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Chinese artist puts 14m long minibus in MoMA and other museums

Chinese artist puts 14m long minibus in MoMA and other museums

Yin Xiuzhen - Collective Subconscious

Yin XiuzhenCollective Subconscious, 2007, Minibus, stainless steel, used clothes, stools, music
1420 x 140 x 190 cm

Collective Subconscious is a large-scale installation sculpture presented by Projects 92. It is an interactive installation created by Beijing based artist Yin Xiuzhen, who has spent the last twenty five years creating and displaying works that reflect her surrounding environment and her relationship with it. Her works are at once personal and environmentally engaging, and are typically site-specific. Collective Subconscious, which is composed of a bisected minivan connected by a long tube covered in a quilt made of found garments, allows viewers to enter and have a seat on a small bench, and listen to the Chinese pop song “Beijing, Beijing” emitting from the read-end speakers. It is ethereal and a place for contemplation, meant to break the silence traditionally present within the gallery space.

About Yin Xiuzhen

A leading figure in contemporary Chinese art, Yin Xiuzhen has worked primarily in site-specific installation and sculpture since the early 1990s. Her work addresses issues on both an environmental scale and a personal one, and often employs quotidian materials, including found textiles. Projects 92 presents her large-scale sculpture Collective Subconscious, which is composed of a bisected minivan connected by a long tube covered in a quilt made of found garments. The public is welcomed inside this transformed conveyance, where they will find a cozy refuge complete with low stools and soft pop music—a space that invites visitors to break the silence of the hushed gallery, reinventing it as a place for conversation and discussion.

Collective Subconscious has been shown at Centre Pompidou, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, NYC MoMA and other spaces.

Yin Xiuzhen - Collective Subconscious
Yin XiuzhenCollective Subconscious, 2007, Minibus, stainless steel, used clothes, stools, music
1420 x 140 x 190 cm

Yin Xiuzhen - Collective Subconscious
Yin XiuzhenCollective Subconscious, 2007, Minibus, stainless steel, used clothes, stools, music
1420 x 140 x 190 cm

aYin Xiuzhen - Collective Subconscious
Yin XiuzhenCollective Subconscious, 2007, Minibus, stainless steel, used clothes, stools, music
1420 x 140 x 190 cm

Yin Xiuzhen - Collective-Subconscious, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf
Yin XiuzhenCollective Subconscious, 2007, Minibus, stainless steel, used clothes, stools, music
1420 x 140 x 190 cm


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Enormous & expensive $265k sculpture deliberately burned to ashes

Enormous & expensive $265k sculpture deliberately burned to ashes

The Pier Group - Embrace, 2014
The Pier GroupEmbrace, 2014

Embrace by The Pier Group, a collective of artists, engineers, and builders, came together and spent a budget of $265,000 in order to create the 72-foot (22 meter) sculpture of two figures embracing, whose fleeting life would end up in flames at the Burning Man festival.

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Leading artist: 19 Western sculptures for stunning installation

Leading artist: 19 Western sculptures for stunning installation

Xu Zhen, European Thousand-Arms Classical Sculpture, 2014, Long Museum, Shanghai, 2015 - 1
Xu ZhenEuropean Thousand-Arms Classical Sculpture, 2014, glass fiber reinforced concrete, marble grains, marble, metal, 304 x 1470 x 473 cm, Produced by MadeIn Company, at Long Museum, Shanghai, China, 2015
Photo: Thomas Fuesser

Xu Zhen is a leader within the domain of contemporary Chinese art, and is said to be one of the most sought-after international contemporary artists. Xu Zhen uses inspiration from both Chinese and Western cultures while combining the embodiment of both. He uses sociocultural frameworks as an inspiration for his pieces as an attempt to target and what many would argue decrease ignorance surrounding “foreign” cultures.

Xu Zhen occupies an artistic practice that uses numerous mediums, including painting, sculpture, installation, video, photography and performance.

His creation European Thousand-Hand Classical Sculpture combines 19 distinctive Western classical sculptures of numerous forms; deriving from the shape of the Thousand-Hand Guanyin (Bodhisattva) in Buddhist iconography. Thus Xu Zhen’s work deals with the sense of form and spirituality.

