New York Beijing Here There

Curator: Yelin Qiu

Participating Artists: Lin Yan / Alois Kronschlaeger / Wei Jia / Michelle Fornabai

Opening: Oct. 24, 2013, 4 – 6 pm

Dates: Oct. 24 – Nov. 5, 2013

Location: Yuan Art Museum

NewYorkBeijingHereandNow

New York Beijing Here There

As boundaries seem more permeable in an increasingly globalized world, what is the nature of a place? What does it mean to produce site-specific art in this contemporary context? Perhaps the question of place no longer concerns simply the coincidence of the “here and now” but rather a nuanced consideration of the “here and there?” When “place” is increasingly losing its normative ground, “displacement” seems to become the new norm. The artists in the exhibition use various material media and artistic processes to explore a place “here”–Beijing–from a specific “over there”–New York. The works provoke reflection on “place” defined in multiple ways–materially as location, environs and circumstance, also conceptually as situation, condition and position.

A place can be an area with definite or indefinite boundaries. A particular spot or portion of space occupied or belonging to a person or location, and yet it may be a conceptual place (“a place in one’s heart), a relative standing (“to find one’s place”), or even a particular situation or circumstance (“put yourself in my place”) both physical and mental. From your birthplace to the place where you live, one can try to “put everything in its place” but place can still exist as a blank space to be filled.

How do we locate “place?” Here, this place. There, that place. Yet, a place is relative to where the speaker is. It is in fact difficult to locate the artists in this exhibition –as Chinese, Chinese-American, American, living in Beijing and/or New York while working in Beijing and/or New York, or working “on location” which involves a workplace away from studio, elsewhere. While the artists may elude, all the works in the exhibition were produced for a specific location, the Yuan Art Museum. Perhaps journeying through the “location” and “dislocation” of these works, the viewers can find their own place.

In Alois Kronschlaeger’s site-specific piece, “Multicolored Grid” constructed at the Yuan Art Museum, a point in space becomes infinitely divisible, multiple and mobile, as each movement induces new perceptual experience. Lin Yan’s “Sky” reflects on air quality by using ink,Xuan paper and light to track the condition of our environment, yet float across boundaries, materializing the ephemeral.

Michelle Fornabai’s “Tilt: Digging to China,” a “concrete poem” cast with local materials on location at Studio X Beijing, constructs conceptual holes between Beijing and Brazil which allow the viewer to occupy imaginary landscapes. In Wei Jia’s work, paper and traditional Chinese ink painting materials are transformed into conceptual ideograms experienced both physically and in the mind of the viewer.

 

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