Archive: 2015
Why are these golden balloons all over Taipei?

Why are these golden balloons all over Taipei?

Silence Was Golden, Balloon - Taipei, Taiwan - Eslite Spectrum Songyan - Snobs
Silence Was GoldenSnobs, Eslite Spectrum Songyan

In 2015, Public Delivery collaborated with the Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art, Taiwan’s first museum to be dedicated exclusively to contemporary art and one of the most prominent art institutions of Asia. Silence Was Golden is our on-going global public art project which is centered around words or short phrases made out of golden letter shaped balloons, chosen by performers to express their feelings towards their environment and the histories surrounding it. Words were collected through an open call, and then performed together with a variety of people, including students from Tainan National University of the Arts, National Taiwan Normal University, Tamkang University and Taipei Jingmei Girls High School in different locations all over Taipei.

Up until now, the project was performed 253 times in 1/4 of the world’s countries (179 cities, 48 countries, six continents).

Silence Was Golden, Balloon - Taipei, Taiwan - Huashan Creative Park - Anxious
Silence Was GoldenAnxious, Huashan Creative Park

Silence Was Golden, Balloon - Taipei, Taiwan - Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall - Boss
Silence Was GoldenBoss, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall

Silence Was Golden, Balloon - Taipei, Taiwan - Bitan Suspension Bridge - Date
Silence Was GoldenDate, Bitan Suspension Bridge

Silence Was Golden, Balloon - Taipei, Taiwan - Xindian ghost house - Fear
Silence Was GoldenFear, Xindian ghost house

Silence Was Golden, Balloon - Taipei, Taiwan - 228 Peace Memorial Park - Hustle
Silence Was GoldenHustle, 228 Peace Memorial Park

Silence Was Golden, Balloon - Taipei, Taiwan - Museum of Contemporary Art - Noisy
Silence Was GoldenNoisy, Museum of Contemporary Art

Silence Was Golden, Balloon - Taipei, Taiwan - Elephant Mountain - Nose
Silence Was GoldenNose, Elephant Mountain

Silence Was Golden, Balloon - Taipei, Taiwan - Guang Hua Night Market - Savour
Silence Was GoldenSavour, Guang Hua Night Market

Silence Was Golden, Balloon - Taipei, Taiwan - Xindian, Bitan tea house - Tea
Silence Was GoldenTea, Bitan tea house

Silence Was Golden, Balloon - Taipei, Taiwan - Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall - Temple
Silence Was GoldenTemple, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

Map of balloon performances in Taipei, Taiwan
Map of balloon performances


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Unpredictable paintings on walls inside of museums

Unpredictable paintings on walls inside of museums

Karina Smigla-Bobinski - ADA, 2010, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia, 2013

Karina Smigla-Bobinski - ADA, 2010, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia, 2013
Karina Smigla-BobinskiADA, 2010, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia, 2013

ADA, a kinetic sculpture by Karina Smigla-Bobinski, stands out for being interactive and unpredictable; Imagine a giant ball that is filled with helium gas and its surface covered with charcoal spikes. The helium causes the ball to be suspended in the air and the charcoal sticks provide grips and a medium with which to create art.

Through numerous exhibitions ADA is getting immense attention from visitors and the best part is, you do not have to be an artist yourself to enjoy the experience. Visitors get to push the ball which moves freely in space because it is not attached to anything and as the ball comes into contact with the surrounding walls, the charcoal sticks draw ambiguous lines on them. The result of what is drawn is never predictable and it is perhaps this feeling of suspense that keeps visitors coming back.

ADA is a transparent globe that resembles a molecular hybrid. The helium inside it and the hedgehog like surface give it an autonomous bounce from wall to wall. The ball is covered with 300 charcoal sticks with a spacing of 10 inches from one another. The technique behind it was developed by Smigla-Bobinski purposely for this art piece. Moving the ball to create patterns on the wall is interesting but what is even more enjoyable to do is to watch as people try to control the ball with their weight.

While the charcoal sticks come into contact with the white walls, every stroke is unique because of the direction in which the ball is thrust, the force applied, the level to which it is bent and the angle of contact with the wall. You will be frustrated if you approach this activity with intelligence so visitors are advised to just flow with the energy of the ball as their energy floats with it.

The artist Smigla-Bobisnki might never fully understand the therapeutic nature of what she had created but here is a canvas that was started by an expert and is being completed by anyone who has the interest and time to play with a floating ball of helium.

