The fact that this project has been conceived for and realised in Rockbund Art Museum is highly significant and symbolic. The museum itself, as a part of a large scale real estate development that automatically implies gentrification of the city and favours for the powerful ones, is a fruit of the efforts of a rising business and cultural elite to embrace a new-born social consciousness to share their achievements with the society itself using their economic, social and even political privilege.
Obviously, this also helps forming a new elite circle in the bourgeoning urban society. In the meantime, the establishment of the art community in both the political system and public opinions, including mainstream media and alternative, bottom-up social media, also opens up a new platform for the debates of the role, meaning and value of artistic and cultural productions in the society at large, which are far from reaching any consensus. It is in this highly controversial and challenging context that the project of Michael Lin and company appears to be provocative.
Not only it invites us to understand it as an exemplary experiment of collaboration in art and the importance of collective and trans-disciplinary intelligence in the making of truly contemporary art and a new typology of Total Art. It also proactively propose us look into the impacts of such a collaborative model in terms of the making of new cultural institutions through demonstrating the possibility of involving various social strata in the process, with an emphasis on the role of the grass-root and bottom-up forces.
At the same time, by putting forward the importance of the lower class and the interests of the general public in order to claim for equality between all social classes and individuals in front of creativity, what it aims to achieve is a subversion of the class order defined and defended by this system itself. It is here that, through a labour-intense endeavour, more questions and debates on the role of artistic production, cultural institution and the tension between artistic expression and public interests, between privatisation of urban space and the claims of public sphere, etc.
Since the founding of the Rockbund Art Museum in , the question of the institutions public role and influences in the city has been put in the centre of its curatorial agenda and has continuously been explored and debated. Institutional critique is now an integral part of making of the institution itself. A Model Home by definition is a utopian project to provide better efficiency and more comfortable conditions for life according to certain idealist rationales. The key here is that, in spite of the parasite position and status of the structures — they are built in the narrow lane next to the museum building as a kind of additional and quasi-illegal shelter, the designers try to provide the best conditions in terms of materials, spatial efficiency, light, air and equipment so the workers can enjoy the maximum comforts during their work in the museum.
What is even more interesting is that, after finishing the realisation of the project in the building, the Model Home, with the housewares used by the workers, is moved into the highest floor of the museum and becomes a potential public housing space within the museum itself. In the process of urban gentrification, a museum like Rockbund Art Museum can easily be seen as an accomplice of capitalist invasion of the city.
This suggests to open up a space of aesthetics and politics for the new social common while respecting the singularity and uniqueness of individuals and collective. With all the ambivalences, the museum can still be seen as a laboratory for constructing a contemporary public space, a site for experimentations of the realisation of the new common.
Here, there is a certain convergence of two opposing utopian ideas, or an encounter and even a clash of two distinct utopias. This is exactly what renders this project particularly dynamic and energetic, as well as relevant, in the context of Chinese urbanisation today where social division and conflict are becoming increasingly serious and violent.
It shows that, at least at an experimental level, there is a possible conciliation …. Drawings, plans and diagrams reflecting the research and design process of the project are presented here while videos documenting the process of the realisation of the project are projected in the space… Obviously, this is not only a technical addition to demonstrate further the conceptual dimension of the ambitious project. Therefore, the whole museum now is turned into a machine to generate utopian ideals for dwelling, working and sharing. Here, one can learn how to live with the each other, with those who have been too often mutually overlooked.
This has been continued by the museum team as a regular program of the museum. The aim of this show is to take away my authority and to bring in as many other people as possible…. A lot of things are being left open, not because of lack of time but because the material of the process is the subject. In this kind of space, science turns into poetics. Architecture becomes the framework in which this can occur. In , the Italian artist Alghiero e Boetti travelled to Afghanistan and set up an embroidery workshop at a hotel in Kabul. Working with local antiquities dealers, he gathered a group of craftswomen to produce a hand-embroidered map of the world.