This piece combines the serene Buddhist statues of the East together with the exquisite western style of Greek statues, mediating spans of space and time referencing a very long time of scale of art history. Xu Zhen’s extensive body of work evokes instances of complexity. Through his artwork he demonstrates his personal curiosity about the difference between cultures and the alienation between them, while also thinking of misconceptions can be the place that introduces awareness and understanding. He uses his artwork to increase the understanding between different cultures. Thus artwork is a place of navigation, a place of mediation, a place of understanding.

Through creating discussions and a place in which these discussions can be instigated, Xu Zhen tries to bring cultural awareness and relativism to the world of art in addition to the social sphere. By creating a stimulating site for these discussions in addition to a safe place to house them (such as an exhibit) misconceptions can be corrected and a new level of cultural understanding is formed.

Xu Zhen, European Thousand-Arms Classical Sculpture, 2014, Long Museum, Shanghai, 2015
Xu ZhenEuropean Thousand-Arms Classical Sculpture, 2014, glass fiber reinforced concrete, marble grains, marble, metal, 304 x 1470 x 473 cm, Produced by MadeIn Company, at Long Museum, Shanghai, China, 2015
Photo: Thomas Fuesser

Xu Zhen, European Thousand-Arms Classical Sculpture, 2014, Long Museum, Shanghai, 2015
Xu ZhenEuropean Thousand-Arms Classical Sculpture, 2014, glass fiber reinforced concrete, marble grains, marble, metal, 304 x 1470 x 473 cm, Produced by MadeIn Company, at Long Museum, Shanghai, China, 2015

Xu Zhen, European Thousand-Arms Classical Sculpture, 2014, Long Museum, Shanghai, 2015
Xu ZhenEuropean Thousand-Arms Classical Sculpture, 2014, glass fiber reinforced concrete, marble grains, marble, metal, 304 x 1470 x 473 cm, Produced by MadeIn Company, at Long Museum, Shanghai, China, 2015

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Beautiful & intricate miniature of ancient Japanese temple

Beautiful & intricate miniature of ancient Japanese temple

Takahiro Iwasaki - Reflection Model (Perfect Bliss)
Takahiro IwasakiReflection Model (Perfect Bliss), 2010-2012, 150 x 280 x 194cm, Japanese cypress, wire

Japanese artist Takahiro Iwasaki’s sculpture the Reflection Model (Perfect Bliss) is a sophisticated miniature recreation of Phoenix Hall, which is part of Japan’s Byodo-in Temple complex. Embodying many elements of tradition and modernity, as the piece imitates the reflection of the traditional mirror pond as a physical object, suspended from the ceiling, performing to the audience as a three-dimensional mirrored image hovering magically in the air.

The juxtapositions within this piece are appropriate in considering Iwasaki’s artwork’s relationship to Orientalism and Japanese modernity. This work reflects upon the ways in which architecture has been influential in the development of conceptions of Japanese national identity, along with the opposed concept of Westernization in Japanese culture. Iwasaki’s use of ‘construction’ is both corresponding and fundamental, inferring the function of architecture in forming social values and perceptions of collective identity.

The miniatures are fashioned with inverted imagery bringing the sculpture to life through the illusion of water and reflection. Iwasaki’s work involves the combination of realism and dreamlike ingenuity to create the feeling of awe as the weightlessness of the floating building can bring to mind sentiments of exposure and delicacy with a contrasting feeling of sustenance and strength.

As you stand peering at the piece eye level, or sit below the flying building looking up as it seemingly grows before your eyes, you are immersed in the cultural identify of Japan that includes reverence for the past and tradition while simultaneously embracing modernity and futurism. The beauty and the intertextual meaning is paramount. It demonstrates the ways in which national identity is not static but a progression of complex and continuing negotiations between fluctuating domestic and international circumstances.

Takahiro Iwasaki - Reflection Model (Perfect Bliss)

Takahiro Iwasaki - Reflection Model (Perfect Bliss)


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Massive 8min explosive performance made citizens call the police

Massive 8min explosive performance made citizens call the police

Cai Guo-Qiang - Elegy (Explosion Event), The Ninth Wave at Huangpu riverfront of the Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China

Cai Guo-QiangElegy, chapter one of Elegy: Explosion Event for the opening of Cai Guo-Qiang: The Ninth Wave, realized on the riverfront of the Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China, 5:00 p.m., August 8th, 2014, approximately 8 minutes

Cai Guo-Qiang is a New York based artist and one of the furthermost celebrated contemporary artists originating from China. He is known for a remarkable new kind of fireworks spectacles which he calls “explosion events.” He has taken gunpowder, one of China’s Four Great Inventions and led the way in a new impressive form of art that is substantial and metaphorical. His fireworks represent nature, culture, life, and death.