Karina Smigla-Bobinski - ADA, 2010
Karina Smigla-BobinskiADA, 2010

Karina Smigla-Bobinski - ADA, 2010
Karina Smigla-BobinskiADA, 2010

Karina Smigla-Bobinski - ADA, 2010, The Lowry, Manchester, UK, 2015
Karina Smigla-BobinskiADA, 2010, The Lowry, Manchester, UK, 2015

Karina Smigla-Bobinski - ADA, 2010
Karina Smigla-BobinskiADA, 2010

Karina Smigla-Bobinski - ADA, 2010
Karina Smigla-BobinskiADA, 2010

Karina Smigla-Bobinski - ADA, 2010, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia, 2013
Karina Smigla-BobinskiADA, 2010, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia, 2013

Karina Smigla-Bobinski - ADA, 2010
Karina Smigla-BobinskiADA, 2010

Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSjajlm3Bk0


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“Hunger King” is artist’s fast food reply to social inequality and homelessness

“Hunger King” is artist’s fast food reply to social inequality and homelessness

Jani Leinonen - Hunger King, 2014, Hungary, Budapest 1
Jani LeinonenHunger King, 2014, Hungary, Budapest

Located behind a resplendent Opera House in Budapest on the same road as Louis Vuitton, sits Hunger King, a place that seems to be just like any other burger joint, however, it is anything but. Hunger King is a regular fast food outlet that is pushed onto the masses; Hunger King is a critical sociopolitical art installation serving to highlight Hungary’s significant crises of social inequality and homelessness.

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How do 37,000 inflated balloons look like when put in a museum?

How do 37,000 inflated balloons look like when put in a museum?

Martin Creed - Work No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011 - 2.jpg

Martin Creed - Work No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011 - 2.jpg
Martin CreedWork No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011

Martin Creed’s Work Half the Air in a Given Space, is brilliantly fun way to experience interactive art. As an audience member you find yourself pushing your way through a space, whether it be a room or a hallway or a lobby, filled (only halfway) with up to 37,000 balloons. You as an audience member are completely surrounded by marshmallows, and although the image is joyfully preposterous, however, as you get into the space you find you feel a mixture of emotions including exhilaration, disorientation, but don’t be surprised if you feel a little bit claustrophobic.

Half the Air in a Given Space can be described as an interactive installation (which is easily an understatement if anything). This is every child’s dream or every globophobic’s worst nightmare (globophobia is the fear of balloons), basically a space that’s filled with of hundreds or thousands of balloons of the same color. Half a room’s entire volume is filled with balloons, and visitors become a part of the art by walking through the balloon filled room.

For those who are not globophobic or clausterphobic, this piece is supposed to evoke the feeling of deep celebration and remanence of childhood memories. If you have no problem with balloons or small spaces, you can be pretty much guaranteed that you will leave the installation with a smile on your face from the touch of nostalgia you have emerged from.
In 2012, Creed installed four versions of this work in neighborhoods throughout the city, each site featured a different colored balloon. Thus not only are audience members who brave the balloons submerged in a room half filled with air, but they are submerged in the color, in a supernatural world in which their senses cannot fully be relied on, a world in which beauty and playfulness is combined.

Martin Creed - Work No. 200. Half the air in a given space, 1998 Courtesy the artist and Hauser © Martin Creed
Martin CreedWork No. 200. Half the air in a given space, 1998
Courtesy the artist and Hauser © Martin Creed

Martin Creed - Work No. 200. Half the air in a given space, at Tate St.Ives, 2011
Martin CreedWork No. 200. Half the air in a given space, at Tate St.Ives, 2011
Photo by Rosa Park

Martin Creed - Work No. 200. Half the air in a given space, at Tate St.Ives, 2011, Photo by Rosa Park
Martin CreedWork No. 200. Half the air in a given space, at Tate St.Ives, 2011
Photo by Rosa Park

Martin Creed - Work No. 200. Half the air in a given space, at Tate St.Ives, 2011
Martin CreedWork No. 200. Half the air in a given space, at Tate St.Ives, 2011

Martin Creed - Work No. 204. Half the air in a given space, 1999, dimensions variable, City Gallery, Historic Water Tower, Chicago, 2012, Photo- Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago
Martin CreedWork No. 204. Half the air in a given space, 1999, dimensions variable, City Gallery, Historic Water Tower, Chicago, 2012
Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Martin Creed - Work No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011
Martin CreedWork No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011

Martin Creed - Work No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011
Martin CreedWork No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011

Martin Creed - Work No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011, Photo by Moby
Martin CreedWork No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011
Photo: Moby

Martin Creed - Work No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011
Martin CreedWork No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011

Martin Creed - Work No. 329. Half the air in a given space, 2004. Rennie Collection
Martin CreedWork No. 329. Half the air in a given space, 2004, Rennie Collection

Martin Creed - Work No. 329. Half the Air in a Given Space
Martin CreedWork No. 329. Half the air in a given space

