Archive: Germany
Thai artist fails miserably, or did he not?

Thai artist fails miserably, or did he not?

Sakarin Krue-on -  Terraced Rice Fields, Schloss Wilhelmshoehe, Kassel, Germany, documenta12
Sakarin Krue-OnTerraced Rice Fields, rice field, ca. 3600sqm, Schloss Wilhelmshoehe, Kassel, Germany, documenta12, 2007

In 2007 Thai artist Sakarin Krue-On attempted to transform the park in front of a castle in Kassel, Germany into a 3.600sqm terraced rice field. For this project Krue-On and his Thai team tried to dispense the use of machines as much as possible, while relying on traditional methods, using simple devices such as spades, forks and hooks.

The clash of cultures, impressively shown through the contrast of the Wilhelmshöhe Castle and the field, is a key element of this work: On the one hand the majestic piece of European architecture, symbolizing status and power, embodying Western provenance, and right beneath, Thai workers using ancient methods to cultivate rice fields. Terraced Rice Field can also be seen as a representation of growth and collaboration. Pulling off documenta 12’s biggest work, an art event which drew 754,000 paying visitors, required an immense amount of negotiation and communication, in which different working methods met in the planning process. This is another major component of the artwork: Collective cooperation in which traditional knowledge meets scientific expertise.

This site-specific project was the first time that wet rice open air terraces were cultivated in outside fields in Germany. Unfortunately, the majority of the terraces couldn’t hold the water; regardless of what amount got added, it kept trickling away, and the work on project ultimately got stopped due to security concerns. However, more importantly than successfully growing crops, Krue-On managed to bring together people from all walks to life, transcending barriers by working next to each other.

Kassel Schloss Wilhelmshoehe photo dontworry
Sakarin Krue-OnTerraced Rice Fields, rice field, ca. 3600sqm, Schloss Wilhelmshoehe, Kassel, Germany, documenta12, 2007

Sakarin Krue-on -  Terraced Rice Fields, Schloss Wilhelmshoehe, Kassel, Germany, documenta12
Sakarin Krue-OnTerraced Rice Fields, rice field, ca. 3600sqm, Schloss Wilhelmshoehe, Kassel, Germany, documenta12, 2007

Sakarin Krue-on -  Terraced Rice Fields, Schloss Wilhelmshoehe, Kassel, Germany, documenta12
Sakarin Krue-OnTerraced Rice Fields, rice field, ca. 3600sqm, Schloss Wilhelmshoehe, Kassel, Germany, documenta12, 2007

Sakarin Krue-on -  Terraced Rice Fields, Schloss Wilhelmshoehe, Kassel, Germany, documenta12

Sakarin Krue-on -  Terraced Rice Fields, Schloss Wilhelmshoehe, Kassel, Germany, documenta12
Sakarin Krue-OnTerraced Rice Fields, rice field, ca. 3600sqm, Schloss Wilhelmshoehe, Kassel, Germany, documenta12, 2007

Sakarin Krue-on -  Terraced Rice Fields, Schloss Wilhelmshoehe, Kassel, Germany, documenta12
Sakarin Krue-OnTerraced Rice Fields, rice field, ca. 3600sqm, Schloss Wilhelmshoehe, Kassel, Germany, documenta12, 2007

Sakarin Krue-on -  Terraced Rice Fields, Schloss Wilhelmshoehe, Kassel, Germany, documenta12
Sakarin Krue-OnTerraced Rice Fields, rice field, ca. 3600sqm, Schloss Wilhelmshoehe, Kassel, Germany, documenta12, 2007

Sakarin Krue-on - Terraced Rice Fields, Schloss Wilhelmshoehe, Kassel, Germany, documenta12 9
Sakarin Krue-On with photo of Terraced Rice Fields, rice field, ca. 3600sqm, Schloss Wilhelmshoehe, Kassel, Germany, documenta12, 2007


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Colorful artworks: Designed to be walked over

Colorful artworks: Designed to be walked over

Joan Miró - 1970, earthenware, 10x50m, Terminal B, El Prat Airport, Barcelona, Spain detail
Joan MiróWall of the Barcelona Airport (detail), 1970, earthenware, 10x50m, Terminal B, El Prat Airport, Barcelona, Spain

If you have ever been to Barcelona, you must have walked over one of Joan Miro’s mosaics. The artist began to publicly display his work in 1976 when he chose the centre of Barcelona’s Rambla to permanently incorporate his work into a pavement. This was in fulfilment of a pledge he had made in 1968 to create four pieces of art which he would donate to the city of Barcelona where he was born. The use of different colors in the mosaic brings out the vibrancy that is his style of art. All the artwork that is associated with Joan Miró speaks the language of simplicity; generous use of color and simple shapes. More than four decades after his first outdoor work of art, the works of Joan Miró located in various parts of the world are enjoying facelifts of massive proportions.

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Beautiful sculptures made entirely from soap

Beautiful sculptures made entirely from soap

Meekyoung Shin - Crouching Aphrodite, 2002
Meekyoung ShinCrouching Aphrodite, 2002

Meekyoung Shin, a South Korean sculptor, became popular for her Translation series, using soap as her medium of art. Trained in the tradition of European sculpture, her statuettes are made factoring in the Western and Eastern style of relief. Her works are usually made from palm oil, a vegetarian soap.

