Ting  - Tong Cheng © Asia House, London.

London - “P’eng’s Journey to the Southern Darkness” by Ting-Tong Chang was a great exhibition at Asia House.

The Ting-Tong Chang solo exhibitionP’eng’s Journey to the Southern Darkness” was first London solo by Taiwanese artist. His work is focused on machines, from automata to avatars, and it analyses the ecological relationship between humans and nature.

The title of the exhibition originates from influential Daoist philosopher Zhuangzi’s text “Free and Easy Wandering” in which the fish K’un in the North Ocean turns into a giant bird called P’eng and sets to travel to the South Ocean, whilst a cicada and a dove mock him for its effort – mirroring the practice change of the artist.

The exhibition consisted of three kinds of installed elements, mixed around the room and with explanatory videos: taxidermy sculptures; self- sustaining ecologic system; and drawings.

Firstly, were displayed four sculptures of crows on elevated plinths and a collection of taxidermy birds, with internal computer circuits in their stomachs out in the open, pronouncing rejection letters from numerous open calls from which the artists was rejected. The number and the type of bird signify death in Chinese traditions and Chang playfully questions the proliferating bureaucratic art world of today.

Secondly, the birds were encircled by film documentation of various symbolic performances. Ting-Tong Chang collaborated with scientists and engineers to create a self-sustaining ecology installation within which he integrated himself, focused on the inter-relationship of consumption, industrial production and ecosystem.

“Whence Do You Know the Happiness of Fish?” (2015) is a large-scale installation combining durational performance art with science. With the assistance of biologist, Andreas von Bresinsky, Chang constructed an indoor fish farming environment using techniques and equipments from the aquaculture lab Fischwirtschaftsbetrieb. He lives in the exhibition space and feeds himself only from the pool. The fish caught are then cooked on a gas grill and consumed by the artist.

“Spodoptera Litura” (2015) is a live installation work developed in collaboration with the Department of Entomology of National Chung Hsing University and biologist Tuan Shu-jen. During the three-day-performance, Ting-Tong Chang seals himself in a greenhouse with hundreds of caterpillars (Oriental Leafworm Moth) and wild cabbage plants. An ecosystem is formed within the installation: the caterpillars are cooked and consumed by Chang for him to sustain himself. His urine is gathered and distributed through a watering system, providing nutrition to the plants. Finally, the plants provide nourishment for the caterpillars.

“Second Life: Habitat” (2016) uses laboratory processes as a means of artistic expression. It creates an installation at the interface of art and a natural scientific experimental set-up, converting the rooms into a rational ensemble of greenhouse, breeding chamber and factory. Ting -Tong Chang collaborated with prof. Haung Rong Nan and Department Graduate Institute of Entomology, National Taiwan University. In a series of greenhouses, the artist breeds eight thousand Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), that go through all of their life cycle stages. Grown mosquito fly, mating and finally end its life cycle in a bug zapper. Each dead mosquito creates an electric signal to a computer system. Life of mosquito is then converted into a computer-generated avatar. These avatars are virtual human beings inhabiting a simulated island, members of the audience can control these avatars to wander around, talk and sleep. Their lifespan is 10 hours and will be terminated by the system. During the period of the exhibition, the artists donate 200cc of blood each 2 weeks. The blood transfusion devise is connected to a blood feeder. Each terminated avatar transmits a signal to the system and the blood is released into the feeder. It provides nutrition for the next generation of mosquito and the cycle of life-avatar-energy-electric signal is complete.

Third element of the exhibition was a series of drawings Chang made whilst he confined himself in these self-torturing ecosystems. The illustrations unfold his cynical yet comical imagination of the Darwinian survival-of-the-fittest ecology of the ‘artworld’ he has taken part in over the past decade as a migrant from Asia in London.

Ting-Tong Chang was born in Taiwan and received his MFA at Goldsmiths, University of London where he currently lives and works. Chang has exhibited and received a number of awards internationally. Recent solo shows include Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop (2014), Manchester Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (2015), Christine Park gallery London (2016) and Asia House London (2016). Group exhibitions were held in Taipei Biennial (2008), National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Warsaw Centre for Contemporary Art, Moscow Museum of Modern Art and Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. Chang’s major awards are Edinburgh Creative Initiative Award 2013, Bursary Award 2015 of Royal British Society of Sculptors and RISE Award 2016 at Art Central Hong Kong. His works are collected by Taipei Fine Arts Museum and private collectors in Europe and Asia.

Supported by the Ministry of Culture (Taiwan), the exhibition P’eng’s Journey to the Southern Darkness” by Ting-Tong Chang was at the Asia House, London, from 23rd August until 2nd September 2016.

