the sculptures have exaggerated styles with aggressive expressive force.

Here is one of the sculptures on the ground floor and among one of the first sculptures. The man is huge compared to a real size human. His whole body stays in an opening and welcoming way. The whole sculpture gives a sense of forgiving and containing everything as if the world can be all contained in his hug. As one of the first sculpture and it is on the ground floor, the opening and welcoming feeling it gives to the audience could encourage the audience to continue their visiting. Also, the sculpture molded in real human but twisted in gestures and size to extend the normal gesture of human and conveying to the audience more.

The exhibition makes a lot of use of the museum’s unique space and lights. There are a lot of work co-operating with shadows and mirrors, giving the reflection of the sculptures. Here is one example of how Xiangjing’s sculpture and its shadow together become a complete work. The sculpture is lying on the ground, shape in a naked man with the twisted body. The light on the ground project its shadow on the ceiling 1:1 so audience can see its shadow above them. The sculpture on the ground is been looked at while its shadow above is looking at the audience. The shadow, without details and color like the sculpture, but the shadow emphasize on the outline, giving the most direct shocking to the audience

These are the last piece of Xiangjing ’s piece, it is made of a large group of sculptures and all located on the exit. The audience would walk downstairs where they can see all the sculptures as a whole from above’s perspective. After coming down from the floor, the audience will get a chance to take close look at sculptures. There are bunches of glass bottles inlaid on the floor, randomly showing half of the bottles. All the bottles create a fake river on the ground. On the “River” there are groups of people riding the “boats”, there are wooden boats, and even bathtub. Boats and bathtubs, even people on the boats and bathtubs are also half sunk into the ground, giving the feeling that boats and people are floating in the river and half sinking in the water. The dreamy scene was so magnificent that I doubt whether I was stepping on the floor or water.

The floating river as the last piece of the show gives the feeling and metaphor that the water is floating the audience and send them away as the water float. Though it is only fake water, it flows.

 

In all, it is an interesting and fascinating experience to Long Museum. Sculptures are such a different form from the video, it is 3D and stands still. But the art and expression it conveys to the audience are not less than art videos.

 

 

 

Video Art: Exhibition 2(Cyndi)

An Exhibition of Monochrome

I was immediately attracted by this exhibition when I saw the poster. I’ve always been obsessed with artworks that are consisted of the color black and white because black and white are the most direct and simple color among all. I always believe that black and white are the origins of all colors. This exhibition is very interesting because it focuses on how the single color is being used in an artwork.

This is one of my favorite piece, which is using only black, white and greyscale to illustrate a city full of buildings. We can tell where the light is from when watching this piece, but the whole painting is covered with a greyscale filter that cannot be taken off. I am wondering why the artist decides to use greyscale instead of creating a more obvious contrast by using pure black and white? Grey is kind of in the middle of black and white, so does the greyscale have any connection with the artist’s perspective of the world?

This piece to me is more like an intersection between fantasy and the reality. There are places that fantasy meets reality, and that’s where the grey pixels appear. When black and white are separated, nothing happens. What will happen when white is crossing black? The color grey is generated. This piece makes me feel like I am apart from the reality, only trying to get the emotion of two colors.

When I first approach this piece I thought it was kind of a mirror until I got closer and found that all the materials are in black. What makes me think of the mirror is just the combination of the black material and the glass. In this case, can we say the extreme reflection of black is white, and the extreme reflection of white is black?

Nearly all the pieces in this exhibition make me feel like I am traveling between the reality and fantasy. Compared to other colors, black and white are simple, cold, but very direct. It is separated from all the chaos outside. So do the monochromes. Monochromes are consist of only one color but the form of representing black and white always make me wonder what’s more behind them.