This relationship, subverting divisions between artist and maker and giving concept, method and process equal significance in the final work of art, engaged Boetti until his death in and resulted in his best-known series, Mappa. At first, Boetti was meticulous in laying out each new map, selecting the color thread for each diagram and checking errors as work progressed over months or years.
But as the series continued, he became interested in the chance mistakes the anonymous, commonly illiterate Afghan women made, particularly in their choice of color for the ocean, whose nature they had never seen: the blue morphed into green, purple, and even pink. National flags changed, too, as new territorial divisions and political identities came into being in the wake of wars, revolutions and regime changes.
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According to Boetti, his embroidery works are not a form of collaboration in the contemporary sense. They also include the jarring differences between capitalist Europe and war-ravaged Central Asia of the late Cold War era. Ultimately, the meaning of Mappa resides in the very dislocation of meaning. This project operates as a workplace inhabited by disparate sets of co-workers.
By willfully ceding his artistic control through a range of partnerships, associations, and cooperative contracts, from urban theorists in Tokyo to migrant laborers in Shanghai. This term describes a recent phenomena that goes beyond Public Art and Relational Aesthetics popular in the s. It is an open workplace in real and online space, alive with errant discussions and unpredictable group dynamics, and committed to creative research on the state of our planet.
Succhi - Walker
It simulates the Internet model of blogs as infinitely variable social media networks, rather than defined containers, of content: Users can freely access, consume and forward content in any direction. The style of his peonies, iris, cosmos, and sprays of fringed pinks set against bright single color backgrounds are a hybrid of Chinese decorative-arts imagery, Japanese colonial culture which introduced the futon bedding cover and Taiwanese mixed desire for East Asian branding.
They are more like a medium than a thing. He covered the whole Palais de Tokyo lobby floor with pattern and pillows for the public to use , organized a wedding by lottery in a room he covered at Contemporary Art Gallery St. Louis , and created a huge spiral ramp for kids to run around at the Jardin Public at the Edinburgh International Festival While working within the institutional frame, he incited social activities normally outside that frame to happen.
Model Home takes a more radical turn. In the past, he used art students. This time, Lin would specifically chose strangers who are unskilled in painting and indifferent to his art. Architecture makes it possible for daily spatial practice to be properly situated in a much broader context. That which is usually solely the realm of social relationships is expanded to include nature and the whole cosmos, resulting in a liberation of the human imagination.
In his book, The Production of Space , Lefebvre argues that urban space is a social product, a construction of thought shaped by multiple, conflicting and ultimately political processes. His research shifts the understanding of space from what architectural form generates to what social processes generate, and sets up a dialectic between lived and ideational spaces.
The social production of urban space, characterized by everydayness, is for Lefebrve the process by which capitalism itself is reproduced in society. For Bow-Wow, the concept of spatial practice, meaning space as reproduced in everyday life, allows them to map typologies of urban space that are entirely non-descript and self-generating. But they interpret Lefebvre through their own creative and remarkably Japanese lens. Where the French philosopher saw alienation, Bow-Wow sees compassion, humility, generosity and the animation of inanimate things.
For Tsukamoto and Kaijima, there is no difference between form and phenomena, between architect, city planner and user. Critic Meruro Washida observes:. When this occurs, designers and users alike are used by these spaces, and in the process, the distinction between designers and users is eliminated. Atelier Bow-Wow has a long history of collaborating with artists and curators and intervening in exhibitions.
The Rockbund Art Museum project held particular appeal because they could finally realize work in China, whose rapid urbanization fascinates them. Charged with designing sheds for the twelve workers who would live onsite for three to four weeks while they paint the third-floor gallery mural, Tsukamoto and Kaijima visited the dormitories of local construction companies and interviewed workers about their living spaces.
In keeping with their design philosophy, they wanted to create new kinds of spaces that could provoke new kinds of behavior. So, their sleeping units made of standard shipping containers each hold three rather the usual four beds, with each one facing away to allow for greater privacy.