All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins, 2016 © Yayoi Kusama, co. Victoria Miro Gallery, London

London - Yayoi Kusama exhibitions are welcomed as regular to London. After the successful shows in 2012, the Victoria Miro Gallery in London has presented “Yayoi Kusama: Sculptures, Paintings & Mirror Rooms” an amazing solo exhibition.

This was the major exhibition of Yayoi Kusama at the Victoria Miro Gallery, London, to date. Also, it was the first time mirror rooms have gone on view in London since the artist key retrospective at Tate Modern (2012).

Displayed in all the three Victoria Miro Gallery’s locations, the Yayoi Kusama exhibition presented new paintings, sculptures and installations. The most intriguing location was at the Wharf Road galleries where the artist has created three mirror rooms: All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins, Chandelier of Grief and Where the Lights in My Heart Go.

The numerous visitors of those rooms were displaced by the innumerable multiplying reflections. Astonishing were the pumpkin sculptures, which were covered with polka dots, the distinctive brand of Kusama. The waterside garden installation was wonderful. The thick ‘infinity net’ pattern in her painting work is a Kusama’s compulsive repetition of these forms on canvas.

Yayoi Kusama has described her recurring motifs as a form of active annihilation, in response to the hallucinations she firstly experienced during her childhood. Returning to throughout her career, the pumpkin motif is also present in the form of new mirror polished sculptures.

Victoria Miro Mayfair presented new paintings from the significant ongoing series My Eternal Soul, which Kusama first began in 2009. Each is a flatly painted monochrome field that is plentiful with metaphors including eyes, faces in profile, and other more uncertain forms, often in vital combinations of colour. Painted flat on a tabletop, these brightly coloured canvases proliferate of free association between images, including eyes, suns, profiles, uncertain and tiny forms, together with the artist dots and nets brand.

Classifying the work of Yayoi Kusama is difficult. However, it is connected with Surrealism, Minimalism, Pop art, the Zero and Nul movements, Eccentric Abstraction and Feminist art.

Yayoi Kusama is born on 22nd March 1929, in Matsumoto City (Japan). She studied painting in Kyoto before moving to New York in the late 1950s. By the mid-1960s she had become renowned in the avant-garde environment for her challenging happenings and exhibitions. Since this time, Kusama's amazing artistic effort was realized through a wide range of media, including painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, performance, film, printmaking, installation, and environmental art as well as literature, product design, and fashion - remarkably her collaboration with Louis Vuitton (2012). She lives and works in Tokyo and has exhibited with Victoria Miro since 1998.

A sing of the fame of Yayoi Kusama were the long queues outside the Victoria Miro Galleries. Even in London, so many visitors for a private gallery exhibition are rare to be seen. Especially the last day, people started to queue in the early morning to have access later on. Visiting the installation inside was regulated by the staff using a stopwatch. You were allowed inside for 20-30 seconds only, depending from which installation visiting. The overwhelming participation confirmed Kusama is one of the beloved and most significant living artists in the world.

TIME Magazine just recently listed Kusama in between the World 100 Most Influential People. According to The Art Newspaper she is the world's most popular artist – based on figures reported for global museum attendance. Her exhibitions were consistently the most visited worldwide last year, with three record breaking museum tours simultaneously traveling through Asia, Central and South America and Scandinavia.

Yayoi Kusama is currently the subject of a museum tour throughout Northern Europe, from Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, (2015-2016) to Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo (2016); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2016) and Helsinki Art Museum (2016-2017). Recent survey exhibitions include Infinite Obsession, 2013-2015, which was seen by over two million people during its two-year tour in South America; A Dream I Dreamed and Eternity of Eternal Eternity which travelled to institutions across Asia from 2013-2015 and 2012-2014, respectively. Yayoi Kusama, a major retrospective, was presented from 2011 to 2012 at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Tate Modern, London; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Kusama represented Japan at the 45th Venice Biennale in 1993.

Works by the artist are held in museum collections throughout the world, including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Tate Gallery, London; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; amongst many others.

Currently at Chiostro del Bramante in Rome, the exhibitionYayoi Kusama: Sculptures, Paintings & Mirror Rooms” was at the Victoria Miro Gallery, London, from 25th May to 30th July 2016.

William Bradley "Endless Adventures" 2016 © Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London

Kristin Hjellegjerde organised a remarkable double exhibition of Martine Poppe and William Bradley at her London gallery.

On display in the main space of Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery London was the exhibition “Crinkled Escape Routes and Other Somewhat Flat Things” by Martine Poppe.

The Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery’s exhibition came from a journey Martine Poppe made in the USA. The works on display were a melange of the practice of Poppe, pale and ephemeral, and the more realistic American rural landscapes. From images taken along the well-known Route 66, the works migrated from inner to outer elements by using symbols like landscapes or buffalo skull. It was a journey through the actual present and an ideally remembered past – for example, there were images but also real car pieces dispersed around the gallery.

The long named Poppe’s exhibition was an investigation of the relationship and distance between a completed piece of work and its original subject, while the artist explores new ways of creating. She said: “The subsequent fields of pixel-like marks open up spaces in which I make my decisions more apparent. I leave behind something open-ended and revealing on the surface.”

As with previous shows, Poppe has also integrated her blurred works with more figurative pieces in which part of the canvas is left exposed. By using taffeta for her figurative, she develops the materiality of her works so to contrast the blurred landscapes and to increase the sense of contemplative calm that prevails throughout the space.

The work of Martine Poppe can leave viewers in a slightly baffled mood while trying to understand her non figurative style. Martine Poppe explains: “As always my work is very conscious of its origins in photography. I'm developing the sense of meditative calm in the work, but also aiming to be more generous with my approach.”

Meanwhile, William Bradley displayed new paintings in the Project Space of the Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London. An abstract artist, he continues to explore the painted depiction of painterly codes. This new body of work on exhibition looks increasingly towards digital intervention, such as Photoshop, as a tool for the manipulation of these codes. Bradley explains: “Digitally modifying my scanned watercolours, removes them yet another step away from the immediacy of the original authorial mark.”

The result of his work is an exploration of gestural marks or codes from the history of Abstraction, but this is coloured by its digital pre-planning. Since moving to California, Bradley’s work has also seen a change in the choice of colours, which are now livelier, with different associations and compositions between them and with more movement.

Martine Poppe is born in Oslo, Norway (1988) but lives and works in London. From the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, she received her BA Hons (2011) and MFA (2013) in Fine Art. She has exhibited extensively throughout Norway as well as London and the United States. Recent solo exhibitions include 50% Grå, Trafo Kunsthall, Norway (2015) and Anatidaephobia at Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London (2014). Her recent group exhibitions include Sotheby's inaugural exhibition S|2 x SF at their new S|2 space in San Francisco (2015), The Presence of Absence, Berloni Gallery, London, curated by Paul Carey-Kent (2015) and New Order II: British Art Today at Saatchi Gallery, London (2014). Poppe was the artist-in-residence at Hooper Projects, Los Angeles in the summer of 2015. She is the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards, having recently been chosen as a finalist for Contemporary Visions IV, Beers, London (2016) as well as having been shortlisted for the East London Painting Prize (2014) and the Threadneedle Prize (2013). Poppe's work can be found in the collections of Saatchi, UCL, NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation) and University of Oxford.

William Bradley (born 1984, York, UK) graduated with a Masters degree in Fine Art: Painting from Wimbledon College of Art, University of the Arts London. He has been selected for numerous prizes such as FutureMap 08 and the Catlin Art Prize in both 2009 and 2011. His works are included in many renowned private collections throughout the United States, including the Hort Family Collection, and collections within Europe such as the Nelimarrka Museum, University of the Arts London and the David Roberts Arts Foundation. Solo exhibitions include I’ll Meet You There, Galerie Richard, New York (2016), The Black Paintings, Berloni, London (2015), Tall Tales, Galerie Richard, New York (2013) and Good Plan, EBandFlow, London (2012), among others. Recent group shows include S|2 x SF, Sotheby's, San Francisco, California (2015), Work Hard, Play Hard (with Mark Selby), Berloni, London (2014) and Person, Place or Thing and Roster Crow, both at 68Projects, Berlin (2014). He was selected for the inaugural 68Projects/ Galerie Kornfeld residency in 2014 and was also an artist in residence at Hooper Projects in 2015. Bradley currently lives and works in London and Los Angeles.

The exhibitions “Crinkled Escape Routes and Other Somewhat Flat Things” by Martine Poppe and “Project Space: William Bradley” were at Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London, from 6th May until 18th June 2016. 

The Sun Popped, 2016 © Ally McIntyre, courtesy the artist and CNB Gallery, London.

London - The Sun Popped, an Ally McIntyre' exhibition at the Cock and Bull Gallery was magnificent. In these recent days of full moon craziness, when everybody around the world has his nose up to the night sky, the mind goes back to “Ally McIntyre: The Sun Popped” an interesting exhibition at the CNB Gallery, London.

The work of Ally McIntyre is normally loaded with symbolism. With a new approach, she brings together many different traditional genres and iconographies and, facing the tradition, mixes everything in her paintings.

Mainly, the exhibition “Ally McIntyre: The Sun Popped” was about the dichotomy between the Sun and the Moon. At the CNB Gallery show, the Sun is assumed to represent masculinity, the Moon symbolizes femininity, and the Solar System is the traditional family environment.

