Archive: Art in Sydney
This shiny & giant metal Zeppelin invades museums

This shiny & giant metal Zeppelin invades museums

Lee Bul - Willing To Be Vulnerable, 2015–2016, installation view of Crashing” at Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, London, 2018, photo Linda Nylind
Lee Bul – Willing To Be Vulnerable, 2015–2016, Heavy-duty fabric, metalized film, transparent film, polyurethane ink, fog machine, LED lighting, electronic wiring, dimensions variable, installation view of Crashing at Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, London, 2018
Photo: Linda Nylind

Intro

Lee Bul’s installation that saw the transformation of the Southbank Centre’s Hayward Gallery took place in 2018 between May and August. Occupying the entire Hayward Gallery, this exhibition was the artist’s first ever solo show in London. In it, more than 118 other pieces created from the late 1980s to now were also showcased. However, it is the Zeppelin piece that had audiences completely enamored and fascinated during the show.

From the late 1980s to now, this pioneering Korean artist has been instrumental in generating a wide array of artworks, which draw on a mix of references. The Zeppelin, in particular, was designed to transport visitors in attendance to another place and time with the hope of exploring the aspirations of a contemporary society and the resulting failures within it.

About Willing to be Vulnerable

Bul’s work Willing To Be Vulnerable (2015-16) was represented by a massive foil Hindenburg Zeppelin. With this piece, the artist continued her investigation of utopian ideas and their effect on history and society. If you can recall your history, the Zeppelin was an airship that was pioneered and named after the then German Count known as Ferdinand von Zeppelin1.

At the start of the 20th century, these futuristic airships represented modernity and progress but their popularity came to an end after a Zeppelin carrying 96 passengers went up in flames2 while attempting to land. As such, Bul created the piece to draw attention to the different ways that technology can harm people even when the same technology is developed with the best of intentions.

As she did with the other 117 pieces, Bul took advantage of the distinctive design of the gallery and used it as a collaborator rather than just using it as a mere backdrop. The 17-meter-long Zeppelin structure was docked inside the upper galleries of the Haywards and was installed to hover above the gallery’s reflective floors.

Conclusion

Bul has been created thought-provoking artwork since the 1980s. Her work often revisits past experiences in her own life and in history with the hopes of imagining what the future would look like had the events not occurred. Born in South Korea during president Park Chung-hee’s3 dictatorship, Bul saw the rapid modernization that occurred in Korea during the 1960s and 1970s.

Often times, the projects that were undertaken during this period were often left half-finished and the individuals working on them often suffered as a result. As a consequence, her artwork is often strongly related to her upbringing and her childhood, which explains why her work is also so strongly linked to the modern.

“Crashing” exhibition at Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, London

Lee Bul - Willing To Be Vulnerable, 2015–2016, installation view of Crashing” at Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, London, 2018, photo Xinhua:Ray Tang
Lee Bul – Willing To Be Vulnerable, 2015–2016, Heavy-duty fabric, metalized film, transparent film, polyurethane ink, fog machine, LED lighting, electronic wiring, dimensions variable, installation view of Crashing at Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, London, 2018
Photo: Xinhua/Ray Tang

Lee Bul - Willing To Be Vulnerable, 2015–2016, installation view of Crashing” at Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, London, 2018
Lee Bul – Willing To Be Vulnerable, 2015–2016, Heavy-duty fabric, metalized film, transparent film, polyurethane ink, fog machine, LED lighting, electronic wiring, dimensions variable, installation view of Crashing at Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, London, 2018

Lee Bul - Willing To Be Vulnerable, 2015–2016, installation view of Crashing” at Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, London, 2018, photo Maxie Fischer
Lee Bul – Willing To Be Vulnerable, 2015–2016, Heavy-duty fabric, metalized film, transparent film, polyurethane ink, fog machine, LED lighting, electronic wiring, dimensions variable, installation view of Crashing at Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, London, 2018
Photo: Maxie Fischer