Martin Creed - Work No. 360. Half the Air in a Given Space, 2015, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, Photo by Evan Chakroff
Martin CreedWork No. 360. Half the air in a given space, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, 2015
Photo by Evan Chakroff

Martin Creed - Work No. 360. Half the Air in a Given Space, 2015, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle
Martin CreedWork No. 360. Half the air in a given space, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, 2015

Martin Creed - Work No. 965. Half the Air in a Given Space, 2008, multiple pieces, The Cleveland Museum Of Art
Martin CreedWork No. 965. Half the air in a given space, 2008, multiple pieces, The Cleveland Museum Of Art

Martin Creed - Work No. 965. Half the Air in a Given Space, 2008, multiple pieces, The Cleveland Museum Of Art
Martin CreedWork No. 965. Half the air in a given space, 2008, multiple pieces, The Cleveland Museum Of Art

Martin Creed - Work No. 1562. Half the air in a given space, 2015, THEMUSEUM, Kitchener, Canada
Martin CreedWork No. 1562. Half the air in a given space, THEMUSEUM, Kitchener, Canada, 2015

Martin Creed - Work No. 1562. Half the air in a given space, 2015, THEMUSEUM, Kitchener, Canada
Martin CreedWork No. 1562. Half the air in a given space, THEMUSEUM, Kitchener, Canada, 2015

Martin Creed - Work No. 1562. Half the air in a given space, 2015, THEMUSEUM, Kitchener, Canada
Martin CreedWork No. 1562. Half the air in a given space, THEMUSEUM, Kitchener, Canada, 2015

Martin Creed - Work No. 2497. Half the air in a given space, 2015, Park Avenue Armory
Martin CreedWork No. 2497. Half the air in a given space, Park Avenue Armory, NYC, 2015

Martin Creed - Work No. 2497. Half the air in a given space, 2015. dimensions variable. Phoenix Art Museum. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
Martin CreedWork No. 2497. Half the air in a given space, dimensions variable. Phoenix Art Museum
Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth


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Artist makes US-Mexico Border Wall disappear

Artist makes US-Mexico Border Wall disappear

Ana Teresa Fernandez - Erasing the Border - Borrando la Frontera - Playas de Tijuana
Ana Teresa FernándezErasing the Border – Borrando la Frontera, 2012, Playas de Tijuana, Mexico

Ana Teresa Fernández, an artist born in Tampico, Mexico who studied in San Francisco, California and Lausanne, Switzerland, is known for her ability to make a powerful statement. Her statement is especially strong when it comes to the politics of space and place.

Her piece, “Erasing the Border” is one of her most commanding works in which alongside a number of other artist, residents, students and activists, she led an attack against the Mexico-US border wall, with the goal of “erasing” sections of the border. Sections of the fence were painted by Fernández to match the vast sky so that when viewed from afar there is the illusion of gaps in the fence. This appearance of a broken link, a useless border, is an effective statement on the arbitrary concept of borders separating place from place.

Fernández has been erasing the border wall in her series of installations “Borrando la Frontera” (Erasing the Border), beginning in 2011, where she erased a wall in Tijuana, Baja California. Prior to this she did a series of performance pieces near the border. She chose to use her art to breakdown the jail bars that impeded the sight of those in the border town by allowing people to see what it would look like if the bars didn’t run down the beach breaking up the scenery. From a distance the landscape is continuous, not broken apart by the intrusive fence.

As word of her work began to spread, more and more artists, locals, and border organizations wanted to be part of her project. They too wanted to make a statement, and wanted to see the sections of border fences erased in Texas and Arizona. Texas and Arizona were politically charged sites in particular as they have recently passed a series of severe anti-immigration laws and vigilante militias enacting violence and inciting fear at the border. The work of Fernández is especially meaningful now, as there is a new president-elect, Donald Trump, who has built a winning campaign around threats to extend and raise the wall to block immigrants. Thus, her work becomes an even more powerful statement, in how she opens up the border and unlocks our imaginations, bringing us to a more open and inclusive world; one where we do not fear our neighbors and try to keep them away.

At her most recent event, groups came to the three sections of the fence in Mexicali, Baja California; Agua Prieta, Sonora, and; Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua to erase the border. Groups from both Mexico and the U.S came to each site at the same time, as a planned attack, and began to paint and erase the fence. This unified people on both sides of the divide, effectively making the purpose of the fence (to separate people) mute.

Through her work, Ana Teresa Fernández proves that art is an effective political tool, a weapon even. One that can bring people together, bring freedom, and make a remarkable statement.