Loggias invite the men to gather, smoke and play cards. They commissioned the young filmmaker Cheng Ran to make an art work about the Chinese workers living and working onsite, which would then be shown during the show. A hundred years after Bauhaus, in the thick of Shanghai, Lin finds himself at a new frontier of science beyond art. Nathan Elchert in behaviorology , p. Michael Lin is at home everywhere and nowhere. Does this not constitute a paradox?
The answer is yes, one can and one should. And so when Lin decides to give something, he gives all his time. The gift Derrida speaks of comes far closer to what Lin might have in mind. The gift, according to Derrida, is something utterly impossible. What is allowed, indeed desired, on the part of the viewer is receptivity. He takes and gives simultaneously. David Lapoujade, trans. This work can be consulted online at www. Kunsthalle Wien project space, Vienna, Kunsthalle. Counterfeit Money, trans. Peggy Kamuf.
Selected Writings, —, ed. Allan Soekl Minneapolis, , p. Adolf Opel,. So does the work occur during the wedding or does it exist beyond that event? Does it need to be activated or reactivated? His expansive wall painting for the ferry station, Beppu, The ferry station and the domestic interior coexist and are codependent. Vienna, Kunsthalle Wien. For a recent.
Thought Translation Series , ed. Adolf Opel, trans. Michael Mitchell Riverside [CA] , The risk is that his work will be overlooked by the art community. As Guy Debord and others have long argued, ours is now a society of spectacle. When the world is in crisis, does this kind of spectacle matter?
Cultural Affairs Bureau of Taipei Taipei, , p. What is a pattern? Working from this raw material constitutes a sort of provocation. This first claim is then followed by a second. ML: I started to use these prints when I was in Taiwan because I discovered that it was a very good way to communicate or open up a way of communication with my audience. They felt at ease to enter the work. It was something that they were all familiar with. That was the beginning of how I started to work with these floral patterns. JS: You were putting the work in its own environment.
It was a way to question the work toward its environment.
ML: Yes, it was a way for me to think about my relationship to the environment. Prior to making this work I had been at school in Los Angeles. In Los Angeles I made work that reflected that environment. I concerned myself with the surface and finish of paintings, a kind of car painting. It had a lot to do with the environment of the school that I was in at the time. The school that I studied at is very well known for industrial design, especially car design. I had all the facilities that allowed me to work with such industrial materials.
Cars are so much part of the culture in California. It became very clear when I came back to Taiwan, that this kind of language that I was using was from somewhere else, or it was more difficult for the audience to engage in. You go from one extreme to the other. ML: Yes, it was extreme, but you can understand that what I saw in those monochromes was coming from the car culture, there is a history of this discussion in California. The culture of low-riders and hot rods are important when one is trying to understand art being made in California.
The monochrome paintings I was making with industrial paint were products of my environment that facilitated my engagement with Los Angeles. In Taiwan, in the same way, I was trying to find a medium or a language to work in that would be able to communicate to the people. A vernacular. JS: But from the car in Los Angeles, to the flower in Taiwan, you went from the outside of the street to the inside of the house.
But what I want to use as a description of it, is this idea of folk culture. That was the kind of relationship I was trying to make. JS: But the home is a very important thing for you, since when you work in an institution or in a gallery, you have been famous for painting the floors and walls, transforming the place into a stage where the viewer becomes part of your work, and not just the formal, traditional painting. ML: One of the important motivations behind this was the gallery that I worked at in Taipei called I. I worked there for two years. It was a gallery that was open from 12 noon to 12 midnight.
There was a bar in it, and I was the bartender. That environment had a lot to do with how I thought about my work and how I thought about art in general. During that period an exhibition space was a place that I sat around with people drinking in. We looked at art and talked about art in a very casual and indirect way, but also talked about everything else.
It gave me a chance not only to look at art but to look at people looking at art. It became clear how important the audience and the way they interacted with art was. I became aware of the exhibition as a form similar to a ritual, with very clear codes. I proceeded to questions those codes and attempted to transform and recreate them.