“Crash” exhibition the Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin

Lee Bul - Willing To Be Vulnerable, 2015–2016, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, 2018, photo alliance:dpa
Lee Bul – Willing To Be Vulnerable, 2015–2016, Heavy-duty fabric, metalized film, transparent film, polyurethane ink, fog machine, LED lighting, electronic wiring, dimensions variable, installation view of Crash at Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, 2018
Photo: Photo alliance/dpa

Lee Bul - Willing To Be Vulnerable, 2015–2016, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, 2018
Lee Bul – Willing To Be Vulnerable, 2015–2016, Heavy-duty fabric, metalized film, transparent film, polyurethane ink, fog machine, LED lighting, electronic wiring, dimensions variable, installation view of Crash at Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, 2018

The Zeppelin at the Biennale of Sydney

Lee Bul - Willing To Be Vulnerable, 2015–2016, Cockatoo Island, Sydney, Australia, photo Ben Symons:Biennale of Sydney)
Lee Bul – Willing To Be Vulnerable, 2015–2016, Heavy-duty fabric, metalized film, transparent film, polyurethane ink, fog machine, LED lighting, electronic wiring, dimensions variable, installation view on Cockatoo Island at 20th Biennale of Sydney, 2016
Photo: Ben Symons/Biennale of Sydney

Lee Bul - Willing To Be Vulnerable, 2015–2016, Cockatoo Island, Sydney, Australia
Lee Bul – Willing To Be Vulnerable, 2015–2016, Heavy-duty fabric, metalized film, transparent film, polyurethane ink, fog machine, LED lighting, electronic wiring, dimensions variable, installation view on Cockatoo Island at 20th Biennale of Sydney, 2016

Lee Bul - Willing To Be Vulnerable, 2015–2016, Cockatoo Island, Sydney, Australia, photo Algirdas Bakas
Lee Bul – Willing To Be Vulnerable, 2015–2016, Heavy-duty fabric, metalized film, transparent film, polyurethane ink, fog machine, LED lighting, electronic wiring, dimensions variable, installation view on Cockatoo Island at 20th Biennale of Sydney, 2016
Photo: Algirdas Bakas

Video of Willing To Be Vulnerable at the 20th Biennale of Sydney, 2016

Video interview with Lee Bul

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Zhang Huan used 20 tons of incense ash to create 5m statue

Zhang Huan used 20 tons of incense ash to create 5m statue

Zhang Huan - Sydney Buddha, 2015, aluminum, 5m height, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia

Zhang Huan - Sydney Buddha, 2015, aluminum, 5m height, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia 1
Zhang HuanSydney Buddha, left: Aluminium Buddha, 370x290x260cm, right: Ash Buddha, 350x480x290cm, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia, 2015

Zhang Huan’s Ash Buddha

Zhang Huan, born in 1965, started out his career as a painter and then moved to performance art and then resorted back to painting. He is also a sculptor and photographer, but his main focus is being a performance artist. Throughout his career, he has made extensive use of ash, and even built a few sculptures with it. Zhang says that he considers ash to be symbolic as it represents the hopes and the prayers of those who usually burn the incense. To him, the ash sculptures represent a collective blessing, memory, and soul of the Chinese people. The ash is collected from various temples in Shanghai, a time-consuming process that involves many hands.

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Pierre Huyghe fills world’s most famous opera house with 1000 real trees

Pierre Huyghe fills world’s most famous opera house with 1000 real trees

Pierre Huyghe, A Forest of Lines, 2008. Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House, 16th Biennale of Sydney
Pierre HuygheA Forest of Lines, 2008. Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House, 16th Biennale of Sydney

A Forest of Lines by Pierre Huyghe is a space that brings together the sacred and the profane. The space blurs boundaries, eliminating the separation between the audience and the art where they can become the performance as they explore the constructed forest in the theatre made of a thousand real trees, inside the concert hall at the Sydney Opera House. Thus turning one of the most urban places in the world into a wilderness, converting a space in a way, which seems exceptionally impossible and altogether remarkable.

