A massive snake in real life? Absolutely frightening. A massive snake skeleton, aluminum and stainless steel structure on the other hand? Absolutely exciting and awe-inspiring. Such is the Chinese-French artist Huang Yong Ping’s amazing aluminum snake sculpture, an installation he dubbed, Ressort. Designed and installed in 2012 for the Queensland Art Gallery in Australia, this magnificent structure features a snake skeleton made of silver vertebrae, undulating in a sinuous manner from the ceiling to the floor. The beautifully extending sculpture spans 53 meters across the Watermall and was a great centerpiece for the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art #7.
About Huang Yong Ping
Huang Yong Ping was born in 1954 in Xiamen, China and is a contemporary artist who was part of the first students to be admitted to art academies after the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution1. Here, the artist developed a penchant for French postmodern theory, and along with the influence of Taoist and Zen Buddhist, he cofounded Xiamen Dada2, a well-known avant-garde group that mainly deals with construction materials in galleries as opposed to artworks. He lived in France where he shone the limelight on his art and as a result, while his artwork features Chinese mythological symbols such as the snake, it also sprinkles symbols and mythologies from the West; an approach that is evident in Ressort.
The meaning of ‘Ressort’
‘Ressort’, which is French for ‘spring’ is an apt name for this art piece as it also means energy. Huang’s use of the snake is evident in most of his work as the snake represents a central symbol of Chinese mythology3, and this specific pose that the skeleton took on as if uncoiling from the ceiling to the ground represents controlled energy and resilience. The snake in ancient Chinese myths is also a representation of knowledge and wisdom. In other Western cultures, it may be taken to represent fear, deception, desire and creation, even as evidenced in the Bible story of the Garden of Eden.
Reconstructed studio of Alberto Giacometti on 23m2 including more than 70 original artworks at Institut Giacometti, Paris
Photo: Public Delivery
About the Institut Giacometti, Paris
Swiss sculptor and painter Alberto Giacometti has a new exhibition space in Paris. Hosted in an Art Nouveau villa, this museum shows a reconstruction of his legendary studio, including furniture and walls on which he left numerous sketches. The new space is located in the former artists’ district of Montparnasse, just a few blocks from the original Parisian studio, where Giacometti worked from 1926 until his death in 1966.
Some of the artworks are very fragile and have never been shown in public. This project is initiated by the Fondation Giacometti, which owns the largest Giacometti collection worldwide.
Peter Kogler – Dimensions, 2011
Peter Kogler’s Rooms
Peter Kogler is a renowned artist from Austria that currently works and lives in Vienna. Kogler is best known for his different psychedelic room installations. Through his paintwork and his intricate projections, he transforms ordinary looking rooms and spaces such as lobbies, galleries, and transit centers by making them look twisted, warped or distorted, which in turn has a psychedelic effect for the public.
Kogler’s room installations explore vital concepts in his art such as modularity and repetition. The rooms alter one’s perception of architecture, which serves as the primary medium for his art. Aside from his dizzying rooms, Kogler is also an important performance, film and video artist as well as a sculptor.
‘Couple Under An Umbrella’, 2013 by Ron Mueck
At first glance, especially from a picture, it is easy to assume that the Couple under an Umbrella sculpture is a real-life image frozen in time. In a world marred by conflict and competition, everybody appreciates the display of affection by people. The couple in question is quite elderly and the artist must have chosen to use this age because of its ability to influence multiple generations. The sculpture tells the story of love at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris, France where it rests on a pavilion designed by Jean Nouvel.
Pedro Marzorati – Where the Tides Ebb and Flow, Montsouris Park, Paris
As you walk through Paris and especially in the Montsouris Park, one cannot help but notice the blue busts that appear to be rising from under the surface of the water. This art work is known as ‘Where the Tides Ebb and Flow’ created by Pedro Marzorati, an Argentinian artist. This is a commentary on how the water levels in the earth’s sea bodies continue to rise as a result of climate change. The level of submersion of the various sculptures is an indication of the level of impact that global warming is having in different parts of the world. The sequence in which the sculptures are arranged indicates that as time goes by, the human forms will be completely below the water. The use of blue for the sculptures is deliberate and so is the number of sculptures used. The work shows that poetic activism can be just as effective if not more powerful than verbal advocacy.
Yayoi Kusama – Pumpkin, 1994, Benesse Art Site, Naoshima, Japan
About Yayoi Kusama
Celebrating her 90th birthday in 2019, Yayoi Kusama is a leading Japanese artist and legend as far as art is concerned. While she deliberately makes unique pieces that can withstand the wear and tear of the outdoors, she is renowned for reproducing her art in monumental scale when need be. Her career spans over 6 decades and during this time her works have managed to enter the collection of museums such as the New York MoMA, LACMA, Tate Modern and others.
Joan Miró – Wall 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 center of Barcelona’s Rambla to permanently incorporate his work into a pavement. This was in fulfillment 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.