Archive: 2009
Artist mocks Koons highest priced work using garbage bags

Artist mocks Koons highest priced work using garbage bags

Gimhongsok - Canine Construction, 2009, bronze
GimhongsokCanine Construction, 2009, 164x231x90cm

This Canine Construction by South Korean artist, Gimhongsok is one that anyone would fall in love with, coupled with the enigmatic quality it has. This work is the sculpture of a dog remains one of the artist’s most well-known works in recent times. The creation involved using garbage bags, balloons, cardboard boxes, all assembled with expensive materials like resin.

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The power of laughter

The power of laughter

Yue Minjun - One of 14 A-maze-ing Laughter bronze sculptures in Morton Park, Vancouver, BC

Yue Minjun - Untitled, stainless steel sculpture, 95x197x143cm
Yue MinjunUntitled, stainless steel sculpture, 95x197x143cm

Yue Minjun was born in Daqing in Heilongjiang, China in 1962. For most of his life, Yue moved from place to place, because his family had to move from oilfield to oilfield to find work. Before starting to work as an electrician, he graduated from Hebei Normal University in 1989, where he studied oil painting. 1989 was the same year in which China was left shocked by the infamous student-led demonstrations and the suppression of such on Tiananmen Square. These movements played a large part in the inspiration and mood of Yue’s work. In order to fight the dark mood of the hour, the dark reality of the time, he created vibrant self-images embodying an almost mania; The laughing image.

Laughter never necessarily means happiness. Laughter can be nervous. It can be spiteful. It can be healing. A smile or a laugh can be genuine but can also be a mask. They can mask feelings of loss, feelings of helplessness, feelings of confusion. Although the smile on Yue’s sculptures and paintings has often been interpreted as a joke or bliss, the meaning behind the smile often is so much deeper.

Yue was influenced by the Chinese modern art revolution, during which old ideas were being broken down and new thoughts were being created. He grew up in a time when market economic policies were beginning to release and there was accelerated development. This was also a period of global economic prosperity. These social and economic changes that were happening on a global level, especially within China pushed artists like Yue Minjun to quickly grow and evolve grow. Within this group of artists, Yue is without a doubt one of the most successful. He is also known as an influential member of the Cynical Realism movement.

His famous self-portraits take place in various settings, with an infamous expression of wide-toothed laughter. The figures featured in these self-portraits with disproportionately large faces, gleefully open mouths and eyes closed, have become recognizable to admirers around the world. Throughout his work, Yue utilizes humor as a tool to convey a tempestuous stage in modern China.

In more recent years, Yue’s sculptures have become the most famous and most visible works around the world. His sculpture A-mazing Laughter is a permanent installation in Vancouver, Canada. Yue’s Warriors were installed at LongHouse Reserve in New York.

In portraying himself within his paintings he allows himself more freedom of expression. Through this expression he is able to look at himself and society. He has the ability to question reality, and the laugh that is portrayed in his portraits and sculptures is one that is relatable for his countrymen and women who have experienced the changes in society. The smile that is so large and convincing often has something else behind it. Sometimes in any given situation all we can really do is smile.

Yue Minjun - A-Maze-ing Laughter, Vancouver 1
Yue MinjunA-Maze-ing Laughter, Vancouver, Canada

Yue Minjun - A-Maze-ing Laughter, Vancouver 2
Yue MinjunA-Maze-ing Laughter, Vancouver, Canada

Yue Minjun - A-Maze-ing Laughter, Vancouver 3
Yue MinjunA-Maze-ing Laughter, Vancouver, Canada

Yue Minjun - A-Maze-ing Laughter, Vancouver
Yue MinjunA-Maze-ing Laughter, Vancouver, Canada

Yue Minjun - Amazing Laughter, 2009, Photo Matthew Grapengieser
Yue MinjunA-Maze-ing Laughter, Vancouver, Canada
Photo: Matthew Grapengieser

Yue Minjun - Amazing Laughter, 2009
Yue MinjunA-Maze-ing Laughter, Vancouver, Canada

Yue Minjun - Today Art Museum
Yue Minjun – Today Art Museum, Beijing, China

Yue Minjun - Beijing, China, Photo by Jason Lee/Reuters
Yue Minjun – Today Art Museum, Beijing, China
Photo by Jason Lee/Reuters

Yue Minjun - Contemporary Terracotta Warriors 2000 Fiberglass, paint, iron base, 60x53x186cm, 2000
Yue MinjunContemporary Terracotta Warriors, 2000, Fiberglass, paint, iron base, 60x53x186cm

Yue Minjun - Contemporary Terracotta Warriors Series No. 6, 2005, Bronze, 46x61x288cm
Yue MinjunContemporary Terracotta Warriors No. 6, 2005, Bronze, 46x61x288cm

Yue Minjun - Contemporary Terracotta Warriors No. 9, 2006, Set of 25, Bronze, 190.5x61x61cm
Yue MinjunContemporary Terracotta Warriors No. 9, 2006, Set of 25, Bronze, 190,5x61x61cm