It was this environment that pushed my work into this direction. JS: So you are doing more than a wall or a floor painting. For me you are developing an environment. An environment in which we are on another dimension. ML: I create spaces. In the beginning, I consciously chose spaces outside of the exhibition space in the museum; for example, the entrance area for the Taipei Biennial, the bar area or the restaurant area of the Palais de Tokyo, areas that were not traditionally used for exhibiting artworks.
The audience encounters my work in non-art spaces that are less intimidating, allowing them to be more at ease. This kind of inclusive space helps create an opening, an area where one is not restricted to certain kinds of behavior and codes unlike the exhibition space where one is to speak quietly, look with intent, and ponder gravely the importance of art. I am interested in instigating a different attitude towards how we interact with art.
ML: The work is an inviting backdrop or a stage on which the performance can take place. The performers are the audience that enters into the space. It is a theater of the everyday. As soon as the audience walks in the performance begins. JS: Is the performance inside the motif which has been in most of your work until now, a blow-up of this traditional Taiwanese flower, blown up in a kind of conceptual or post-Pop painting? ML: What is important with the color and the floral prints is that it breaks with the white cube, it references the domestic, and is therefore more welcoming.
Due to the large scale of the prints it is able to transform an industrial space into a very sensual space, a fantasy space. It immediately opens the space up to allow for a more open, free, and perhaps even bad behavior. JS: You told me that you were less interested in this floral motif in an iconographic or symbolic way, and it was more important for you that people relate to it in a familiar, sensual way.
ML: Yes, it is not so important for me what the flowers mean symbolically. Things that we either are sleeping with, or that we wear on our bodies. So their relationship to us is very much tactile and of the senses. ML: I find them everywhere, in all the textile markets. They are everywhere, in every culture you have them. So in all traditional cultures we have this. JS: So in other words it has nothing to do with the American formalism from the Sixties or early Seventies. I am against a hegemonic modernist view. I am interested in the vernacular and see it as a resistance.
ML: My references were very direct, things that were happening in my environment politically and socially. Do you mean contemporary art references? ML: Early on in my development my references and motivations came from the Taiwanese new wave cinema. I learned about Taiwanese culture through the cinema, and that really affected the way I came to think about my work and my relation to cultural identity and history.
JS: And you told me as well that this reference to Taiwanese cinema was parallel with your own struggle and the contradiction between your education and your genealogy. At the time Taiwanese cinema was searching for an identity and its own language. I think very much in the same way that the French New Wave in the Sixties was trying to create a new language of cinema. In the same way that this new language of cinema was created in the context of that time, I was also searching for my own language and voice to communicate with what was happening at that time in art and in Taiwan.
I was thinking also about Franz West, who was quite important for me as an artist, who created provocative relationships with the audience, acting on and manipulating sculptural objects. Pop in the sense that I borrow from popular culture, that I work with everyday objects and things from everyday life. Pop in the sense of popular.
JS: Recently you started to make painting to hang on the walls where the motif is smaller than the field, so a little motif in the middle or on the side. Somehow for me it looks a little bit like Monet, or Jackson Pollock with the idea of all-over, and just a fragment of the gigantic thing on the side. I think a good example was the painting that I made for the contemporary art museum in Tokyo last year, where 90 per cent of the room was the drawing on the wall that connects to the 10 percent that was the painting surface. I am thinking about how a painting becomes a space, the relationship of how a drawing becomes a painting, or which one comes first.
I feel a lot freer now, coming back after years of not making works portable. I come back to painting with more ease, energy and less inhibition to explore the possibilities. Why China? ML: The decisions that brought me to all these places have been a complex and uncertain weave of personal and professional motivations.
It was never a specific choice in saying, yes, I want to go there; there are these different kinds of impulses in my life that bring me to these new places. JS: We see this in your work. For example, recently you have used cartoon-like figures entering into your world of flowers…. Maybe by seeing this new show, it would broaden the way you thought about the work before.
