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.
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.