I've been up to date with Ai Weiwei's career since the time of his arrest years ago and have also been following him in Instagram. The only artist of his calibre to harness the powers of social media, his ingenious selfies on Instagram and daily snapshots of the people around him - including pictures of his very own son - all seem jovial and humorous and do not reflect his current situation as a political dissident. Yes, he's been posting pictures of his bike with flowers as a protest against the travel restrictions imposed on him by his government, but his real political/social activism continues not through social media but through his art.
It is then a privilege for me to see his works at the Lisson gallery knowing that he is able to produce his art under these circumstances. And while it is easy to be mesmerised about the legend than his actual produce, this exhibition reminds me of Read More »
If John Lennon's song Imagine can be transformed into a visual language, it would be something like this Disarm exhibition at the Lisson gallery. I think Pedro Reyes' weapons-cum-musical instruments really tune into what is probably the closest thing I've ever seen visual arts do to call for peace. In Disarm, Pedro fashions destroyed weapons into mechanical musical instruments and transforms them into objects with a positive message. And it's not bad too that these instruments are also functional and can be played live or automated by a computer.
There's probably too much to take in here - in fact, I had to deal with a spectrum of emotions when I saw Disarm - as if I was listening to some affecting music. First, as sculptural pieces, they all look beautiful - they are a re-imagining of how musical instruments Read More »
If you ask people whether they like Anish Kapoor's The Orbit, the opinion will be divided into two. There are those who hate it and calls it an eyesore. For me, it took some time to form an opinion - I had to interact with it a few times when I visited the Olympic park and found out how I have appreciated it more each time.
The Orbit is colossal and it towers above you like a menacing figure. The architectural complexity of the piece alone should be given merit but I think part of the charm of The Orbit - and Anish Kapoor's large-scale art works - is that they invite you to Kapoor's world of illusion; you as a viewer have no choice but to react to the space/illusion he provides. Sometimes, it is not even a question of liking or hating his piece, it is a question of immersion - of being part of the whole ensemble.
As an art form, the rise of cheap digital cameras has put photography in a more questionable position than ever before. For one, taking photos nowadays do not necessarily require any creative skills whatsoever. I´ve taken hundreds of photos myself but none necessarily could be called art. How can photography then be considered art?It´s worth taking a look at Rashid Rana´s exhibit at the Lisson gallery (ending on April 30)to see how photography can be propelled to other dimensions. I was curious to find out about Rashid after reading a post by another blogger branding Rashid as a boring contemporary artist. Rashid is a Pakistani visual artist who uses pixelated constructions of photography, sculpture and installation to explore themes of cultural identity in South Asia as it struggles between tradition and modernity. Read More »