Zhang Huan – 12 Square Meters, 1994, single channel video, 3min 2sec, documentation of a 40-minute performance
Zhang Huan is no stranger to controversy. Having attended school at a time when China was undergoing a dramatic time in its history, Zhang learned a lot from the years of protests and demonstrations that would be staged in front of the Tiananmen Square in Beijing. As an avid fan of Avant-garde art, Zhang did not really have adequate resources at his disposal that would allow him to execute his artistic vision. As such, and not surprisingly, Zhang decided to change the way he expressed himself by adopting a more provocative and transgressive form of performance art, which was later photographed and documented.
Qiu Zhijie – Tattoo 2, 1994
Qiu Zhijie is well known for his capacity to add provoking new meanings to traditional Chinese calligraphy. In many of his works, Qiu incorporates calligraphy into modern media as a way of fusing important elements from his culture into his art. His Tattoo series that was released in 1994 explores the state of one’s independence and invisibility.
Sea Hyun Lee – Between Red_101, 2010, oil on linen, 300x300cm
South Korea’s traditional illustrative and art history is immovable; however, cultural and artistic experimentation will always be relentless. Sea Hyun Lee demonstrates his understanding of just how true the above statement is through his art. He manages to join the two forces of past and present together to create Between the Red.
Andreas Gursky – Kuwait Stock Exchange II, 2007
Photo: Andreas Gursky/VG Bild-Kunst, Courtesy Sprüth Magers, Berlin London
Andreas Gursky is a German photographer and professor. He is most well known for large format architecture and landscape color photos, and following the 1990’s; Gursky has been using technology and computers for editing and enhancing his photos.
Gursky is known for using an elevated vantage point as his main perspective. This allows the audience to view the scenes from a place that is both peripheral and central. Using each subject to create an unconventional geometry, he organizes the world fitting in with his personal visual logic. He began his portrayals of stock exchanges in 1990 and has continued this project throughout his career.
Alan Delorme – Totem #4
French artist Alan Delorme’s Totem series features images of towering stacks of objects that appear to teeter perilously like totem poles. His project name is ambiguous because it almost indicates that the project is about the dazzling heights of the Shanghai skyscrapers. owever, the entire project focuses on migrants attempting and struggling to ferry their towering wares and cargo across various parts of the megacity.
The migrants in the pictures that often go unnoticed by many are seen to transport unbelievable piles of goods on their bikes. Delorme utilized the precarious products that consist of cardboards, chairs, bales of clothes, and tires just to mention a few, to represent the new totems of society.
Cao Fei – Same Old, Brand New (rendering), 2015, sound and large-scale led screens, 5min, size variable, Sound by Artist Dickson Dee, International Commerce Centre, Hong Kong, China
Same Old, Brand New is the labor of love of Chinese multimedia artist Cao Fei. It was a massive video installation that featured a multitude of different symbols, moving pictures and images as well as logos from well-liked video games such as Pac-Man and Tetris. At the time of the show, the images and symbols that were displayed had become integral elements of culture among the youth not only in Hong Kong but in other parts of the world as well.
Tracey Emin – Trust Yourself, Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, Miami, USA, 2014
Neon lights are commonly used to make attractive business signs and are mostly preferred for outdoor use especially at night. The colorful array of neon light options makes it a creative marketing tool since lights are used to illuminate an underlying text message or image. There is no limit to what medium an artist can use to express themselves and for Tracey Emin (b.1963), it has been over 26 years of using neon consistently as a creative medium. The process of creating an art piece for her often begins with coming up with a message, usually a thought or a feeling. This is then followed by bending light tubes to assume the curves and profile of what has been written. Many artists have used neon lights as a medium since the 1960s but while many preferred to use molded letters and neutral writing, Tracey Emin stands out because she has chosen to use her own handwriting. Art critics will admit that using one’s own handwriting is rather daring but also a way to stamp personality and individuality in all pieces created.