Yue Minjun - Contemporary Terracotta Warriors, 2005, installation view, Pete and Repeat, 2009 at Zabludowicz Collection, London. Photo- Thierry Bal
Yue MinjunContemporary Terracotta Warriors, 2005, Zabludowicz Collection, London, 2009
Photo: Thierry Bal

Yue Minjun - Contemporary Terracotta Warriors, 2005 (detail)
Yue MinjunContemporary Terracotta Warriors (detail), 2005

Yue Minjun - Contemporary Terracotta Warriors, 2005, LongHouse Reserve garden, East Hampton, NY, USA
Yue MinjunContemporary Terracotta Warriors, 2005, LongHouse Reserve garden, East Hampton, NY, USA

Yue Minjun - Contemporary Terracotta Warriors, Chatsworth House
Yue MinjunContemporary Terracotta Warriors, Chatsworth House, United Kingdom

Yue Minjun - Contemporary Terracotta Warriors, Chatsworth House 2
Yue MinjunContemporary Terracotta Warriors, Chatsworth House, United Kingdom

Yue Minjun - Flexible Latitude 2010
Yue MinjunFlexible Latitude, 2010

Yue Minjun - Laugh 2, 2009 Stainless steel, iron 200 x 80 x 80 cm
Yue MinjunLaugh 2, 2009, Stainless steel, iron 200x80x80cm

Yue Minjun - Milwaukee Art Museum 1
Yue MinjunChinese Contemporary Warriors, at Milwaukee Art Museum, USA, 2011

Yue Minjun - Milwaukee Art Museum 2
Yue MinjunChinese Contemporary Warriors, at Milwaukee Art Museum, USA, 2011

Yue Minjun - One of 14 A-maze-ing Laughter bronze sculptures in Morton Park, Vancouver, BC
Yue Minjun – One of 14 A-maze-ing Laughter bronze sculptures in Morton Park, Vancouver, BC

Yue Minjun - The Tao of Laughter, Harbour City – Part II , Hong Kong, 2012 2
Yue MinjunThe Tao of Laughter, Harbour City, Hong Kong, 2012

Yue Minjun - The Tao of Laughter, Harbour City – Part II , Hong Kong, 2012 3
Yue MinjunThe Tao of Laughter, Harbour City, Hong Kong, 2012

Yue Minjun - The Tao of Laughter, Harbour City – Part II , Hong Kong, 2012 4
Yue MinjunThe Tao of Laughter, Harbour City, Hong Kong, 2012

Yue Minjun - The Tao of Laughter, Harbour City – Part II , Hong Kong, 2012 5
Yue MinjunThe Tao of Laughter, Harbour City, Hong Kong, 2012

Yue Minjun - The Tao of Laughter, Harbour City – Part II , Hong Kong, 2012 6
Yue MinjunThe Tao of Laughter, Harbour City, Hong Kong, 2012

Yue Minjun - The Tao of Laughter, Harbour City – Part II , Hong Kong, 2012 7
Yue MinjunThe Tao of Laughter, Harbour City, Hong Kong, 2012

Yue Minjun - The Tao of Laughter, Harbour City – Part II , Hong Kong, 2012
Yue MinjunThe Tao of Laughter, Harbour City, Hong Kong, 2012


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Suicide car bomb from Iraq turned into art piece

Suicide car bomb from Iraq turned into art piece

 Jeremy Deller - It is what it is- Conversations About Iraq, 2009, at Joy in People at the Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre,  Photos: Linda Nylind
Jeremy DellerIt is what it is- Conversations About Iraq, 2009, at Joy in People at the Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre
Photo: Linda Nylind

In the Imperial War Museum in London, surrounded by some of the most powerful military hardware of the last 100 years rests a rusting, crumpled car. This is a clear example of what war does. The car is a piece by Jeremy Deller, and was a car that was contorted in a street bombing that killed 38 people and wounded many more at Baghdad’s Al-Mutanabbi book market. Al-Mutanabbi book market was at the heart of the Baghdad’s cultural and intellectual life.

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2,000 year old Chinese vases after being dipped in paint

2,000 year old Chinese vases after being dipped in paint

Ai Weiwei - Han Dynasty Vases in Auto Paint, 2014, Photo Sotheby's
Ai WeiweiHan Dynasty Vases in Auto Paint, 2014, Han Dynasty vases (202 BC to 220 AD) and auto paint, dimensions variable
Photo: Sotheby's

The Han Dynasty Vases with Auto-Paint is a work shown as part of Ai Weiwei’s solo exhibition “Evidence”. It is a series of neolithic vases, painted smooth and shining with brightly colored automotive paint. The aged vessels are given new context, evoking the mass marketing and luxurious consumerist appeal of the goods typically adorned with this type of paint, that are highly coveted in China. By destroying their historical value, he creates a highly politicized satire that calls into question the nature of art.

