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‘An Opera for Animals’ at Rockbund Art Museum Ocula Report ‘An Opera for Animals’ at Rockbund Art Museum 19 Jul 2019 : Penny Liu for Ocula

An Opera for Animals was first staged at Para Site in Hong Kong between 23 March and 2 June 2019, with works by over 48 artists and collectives that use opera as a metaphor for modes of contemporary, cross-disciplinary art-making. The exhibition's second iteration takes up a large portion of the Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) in Shanghai (22 June–25...

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Mandy El-Sayegh: Productive Ambiguity Ocula Conversation Mandy El-Sayegh: Productive Ambiguity

Moving across installation, painting, drawing, and writing, Malaysia-born and London-based artist Mandy El-Sayegh explores the political, social, and economic complexities of humanity, using a mosaic of information—from advertising slogans and pornographic imagery to newspaper articles—that she subjects to processes of layering,...

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Get Up, Stand Up Now: Generations of Black Creative Pioneers at Somerset House Ocula Report Get Up, Stand Up Now: Generations of Black Creative Pioneers at Somerset House 5 Jul 2019 : Jareh Das for Ocula

Get Up Stand Up Now: Generations of Black Creative Pioneers at Somerset House in London (12 June–15 September 2019) surveys more than half a century of black creativity in Britain and beyond across the fields of art, film, photography, music, design, fashion, and literature.Curated by Zak Ové, works by approximately 100 intergenerational black...

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Yukinori Yanagi

b. 1959, Japan

Yukinori Yanagi explores fundamental questions of human existence through site-specific installations that negotiate a diverse range of media. Interested in questions of identity, both on a social and national scale, many of Yanagi's earlier works have examined individuality and the ways we are defined by constructs such as class, gender and ethnicity. More recently, his increasingly ambitious large-scale installations pose questions that relate to the consequences of technological advancement and globalisation.

For the 21st Biennale of Sydney at Cockatoo Island, Yanagi exhibits a series of three interconnected artworks that investigate industrialisation and the myth of human progress in a time of global capitalism. In the Turbine Hall, Icarus Container, 2018, takes the form of a labyrinth of shipping containers repurposed by the artist to represent global networks of distribution. Inside the containers a series of mirrors reflect the sky while a video projection features a burning sun. Drawing inspiration from Ancient Greek mythology, Yanagi references the tale of Icarus, the son of master craftsman Daedalus. After creating a labyrinth to confine the Minotaur at the request of King Minos of Crete, Daedalus and Icarus were themselves imprisoned within it. Fashioning wings from wax and feathers so that they could escape, Daedalus cautioned his son not to fly too close to the sun for fear that the heat would melt his wings. Revelling in the joy of flight, Icarus did not heed the warning and soared high into the sky before falling into the sea, his wings destroyed. Yanagi interprets the myth as an analogous warning of the ramifications of human obsession with technology and advancement. The image of the burning sun also represents Yanagi's investigation into the development of nuclear technology, likening nuclear fusion to the creation of an artificial sun.

Continuing his investigation of human obsession with power and advancement, Yukinori Yanagi's video installation Landscape with an Eye, 2018, features an enormous eye floating suspended in space. Gazing into the iris, the viewer is presented with archival film footage depicting the violence of nuclear tests conducted at different sites in the Pacific Ocean including Bikini Atoll, Enewetak Atoll and Mururoa Atoll, from 1946 to 1996. Landscape with an Eye bears witness to the way humans have exploited energy and the environment throughout history in the pursuit of power and progress. The images flickering across the surface of the eye resonate with the industrial surroundings of the former Powerhouse, a space once used to produce energy in support of advancement and modernity. Absolute Dud, 2016, is a one-tonne steel replica of Little Boy, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 during World War II. Suspended from the ceiling of the former Rectifier Room, the ominous shape provides a haunting, physical reminder of the ultimate consequences of war and the misuse of power in the name of progress. Accompanying the sculpture is a list detailing 300 nuclear explosions that occured in the Pacific Ocean region, commencing with Fat Man, the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan at 11.02 am on 9 August 1945 and concluding with Xouthos, a bomb exploded at Fangataufa Atoll at 11.29 am on 27 January 1996.

Tai Spruyt and Stephanie Berlangieri | Biennale of Sydney Exhibition Team | 2018
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Featured Artworks

Cubism and Abstract Art by Yukinori Yanagi contemporary artwork
Yukinori YanagiCubism and Abstract Art, 2012 Ants, coloured sand and plastic box
55.2 x 43.2 x 2.5 cm
Blum & Poe
Hi-no-maru Portfolio by Yukinori Yanagi contemporary artwork
Yukinori YanagiHi-no-maru Portfolio, 1991 Lithograph, embossing and collage on paper
92.4 x 68.9 x 4.8 cm
Blum & Poe
Ground Transposition by Yukinori Yanagi contemporary artwork
Yukinori YanagiGround Transposition, 1987/2019 Soil, excavations, mortar, balloon, helium, gas
Blum & Poe

Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Parergon: Japanese Art of the 1980s and 1990s (Part II) at Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
Closed
6 April–19 May 2019 Group Exhibition Parergon: Japanese Art of the 1980s and 1990s (Part II) Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Parergon: Japanese Art of the 1980s and 1990s (Part I) at Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
Closed
14 February–23 March 2019 Group Exhibition Parergon: Japanese Art of the 1980s and 1990s (Part I) Blum & Poe, Los Angeles

Represented By

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There is a simple and quiet work by the Belgian artist Michaël Borremans called The Bread (2012) in this year's Biennale of Sydney. It recalls the work of Flemish 15th century portraits, close and intimate, but it's a modern picture too. It's of a girl's upper body, dressed in a blue top, her hands in front, her gaze downwards. I was fairly certain...

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The 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018) announces first 21 artists for its 45th anniversary exhibition Related Press The 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018) announces first 21 artists for its 45th anniversary exhibition 6 April 2017

The world-renowned Biennale of Sydney is back next year to celebrate its 45th anniversary exhibition. Set to maintain its status as the largest and best-attended contemporary arts event in Australia, the 21st Biennale of Sydney is anticipated to once again bring an impressive and diverse range of contemporary artists and artworks to the...

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