Paths meander through the trees, mist brings a sense of mystic as you wonder the magical and listen to the story that brings the enchantment to life. This is a space of representation, in which an environment has been transplanted, and becomes a liminal place that is somewhere between nature and urban, a place that lays somewhere in between fiction and fact. Forests are often the sites of fairy tales and legends; they are places of amazement and sometimes fear.

There is something profoundly sensational about the opera, it is the epitome of culture, and furthermore, the Sydney Opera House is internationally known for its architecture and aesthetics. Thus by constructing a forest in a place that represents culture, humanism, and progress, the Cartesian dualism of nature versus culture is completely overridden.

This revolutionary piece demonstrates the mediation of binaries while taking the audience into a different world of the wilderness inside. The melody is written by Laura Marling especially for Pierre Huyghes’ performance, the lyrics literally indicate how to get outside the Opera House and go somewhere else. Visitors to this installation wandered through the glorious forest, and some even set up picnics in the installation, using the space as they would a park. This space was open for 24 hours, and within that short time, audience members were given the opportunity to explore a world that can be described as only a dream.

Pierre Huyghe, A Forest of Lines, 2008. Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House, 16th Biennale of Sydney
Pierre HuygheA Forest of Lines, 2008. Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House, 16th Biennale of Sydney

Pierre Huyghe, A Forest of Lines, 2008. Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House, 16th Biennale of Sydney - 3
Pierre HuygheA Forest of Lines, 2008. Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House, 16th Biennale of Sydney

Pierre Huyghe, A Forest of Lines, 2008. Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House, 16th Biennale of Sydney - 4
Pierre HuygheA Forest of Lines, 2008. Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House, 16th Biennale of Sydney

Pierre Huyghe, A Forest of Lines, 2008. Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House, 16th Biennale of Sydney
Pierre HuygheA Forest of Lines, 2008. Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House, 16th Biennale of Sydney


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Stonehenge has never been this much fun: Inflated & bouncy

Stonehenge has never been this much fun: Inflated & bouncy

Jeremy Deller - Sacrilege, in West Kowloon Cultural District Promenade, Hong Kong
Jeremy DellerSacrilege, in West Kowloon Cultural District Promenade, Hong Kong

About

Sacrilege is a life-sized, inflatable replica of Stonehenge, the British heritage and pagan site and popular tourist attraction. It is a bouncy castle, an interactive inflatable pillow that viewers may walk and jump on. It is an energetic, humorous work that Jeremy Deller describes as a way to get reacquainted with ancient Britain with your shoes off. It is a touring project visiting 33 sites across the UK and launched at the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art.

Photos

Jeremy Deller - Sacrilege, in Heartlands, Cornwall (UK)
Jeremy DellerSacrilege, in Heartlands, Cornwall (UK)

Jeremy Deller - Sacrilege, in Hong Kong, West Kowloon Cultural District Promenade
Jeremy DellerSacrilege, in West Kowloon Cultural District Promenade, Hong Kong

Jeremy Deller - Sacrilege, in West Kowloon Cultural District Promenade, Hong Kong
Jeremy DellerSacrilege, in West Kowloon Cultural District Promenade, Hong Kong

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Gigantic breathing lotus flowers by Korean artist

Gigantic breathing lotus flowers by Korean artist

Choi Jeong Hwa - Perth International Art Festival - Moving Flower, 2012
Choi Jeong Hwa – Moving Flower, Perth International Art Festival, Australia, 2012

Introduction

Sustainable art or art that is heavily centered on themes of nature is art that seeks to make human beings think deeply about the impact of their lifestyle choices on the environment. Korean artist and designer Choi Jeong Hwa has racked up a reputation in industry circles for his grandiose sculptural installations that comment on the privileged environment of art institutions while at the same time questioning the valued status of today’s artworks within a consumer frantic contemporary world.

Choi Jeong Hwa is mostly known for his large lotus blossoms. With motorized fabric leaves opening and closing, simulating the movement of a live lotus flower, his sculptures are often installed in public space and create a link between the modern world and one of the most important cosmological symbols in Asia.

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