You still surprise me a lot! JS: How about the question of the making of the painting itself. You use a very interesting process where you make a small drawing, and then you expand it on a large scale, with a lot of assistants working on it. Your process spans the traditional and the contemporary. What do you think about that? ML: The actual process of the painting is quite straightforward. I find it quite interesting how a lot of people still want me to pose in front of my paintings with a brush, most of the work that I do is much like a readymade. The product at the end is painting, paint on a surface, but the actual relationship to my work, the physical relationship that I have to it, is not a very important point.
All the textiles, patterns and colors that you see are all appropriated. I take them directly from the textile. I choose the textile, and how it is cropped and placed. But as far as the composition and the colors, they are coming directly from the textile. The paints we use are all coming directly from the paint store. The same as what you buy to paint your house. Therefore there is always a large team of people working with me or for me. I see myself sometimes as the architect who draws out the plan, and then it is produced, contracted out to a team.
JS: Have you ever thought about making architecture yourself? Because from the beginning you have had this real sense of space. Have you ever thought of building something completely? A real building, or some other architecture? With my position and my work, I always work with someone else in a collaborative relationship, or a complementary relationship.
It is always co-existing with something else. Artist Michael Lin, inspired by the film Chungking Express directed by Wong Kar-wai who also featured this song in the film, has decided to title this exhibition after just such a love song. Chungking Express is a tour de force that speaks of the complexity of a post-colonial subject. Composed of seemingly disparate narratives that capture vignettes of everyday lives in Hong Kong, its central message is to express our fate as a colonial era draws near.
Wong captures the trauma of restless characters that are eager to travel elsewhere, yet without knowing the real reason for doing so either. The protagonists are all lost souls desperately seeking someone to share their pain. Time is not on their side. But one thing is certain. Their identification has everything to do with their relationship with a place; this is the only thing they can hold onto as the loss of memory gradually sets in. To speak about Shanghai is like talking about a film that is still rolling, it is somewhere between imagination and reality, a pure spectacle that thrives on itself in order to fill its own sense of void.
The coexistence of what is vernacular, utopic; dystopic of this city provides us with a contradictory backdrop. After the initial delight of discovery, Shanghai manifests a perpetual amnesia which continues until an instance where you are completely neutralized, taking it all in whether you like it or not. Where is the vernacular? Is it still possible to preserve a spatial and temporal history, something lived and living? Question: What a difference a day made here, I have two answers: it can be of no difference and all the difference in the world.
It depends on you. Hence, you have to go through this experience by yourself. Born in Tokyo in and subsequently attending the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California for a graduate study in Fine Arts, Lin was granted a solo exhibition as early as at the IT Park, a reputable non profit artist run space in Taipei. Known for his large-scale architectural interventions by way of ornament, Lin challenges the parameters that defined the genres of painting, architecture, design and installation. As Lin says that his art always carries an ambivalence, the artist states: Art is merely a breath, to say it is useless is something useful, to be at a lack of a breath is alright, but without it we cannot live anymore.
We have already gone through a profound history of art, I always dream of reinserting something new to old things, that we may still yet have another breathe. Having subsequently based himself in Paris for a number of years since , it is almost by chance that Lin finds himself in Shanghai after a prolonged stay abroad. In many ways, Shanghai offers a fresh start for Lin to observe his surroundings anew. What are the politics of place for Lin as he travels and shows at different cities?
What are the real relationships between an artist and a place? Rather than celebrating our newly acquired ability to transgress different localities and cultures, Kwon suggests that we must arrive at a concrete methodology for critiquing trans-locality and its ideology. What is the very nature of this city? Living directly opposite from a daily product store in Shanghai, Lin has taken a long-term interest with the way in which normal objects in a local store are organized. The store is in itself a time capsule that captures a trace of history specific to the people living in his neighborhood.
In acquiring all the goods from a daily products store as the base material for this project, Lin records the whole process meticulously from the initial negotiation between the purchaser and the storeowner to the actual layout of the store, from cataloguing individual objects to the final placement of these objects into wooden crates, every step of this project is recorded with photographs. What a Difference a Day Made is an installation that incorporates music, video and performance. It is a hybrid setting that investigates notions of time, memory, speed, recollection, and nostalgia.