Cai’s captivation with pyrotechnics had origins in weaponry and physics, evolving into an affinity with traditional Chinese brush painting. Thus the violent explosions are transformed into a tool of art, creating a masterpiece in the sky, a masterpiece that only has a short lifetime, and fades away. Cai’s daytime “explosion events,” intimates classical brush painting. Cai involves organic vegetable dyes as opposed to just gunpowder, the smoke from these “explosion events” gradually blurs in the air almost as ink from a brush stroke is absorbed by rice paper in traditional painting. His daylight skywriting signifies his deep traditionalism and his modernism all at once.

Cai’s work in front of the Power Station of Art in Shanghai, China is eight minutes of colors filing the sky, in a ritualistically sincere elucidation of the ‘death of nature’. The show personifies the natural world with remembrance, looking back on the past and the transitory nature of time through a display of colorful smoke. The smoke fades away until nothing is left, no reminiscence of the beauty that once was, just like everything that exists in nature.

The police asked the artist not to publicize the event to prevent traffic problems. The fireworks left many people clueless, thinking that the massive, yellow and black-and-green clouds were the toxic results of a serious accident. Aware of recent, non-artistic explosions (factory in Jiangsu, gas pipes in Kaohsiung), widely publicized in the Chinese media, concerned locals started calling the police.

Cai Guo-Qiang - Elegy (Explosion Event), The Ninth Wave at Huangpu riverfront of the Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China
Cai Guo-QiangElegy, chapter one of Elegy: Explosion Event for the opening of Cai Guo-Qiang: The Ninth Wave, realized on the riverfront of the Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China, 5:00 p.m., August 8th, 2014, approximately 8 minutes

Cai Guo-Qiang - Elegy (Explosion Event), The Ninth Wave at Huangpu riverfront of the Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China
Cai Guo-QiangElegy, chapter one of Elegy: Explosion Event for the opening of Cai Guo-Qiang: The Ninth Wave, realized on the riverfront of the Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China, 5:00 p.m., August 8th, 2014, approximately 8 minutes

Cai Guo-Qiang - Elegy (Explosion Event), The Ninth Wave at Huangpu riverfront of the Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China
Cai Guo-QiangElegy, chapter one of Elegy: Explosion Event for the opening of Cai Guo-Qiang: The Ninth Wave, realized on the riverfront of the Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China, 5:00 p.m., August 8th, 2014, approximately 8 minutes

Cai Guo-Qiang - Elegy (Explosion Event), The Ninth Wave at Huangpu riverfront of the Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China
Cai Guo-QiangElegy, chapter one of Elegy: Explosion Event for the opening of Cai Guo-Qiang: The Ninth Wave, realized on the riverfront of the Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China, 5:00 p.m., August 8th, 2014, approximately 8 minutes

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Fragile and feminine Michael Jackson in controversial sculpture

Fragile and feminine Michael Jackson in controversial sculpture

Jeff Koons - Michael Jackson and Bubbles, 1988 -ceramic, 106.7 x 179.1 x 82.5cm.jpg

Jeff KoonsMichael Jackson and Bubbles, 1988
Ceramic, 106.7 x 179.1 x 82.5 cm

There have been many stars and singers that have contributed to music in many progressive ways. Yet no one comes close to the influence that the iconic Michael Jackson has left on the music industry. Imagery of him is fairly well known. The pop-culture icon has been seen in various stages of his life and career, physically ever-changing in front of our eyes. Jeff Koons created a famous life-sized porcelain sculpture depicting the now late and legendary Michael Jackson leaning back on a flower bed while on his lap rests his pet chimpanzee Bubbles who holds a white cloth. Jackson and Bubbles wear similar clothing, and are colored similarly while parts of their bodies mirror with each other.
Bubbles, the real life chimpanzee, was purchased by Jackson from a Texas research facility in 1985. He was a very important figure in the eyes of Michael and became a constant sight at almost all of Michael Jackson’s performances and concert arenas and cities. Koons used a press photo of Jackson and Bubbles for his sculpture, and it is nearly indistinguishable to the photo.

