( “SeMA MediaCity Biennale Seoul 2014” from Youtube by Mediacity Seoul 2014) Two current exhibitions in Asia coincidentally examine video artworks under the theme of “ghost.” Entitled “Ghosts, Spies and Grandmothers,” the 2014 SeMA Mediacity Biennale Seoul recalls the collective memories in modern Asian societies; interestingly mirroring the exploration of the contemporary imagery under the theme of “The Returning of Ghosts” in 2014 Taiwan International Video Art Exhibition which further discovers the phantasmagorias in the videoworks as well as the viewers’ subjectivity and spiritual construction during the video-viewing process.
The projected revolving and colorful imagery shines through five large mylar cylinders hanging at the center of exhibition space. The surrounding shadow plays on the walls and cylinders appear the figures of legendary deities of India and the West, such as Mahabharata, Radha, Sita, Medea, Casandra, fictional antagonist Alice of the Wonderland, or an unknown lady whose head wrapped with clothes imprinted Buddhist scripts. Along with these magic women, there are some mysterious animals which were from the “Orientalism” by Edward Said. This profound meaningful artwork ‘Transgression’ is created by the hands of Nalini Malani, the winner of St. Moritz Art Masters Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. Continue reading
Stepping in a dark room, the six screens on the wall framed a body figure but segregated it into six pieces in the form of a cross. This compelling image with the hinted contemporary digital Crucifixion is from Tseng’s Immersing Me (2005). Although the artist does not emphasize specifically religious meaning, the title interestingly suggested the process of baptism by immersion. In the screens that Tseng deliberately setting up, each part of our body is measured by the web-cam which the artist installed in the exhibition space. The viewers’ bodies are thus framed in the cross of technology, which implies the meaning of Atonement, the action of rescuing and making amends for our soul falling into the energy-swallowing internet black hole. How are we immersed in the world of codes, physically and spiritually, and further lost our soul and spirit? Continue reading
( “KQED Spark – Hung Liu” from Youtube by KQED) From the historical photographs she discovered, reserved in the public archive, Hung Liu painted those women she has never met. These ephemera female figures are from the late 19th centuries. Portraying them is “like face to face,” she said. These women are passed away more than one hundred years ago. Hung Liu tries to capture their spirits through the images. Continue reading
(“é, intervenção de Anna Maria Maiolino” from Youtube by Canal Contemporâneo)
When we are visiting art shows, there is always the question pondering around: “Who define ‘art’ and in what standard?”
What is the ‘rule’ underneath the definition of contemporary art? After attending numberous openings, to me, art is not about simply pleasing us on the visual surface, but about the concept behind the imagery which generates the impacts on how we perceive things unconscously.
The artworks by Anna Maria Maiolino enlightened my search…
(Troubling Borders book trailer by UWashingtonPress on Youtube)
Alone and used,
I find strength to bear the storm that will come and cleanse my land,
Replenish my trampled soil.
And when they come again,
I will welcome them with tides and storms of thunder and lightning.
And they will never set foot on my sacred land again.
– Yer Yang, “Virgin Land, Virgin Body” Continue reading
(From Youtube by California College of the Arts)
The escalating prices for apartments in San Francisco has caused renters and artists moved to outskirt of the city. However, San Francisco’s loss has been Oakland’s gain. This artistic diaspora can be fully experienced at Art Murmur in downtown Oakland every first Friday.
(“The Worlds of Bernice Bing – Lenore Chinn Interview” from YouTube by DSLRshooter108)
The Worlds of Bernice Bing, offered an interesting contrast of another film The World of Suzie Wong which implied stereotypical images that most modern educated Asian women love to hate. However, Bernice Bing’s story offers a different view of the Chinese American experience. She has been trying to assimilate both of these cultures since childhood, then involve into the art movements of the SF bay area in twentieth century.
Wrapped in layers of reddish orange, violet, yellowish green lines, the round figures circulate around the space. Showing at an alternative space Apt. 2 in 1993, these colorful abstract oil paintings were The Image of Life by Pey-Chwen Lin. The elliptical pupa image was complex but elegant, imprisonment hinted but inviting in colors. The spherical structures suggested the continuous movements; while the oval shapes conjured up to me intuitively about the eggs, the very intimate female experience. Until today, no matter how much innovative progress in Pey-Chwen Lin’s art, those colorful pupas have been vividly staying in my memories for above twenty years. The oval imagery of Lin’s art retaining my first impression of women art in my early career toward to art critic.
(Excerpt from Accompaniment for A-O-I-E-U by Cardero Gala through Youtube)
Sitting on the chair, Miki Yui faced to the mixer on the table and concentrated adjusting the sounds with both hands. The sound was from the mixer and from the surroundings, from toy-instruments and found objects which were set up by Rie Nakajima. Yui was so focused on composing the small sounds as if she was weaving fabrics. The experimental music from the environment she was “weaving,” however, intriguingly with the dynamics as Noh, although she managed the sounds simply with digital and analogue equipment. This live performance was composed with different ideas and artistic core of Yui and of Nakajima. The performance A-O-I-E-U however worked as a dialogue between both artists and the surroundings and generated something new, at Experimental Intermedia in New York in 2012. Continue reading