I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...
The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...
The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...
Pearl Lam Galleries H Queen's is pleased to present Dystopian Forms, a group exhibition featuring works by Du Zhenjun (b. 1961), Dale Frank (b. 1959), Jin Meyerson (b. 1972), and John Young (b. 1956). Concepts relating to utopian and dystopian worlds have invariably remained significant in the contemporary art field, spanning a great range of forms and mediums. This exhibition investigates artistic positions of anxiety, melancholy, and aspiration set against a backdrop of ever-changing societal and environmental degradation. As John Young said, 'The moment when a caterpillar changes into a moth, deformation and reformation exist side by side... There is a sublime, metaphysical and indescribable paradox between the one state and the other—and this change heralds two different qualities of time. Within this change, there is a melancholy. This transformation, once recognized, will never see the world of forms the same again. In this transformation, form leads to a great formlessness and then back to form yet again. And so the world goes, not kept still in ideal forms, but eternally and melancholically transforming.'
Du Zhenjun recognizes how digital media can be used to reveal the power intrinsic to an information society, where technology is constantly advancing and new forms of communication are being developed. The artist sources images from mass media outlets, such as television, magazines, newspapers, and the Internet, and assembles those selected images to create a collage in order to interpret the different facets of modern conflict. Du's Tower of Babel series is his portrayal of post- dystopian ruins, as the artist depicts the dangerous direction the world could be heading in if it does not adopt any social or environmental changes. This series of work is inspired by the Tower of Babel story in the Book of Genesis, in which a united humanity, which originally spoke one common language, tried to build a city and a tower whose top may reach heaven. God intervened by confounding them through creating multiple languages and scattering them all over the world as punishment for their betrayal.
It is acknowledged that the highest truths in today's society are no longer theological, but theoretical in the form of the principles of physics, technology, and other sciences. For Dale Frank, painting is essentially conceptual only when the material qualities in its own language are self-referential and self-critical. Embracing the medium's possibilities of physical transformation, the artist has examined the potential of a painting through continued experimentation with the materials and processes that challenge the notion of painting. As Frank said, 'From the very beginning, my work has been premised on the notion that the art produced is independent of myself. Paintings tend to be more interested in pointing out how they exist, act, and 'live' beyond the realm of human perception, a paradox of sorts given the contrived nature of artworks.' Believing each has a life and lifespan of its own that is created as a result, his paintings reveal the order of nature and explore the concept of 'reaction'.
Having come from an artistic and personal heritage that encompasses both the East and West, Jin Meyerson has always been drawn to specific moments of transition, which persevere through any established boundaries of culture, class, or nationality. What has become clear to the artist is that we are all living in the most complex and layered time in history. Essential to Meyerson's process is the belief that within the endless cycles of contemporary information and media input, there are universal forms and images that touch us all. The work on display, The Resonance of Resurrection, is taken from source images of the springtime growth and autumn decay, or the life cycle, of flowers from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster site. As the artist explained, 'The world has become so saturated that nothing is truly born anew and nothing truly leaves forever; the closest we get is resurrection and deconstruction. At the core, my work has always existed in this moment of simultaneous emergence and diffusion.'
The exhibited pieces of John Young shed light on the abstract compositions generated by his manipulations of original paintings by the major members of the Storm Society, China's first modern art association. In Young's signature works, his combination of digital technology and oil painting techniques lies between the discourses of photography and oil painting. The innate human sentiments in his works are utilized to select presented images in order to create his art that engages with the anachronistic condition of painting in the age of photography. For Young, art is a bridge connecting the present to 'a world of forgotten stories, discarded objects, and memories'; making art recollects those stories and reawakens an inherent ethical impulse at the moment.
We have sent you an email containing a link to reset your password. Simply click the link and enter your new password to complete this process.
Scan the QR Code via WeChat to follow Ocula's official account.