When the porcelain sculpture was first revealed, Koons produced three editions, many of Jackson’s fans were offended by how the porcelain made Jackson appear white and feminine (although there doesn’t seem to be any complaints about his hair being gold…). Koons however, really doesn’t care about the complaints and criticism over Jackson’s gender neutral appearance within this piece. The art, he believes, transcends gender- as Koons explains, Jackson is the contemporary Apollo.

In this piece Jackson is that of a Greek god, beautiful and golden- considering that this was created in 1988 it is ironic considering the way that M.J has been immortalized as pop royalty, who may have passed physically, but has transcended in space and time through his music and dance. Bubbles looks wise and all-knowing as he sits on M.J’s lap and gazes at the audience while Jackson gazes lovingly at his companion.

This piece now is a beautiful representation of Jackson’s younger days before he was othered by some and deified by others. The gold almost depicts a time when anything MJ touched turned to gold.

In total three editions of Michael Jackson and Bubbles came into existence, all three can be found separately at the new Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and another one in Athens.

Jeff Koons - Michael Jackson and Bubbles, 1988, Fondation Beyeler, Riehen, Switzerland, Jeff Koons - Michael Jackson and Bubbles, 1988, Fondation Beyeler, Riehen, Switzerland. 2012
Jeff Koons next to his artwork Michael Jackson and Bubbles, 1988
Ceramic, 106.7 x 179.1 x 82.5 cm, at Fondation Beyeler in Riehen, Switzerland, 2012

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1000 real trees fills world’s most famous opera house

1000 real trees fills world’s most famous opera house

Pierre Huyghe, A Forest of Lines, 2008. Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House, 16th Biennale of Sydney
Pierre HuygheA Forest of Lines, 2008. Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House, 16th Biennale of Sydney

A Forest of Lines by Pierre Huyghe is a space that brings together the sacred and the profane. The space blurs boundaries, eliminating the separation between the audience and the art where they can become the performance as they explore the constructed forest in the theatre made of a thousand real trees, inside the concert hall at the Sydney Opera House. Thus turning one of the most urban places in the world into a wilderness, converting a space in a way, which seems exceptionally impossible and altogether remarkable.

Paths meander through the trees, mist brings a sense of mystic as you wonder the magical and listen to the story that brings the enchantment to life. This is a space of representation, in which an environment has been transplanted, and becomes a liminal place that is somewhere between nature and urban, a place that lays somewhere in between fiction and fact. Forests are often the sites of fairy tales and legends; they are places of amazement and sometimes fear.

There is something profoundly sensational about the opera, it is the epitome of culture, and furthermore, the Sydney Opera House is internationally known for its architecture and aesthetics. Thus by constructing a forest in a place that represents culture, humanism, and progress, the Cartesian dualism of nature versus culture is completely overridden.

This revolutionary piece demonstrates the mediation of binaries while taking the audience into a different world of the wilderness inside. The melody is written by Laura Marling especially for Pierre Huyghes’ performance, the lyrics literally indicate how to get outside the Opera House and go somewhere else. Visitors to this installation wandered through the glorious forest, and some even set up picnics in the installation, using the space as they would a park. This space was open for 24 hours, and within that short time, audience members were given the opportunity to explore a world that can be described as only a dream.

Pierre Huyghe, A Forest of Lines, 2008. Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House, 16th Biennale of Sydney
Pierre HuygheA Forest of Lines, 2008. Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House, 16th Biennale of Sydney

Pierre Huyghe, A Forest of Lines, 2008. Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House, 16th Biennale of Sydney - 3
Pierre HuygheA Forest of Lines, 2008. Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House, 16th Biennale of Sydney

Pierre Huyghe, A Forest of Lines, 2008. Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House, 16th Biennale of Sydney - 4
Pierre HuygheA Forest of Lines, 2008. Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House, 16th Biennale of Sydney

Pierre Huyghe, A Forest of Lines, 2008. Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House, 16th Biennale of Sydney
Pierre HuygheA Forest of Lines, 2008. Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House, 16th Biennale of Sydney


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