Ana Teresa Fernandez - Erasing the Border - Borrando la Frontera - Playas de Tijuana
Ana Teresa FernándezErasing the Border – Borrando la Frontera, 2012, Playas de Tijuana, Mexico

Ana Teresa Fernandez - Erasing the Border - Borrando la Frontera - Playas de Tijuana
Ana Teresa FernándezErasing the Border – Borrando la Frontera, 2012, Playas de Tijuana, Mexico

Ana Teresa Fernandez - Erasing the Border - Borrando la Frontera -  Mexicali, Mexico
Ana Teresa FernándezErasing the Border – Borrando la Frontera, 2016, Mexicali, Mexico
(Photo: Sandy Huffaker / Reuters)

Ana Teresa Fernandez - Erasing the Border - Borrando la Frontera -  Mexicali, Mexico
Ana Teresa FernándezErasing the Border – Borrando la Frontera, 2016, Mexicali, Mexico
(Photo: Sandy Huffaker / Reuters)

Ana Teresa Fernandez - Erasing the Border - Borrando la Frontera -  Mexicali, Mexico
Ana Teresa FernándezErasing the Border – Borrando la Frontera, 2016, Mexicali, Mexico
(Photo: Sandy Huffaker / Reuters)

Ana Teresa Fernandez - Erasing the Border - Borrando la Frontera -  Mexicali, Mexico
Ana Teresa FernándezErasing the Border – Borrando la Frontera, 2016, Mexicali, Mexico
(Photo: Sandy Huffaker / Reuters)

Ana Teresa Fernandez - Erasing the Border - Borrando la Frontera -  Mexicali, Mexico
Ana Teresa FernándezErasing the Border – Borrando la Frontera, 2016, Mexicali, Mexico
(Photo: Sandy Huffaker / Reuters)

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You won’t find these tapestries in any church (NSFW)

You won’t find these tapestries in any church (NSFW)

Erin M Riley - Self Portrait 2, 72 x 48 inch, 2015

Erin M. RileySelf Portrait 2, 2015, Hand woven tapestry, hand dyed wool on a cotton warp, 182.9 x 121.9 cm

Is there a better reflection of a culture than the creatives living in it? From painters to photographers to poets, the voice of our moment is often told most aptly and timelessly through what they create. The same goes for Erin M. Riley. She has taken a look at both her own and the collective conscious of the individuals of today and laid what she sees for all to witness. 

She creates tapestries depicting occasionally controversial subject matter involving porn, guns and drugs. Her work has been featured in magazines and shown at numerous galleries both in her home country of the US as well as internationally.

Having just recently come across Erin’s work, I was full of questions- hard, silly and serious. I reached out to her in the end of 2015. This is the conversation that followed.

Phil America

Let’s start from the beginning. How did you first learn to start weaving?

I found weaving in college. I was interested in sewing and painting, and the fibers major was something that sat perfectly between those two. I could learn construction alongside fine art sensibilities. Weaving was a process I had no knowledge of and I connected instantly with it.

From there how did you progress into having a specific style?

I learned “tapestry” early on and was weaving abstract pieces while also making lots of paper collage work out of found and family photographs that used the silhouette a lot. These eventually led me to combining the two, making simple drawings that I translated into tapestry using a very limited color palette. This progressed and eventually I was using found and photographs I was taking for the work.

Marshall McLuhan famously said, “the medium is the message.” How does the medium you choose to work with inform the subtext of the image?

Weaving is just another way to arrange color on a 2 dimensional surface. I am an image maker. Think of me as a painter who uses yarn.

Erin M Riley - Alone Alone, 48 x 37 inch, 2014

Erin M. RileyAlone Alone, 2014, Hand woven tapestry, hand dyed wool on a cotton warp, 121.9 x 94 cm

Erin M Riley - Loot 5, 42 x 26 inch, 2012

Erin M. RileyLoot 5, 2012, Hand woven tapestry, hand dyed wool on a cotton warp, 106.7 x 66 cm

I know you told me before but how long does each piece take you, roughly, and do you ever get halfway done with a piece and scrap it?

I have only stopped two pieces, one because I had to move my loom and another because it was to small to get the detail I wanted. My work takes from a week to a month to weave, I work 12-14 hour days, every day and I also mix and dye my colors, plus all other prep.

I am really fascinated by how much work goes into each one. A lot of other artists do similar work to yours by designing it digitally. Can you explain
the process of creating one of your works?

There is either digitally woven work or work that is hired out. I work from images so I collect or take photos for an upcoming piece, blow it up to scale and start a line drawing that will be pinned behind the warp on the loom. I collect and prepare colors for the pieces and get everything ready to start weaving, after that its just a slow and steady process of weaving the image from the bottom up. Historically tapestry is woven side to side but I weave bottom to top.

Why do you choose using images of guns and porn rather than flowers or other imagery traditionally seen in tapestry?

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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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