It is a path of thoughts leading to a criticism of the patriarchal culture. The Sun is the centre of the accepted astronomical model of the solar system, while the man is at the core of the traditional family. The parallel between the two is clear, as it is the one between the woman and the Moon. It recalls also myths and rituals of ancient religions, where the sun was worshipped for its power and considered the focal point – connecting McIntyre to the exhibition on Egyptians now ongoing at the British Museum, London.

The Sun Popped exhibition mirrors the personal opinions of McIntyre on contemporary feminist activism. It explored the moon as a traditional symbol of femininity and focused on the romantic ideas of the end of the sun, suggesting nothing is permanent and hoping in an imminent change.

In London, at the Cock and Bull Gallery, the work of Ally McIntyre was loaded with recurrent symbols, such as stars, nature, or animals. The artist used a mix of acrylic, glitter and spray paint on a collection of ten paintings.

The director of the CNB Gallery, Rebecca Lidert, said: ‘Experiencing Ally’s paintings you understand what a confident painter she is. Her work is empowering. Her visual language has the conviction of a well accomplished artist. Her use of colour and composition are unusual, unique and bold.

Born in 1991, Canadian painter Ally McIntyre obtained her BFA from the University of Alberta in painting and sculpture in 2013. In the same year, she started her MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths in London. In 2015 after graduation she won the HIX Award, and is now represented by CNB Gallery, London.

The exhibitionAlly McIntyre: The Sun Popped” was at the CNB Gallery, Shoreditch, London, from 25th May until 10th July 2016.

Exhibition ‘currentmood’ Installation view, 2016 © Cory Arcangel, co. Lisson Gallery, London.

London – “Cory Arcangel: ‘currentmood’” was an interesting exhibition at the Lisson Gallery, but also online.

The exhibition “Cory Arcangel: ‘currentmood’” took place at Lisson Gallery London and extended online through an advertising campaign.

Arcangel is one of the most important exponents of technology - based art. He often post on social media using the hashtag #currentmood. Its practice mirrors the current web - culture dominating the entire world, including those countries apparently underdeveloped.

The new works of the Lisson Gallery London exhibition were presented in a ‘listicle’ way, including image dump self-portrait of Arcangel. New works were displayed IRL (Internet slang for “In Real Life”). The most interesting work, differentiating from the rest, was an installation of a series of slippers.

Source of inspiration for Arcangel is a multiplicity of media, including scans of Ibiza flyers, tracksuits and magazines; default Photoshop image effects; commercial and cell phone photography; low-res screen captures, as well as emulations and re-prints of earlier works by the artist.

For ‘currentmood’, online Arcangel diffused a series of tailored ads, scattered across the Internet as ‘promoted content’. Therefore, the general frame of the ‘currentmood’ exhibition is a drastic unranked position inspired by the Internet self governance.

In homage to the open source culture, Arcangel is keen to spread his own work by exhibiting the same image both IRL in a white cube and online as ‘click bait’. He is still loyal to open source culture and makes his work and methods available online, also giving references to the value of the art object.

The works at the exhibition at the Lisson Gallery London were inspired by the dualism of the business of technology which rapidly brings occasions but also forget with the same haste. Arcangel cares about collective memories, for example in recycling the Java applet ‘lake’ much used two decades ago, or other common software or web technology.

Kitsch, cheap or trite graphics and images are ironically included into a dialogue that blends art history, literature and music. Arcangel said: “I’m not taking sides with almost anything. For me, to see how these things change is my interest.” ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

It was in 1996, while studying classical guitar at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Cory Arcangel had the first occasion to use a high-speed Internet connection. He then was encouraged to major in music technology and start learning to code, and up to today these are his main approaches to the informatics and internet environment.

Cory Arcangel was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1978 and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He received a BM from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 2000. He is the youngest artist since Bruce Nauman to have been given a full floor solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2011). Arcangel has had major solo exhibitions at Reykjavik Art Museum, Reykjavik, GAMeC, Bergamo and Espace Louis Vuitton München, Munich (all 2015); Herning Museum of Contemporary Art (2014); Fondation DHC/Art, Montreal (2013); Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (2013); Barbican Art Gallery, London (2011); Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2010) and Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami (2010). He was awarded the 2015 Kino der Kunst Award for the Filmic Ouvre. In 2014, he launched Arcangel Surfware, a merchandise and publishing imprint located at www.arcangelsurfware.biz; also in 2014, Penguin published his first novel, Working on My Novel.

 

The exhibition “Cory Arcangel: ‘currentmood’” was at the Lisson Gallery, London, from 20th May until 2nd July 2016.