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Immaculate larger than life sculptures as sanctified haven

Immaculate larger than life sculptures as sanctified haven

Jaume Plensa - Paula, 2013, Bronze, 179 x 63 x 63 cm, Toledo Museum of Art, 2016, Photo The Blade:Andy Morrison

Jaume Plensa
Jaume Plensa

Jaume Plensa is arguably one of the top sculptors today. He is largely known for creating huge-sized ethereal sculptures, and has also worked with different other types of contemporary art media, including from acoustic installations to video projections.

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Complete castle covered with photorealistic print

Complete castle covered with photorealistic print

Bettina Pousttchi - The City, 2014
Bettina Pousttchi – The City, 2014, photo installation, facade of Wolfsburg Castle, photo by Norbert Miguletz

Bettina Pousttchi is a German-Iranian artist, living and working in Berlin. She works equally in the field of media, photography, video and sculpture, often involving architecture in urban and historical contexts. Her exhibition at the Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg is a site-specific photo installation called “The City”: an artwork covering the façade of the city’s castle. This work is a reference to the history of the 20th century planned city Wolfsburg.

Working on architecture about architecture allows for an artistic practice between architecture, sculpture, and photography. It is a different way to materialize a photographic file and to bring back the digital to the physical world.

Castle of Wolfsburg
The northern wing of the castle before the renovation (photo by Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg)

Bettina Pousttchi - The City, 2014
Bettina Pousttchi – The City, 2014, photo installation, facade of Wolfsburg Castle, photo by Norbert Miguletz

Bettina Pousttchi - The City, 2014
Bettina Pousttchi – The City, 2014, photo installation, facade of Wolfsburg Castle, photo by Norbert Miguletz

Bettina Pousttchi - The City, 2014
Bettina Pousttchi – The City, 2014, photo installation, facade of Wolfsburg Castle, photo by Norbert Miguletz

Bettina Pousttchi - The City, 2014
Bettina Pousttchi – The City, 2014, photo installation, facade of Wolfsburg Castle, photo by Norbert Miguletz


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Lida Abdul seducing her audience with a defiant flag in the water

Lida Abdul seducing her audience with a defiant flag in the water

Lida Abdul - What we have overlooked

Lida Abdul - What we have overlooked
Lida Abdul, still from What We Have Overlooked, 2011, 16mm film, 3.44 min, 2 channel video installation

Lida Abdul’s two-channel work entitled What we have overlooked (2011) was first presented at dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel. She is an Afghan video and performance artist born in 1973 in Kabul. Forced to flee Afghanistan following the Russian invasion and the war that followed, Abdul lived as a refugee in Germany and India before settling in the US.

The video, filmed by a bright blue lake near Kabul, shows a man slipping underwater holding a black flag. She alternates between close-up and distant views, following the actions of the man to whom the subtitles give a voice, until he finally vanishes under the surface. It is at the same time elegant, ethereal, beautiful, and strongly defiant.

Lida Abdul examines the relationship between individual and nation, represented by the flag, its abstract symbol.
Yes, there’s politics involved, because I work in a place that’s been so political for the past 25 years, she says. Yes, it is about Afghanistan; yes, [my work] deals with politics, but it also deals with form. I’m really interested in beautiful images. I would like to seduce the audience with images.

Lida Abdul - What we have overlooked
Lida Abdul, still from What We Have Overlooked, 2011, 16mm film, 3.44 min, 2 channel video installation

Lida Abdul - What we have overlooked
Lida Abdul, still from What We Have Overlooked, 2011, 16mm film, 3.44 min, 2 channel video installation

Lida Abdul - What we have overlooked
Lida Abdul, still from What We Have Overlooked, 2011, 16mm film, 3.44 min, 2 channel video installation, installation view, photo by Paolo Pellion

Lida Abdul - What we have overlooked
Lida Abdul, still from What We Have Overlooked, 2011, 16mm film, 3.44 min, 2 channel video installation, installation view, photo by Paolo Pellion

Lida Abdul - What we have overlooked
Lida Abdul, still from What We Have Overlooked, 2011, 16mm film, 3.44 min, 2 channel video installation, installation view, photo by Paolo Pellion


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What is Ai Weiwei doing with 9000 children’s backpacks?

What is Ai Weiwei doing with 9000 children’s backpacks?

Ai Weiwei - Remembering, 2009
Ai WeiweiRemembering, 2009, 100x1000cm, Haus der Kunst, München (Germany)

ABOUT REMEBERING

In 2009, Ai Weiwei created a large 10x100m installation, made out of 9000 children’s backpacks. Displayed on the facade of the Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany, each backpack represents a life lost in the earthquake that took place in the Chinese province of Sichuan in 2008.

Ai used five different colors that make up the sentence For seven years she lived happily on this earth in Chinese lettering, a sentence with which a mother of one of the earthquake victims commemorated her daughter. The bright, vibrant colors, such as blue, red, yellow and green reflect the psyche of a child, their joy and innocence. In addition, the colors have been used for the Toys R Us logo.

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