About Ai Weiwei

Born in 1957, Beijing, Ai Weiwei began his training at Beijing Film Academy and later continued at the Parsons School of Design in New York City. He was instrumental in the founding of the Overseas Chinese Artists Foundation as well as laying the groundwork for experimental artists in the East Village. His work has been displayed all over the world in Australia, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea and the United States and recently has been commissioned by the Tate Modern. Later his name would become famous with projects such as the Bird’s Nest, the Olympic Stadium for the 2008 Beijing Summer Games. His role as an activist deepened, with his infamous probe of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake student deaths and the following closing of his blog.

Ai Weiwei - Han Dynasty Vases in Auto Paint, 2014, Palazzo Strozzi, Italy
Ai WeiweiHan Dynasty Vases in Auto Paint, 2014, Han Dynasty vases (202 BC to 220 AD) and auto paint, dimensions variable, at Palazzo Strozzi, Italy

Ai Weiwei - Han Dynasty Vases in Auto Paint, 2014, Photo Sotheby's
Ai WeiweiHan Dynasty Vases in Auto Paint, 2014, Han Dynasty vases (202 BC to 220 AD) and auto paint, dimensions variable
Photo: Sotheby's

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This is what flying looks like in the future

This is what flying looks like in the future

Beni Bischof - Handicapped Cars

Handicapped Cars is a series of digitally manipulated photographs created by Swiss artist Beni Bischof depicting hovercraft-like cars that would not look out of place in a dystopian science fiction film. They are colorful, sleek, and operate as digital sculptures that are temporally ambiguous, giving the viewer a disconcerting feeling as though these are other worldly vehicles that are present today. Bischof plays close attention to form and movement, with the smooth, seamless lines seeming to indicate the innate speed of the objects. Like his other work, Bischof takes an everyday object and subtly changes it, calling into question its familiarity and function.

About Beni Bischof

Born 1976, Beni Bischof lives and works in St. Gallen. It all started when he began publishing laser-copied artist’s magazines in 2005 as an independent means of distributing his drawings, collages, and texts. The speed of production suited his impetuous, prolific output. It was not long before he found an additional, three-dimensional outlet for his obsessions by adding sculpture, painting, and installations to his repertoire. Often using everyday objects, Bischof creates bizarre objects whose coherence he reinforces with plaster and paint. He applies similar techniques of combining, reassembling, and reworking to images appropriated from fashion magazines, trivial literature, LP covers, and the like, overpainting them and modifying them digitally or even mechanically.

Beni Bischof - Handicapped Cars

Beni Bischof - Handicapped Cars

Beni Bischof - Handicapped Cars

Beni Bischof - Handicapped Cars

Beni Bischof - Handicapped Cars

Beni Bischof - Handicapped Cars

Beni Bischof - Handicapped Cars

Beni Bischof - Handicapped Cars


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Why are hundreds of shirts flying in the air?

Why are hundreds of shirts flying in the air?

Kaarina-Kaikkonen-Hanging-Clothes-Helsinki
Kaarina Kaikkonen – Helsinki, Finland

Kaarina Kaikkonen is an artist best known for creating sculptural works using recycled materials, notably second-hand clothing seen in her memorable jacket installations. The environment is incorporated into these installations in some way, resulting in a beautiful, colorful cloth landscape. Each garment individually tells a story as an extension of its past wearer, and as a group they come together to create a history and visual retelling of their space.

About Kaarina Kaikkonen

Kaarina Kaikkonen (b. 1952) began as a painter, but has become known as a sculptor who shapes the urban landscape and makes installations emphasizing the sense of community. Kaikkonen studied at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts School in 1978-1983. Kaikkonen’s first installation was on display in Helsinki in 1988. In Finland, one of her most famous works is the Way -installation, which she built on the steps of Helsinki Cathedral in 2000.

Kaarina Kaikkonen - Networking, 2009 - Piazza Calderini, Bologna, Italy
Kaarina KaikkonenNetworking, 2009 – Piazza Calderini, Bologna, Italy

Kaarina Kaikkone - Prato contemporanea - Crossing Borders - 1
Kaarina Kaikkonen – Prato contemporanea – Crossing Borders, 2014, Firenze, Italy

Kaarina Kaikkone - Prato contemporanea - Crossing Borders - 2
Kaarina Kaikkonen – Prato contemporanea – Crossing Borders, 2014, Firenze, Italy

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Smoke bomb photo exhibition in old Italian castle

Smoke bomb photo exhibition in old Italian castle

Filippo Minelli - Le Forme del Silenzio
Shape B/F + Shape C/A

Filippo Minelli’s solo exhibition Le Forme del Silenzio (the Shapes of Silence) opened last week. Read all about it in the previous post.

Filippo Minelli - Le Forme del Silenzio
Shape A/R, 80x120cm

Filippo Minelli - Le Forme del Silenzio
Shape 5, 110x165cm

Filippo Minelli - Le Forme del Silenzio
Shape 5, 110x165cm

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