Lin claims that the project needs not be made specific to the site. The interior of the original store is replicated. The initial passage of navigating through a compact space overloaded with objects to an expansive and almost empty gallery space offers a lapse. What was once vernacular is somewhat displaced; but the store doubles up as an architectural intervention which places the gallery space into question. Upon entering the gallery space, the audiences observe a number of video projections throughout the exhibition area that document a juggling act that took place inside the gallery atrium during the exhibition opening.
In knowing that acrobatics is a highly popular form of performance art in China which has a long tradition dating back to the Warring States period, Lin stages a clash of two diversely different art forms, contemporary art and traditional folk performance in one locale. Stripped of any link with a place or history, these objects are a part of the prop. In knowing that it is necessary to conform to the institutional setting of the gallery, Lin categorizes his inventory of objects according to different sizes, materials, colors and shapes.
The objects are then carefully stored in wooden crates, inviting us to admire their aesthetic and formal qualities and to remind us the role of a cultural institution is to protect the material culture for the sake of our collective memory. What all these elements in the exhibition amount to is a cancelling act, from a banal object in its original context to a displaced object shown in a gallery, a specimen being preserved in a wooden crate to an object being used as a tool for a performance.
Lin not only demonstrates the potential meanings of simple things around us, more importantly he has achieved equilibrium among different poles of interpretations. A coherent meaning emerges in a subtle manner that points squarely back to the audiences. To engage our surroundings is to become conscious of our own sense of movement, like a vessel traversing through different times and spaces. The difference is you. Your works are monumental and usually found on the floor or the surfaces of walls. Floral patterns inspired by Taiwanese textiles cover the surfaces of the room. The intense colouration — you use many shades of red — escapes from the surfaces because of its brilliance and creates an extraordinary atmosphere in the room.
What is the role of sensuality in your work? It is mostly used as the covers of the wedding night bed. Last week, while I was in Tokyo, I had a very interesting conversation with a young architect. She asked me if I ever considered moisture in relation to my works. She explained to me that, because my works are appropriations of textiles, for her they retain the qualities of textiles in terms of moisture. Unlike paper, which is dry and more rigid, textiles contain a certain amount of moisture that allows them to be soft and moldable to the body. You were born in Tokyo in , grew up in Taiwan and immigrated to the USA with your parents in You have lived in Los Angeles and Paris and after finishing your studies, decided in to return to Taiwan where you now live.
What role does the place where you live play? How much are you influenced by each of the different cultures? The move from Los Angeles back to Taiwan was the most important for me in regards to my practice. I moved back to Taiwan in , directly after I finished my studies in LA. Contemporary art or for that matter Modern art in Taiwan were seen as something imported, something which did not develop out of its own tradition.
There was, at the time, in the arts and the general society, a conscious struggle to search out and define a vocabulary base on its own cultural parameters. Of course this condition was a result of the political predicament that is specific to Taiwan since The precarious and uncertain state of political and cultural identity due to its isolation from the international community, the United Nations, since , gave rise to an identity crisis that provoked a paradoxical retrospective search for a national identity.
I identified myself directly to this condition both due to my own past history and my position as an artist. On the other hand, as an artist, I was forced to go back to very fundamental questions in my practice that only came about because of this displaced distance. But what really challenged and provoked me was the very specific circumstance in Taiwan. I too, at the time, struggled to reconcile my practice with the context of my new environment.
At the time I was very influenced by the ideas of Elaine Scarry and how she spoke about culture in the body. Your ornamental patterns are infinitely expandable, there is no centre and no composition. A structure located between abstraction and figuration. In your case, a natural process of alienation and stylisation?
Simulacra that cause mood shifts? I am not sure what you mean by alienation and stylisation in regard to my work. My works create temporary places, not a painting surface but a pedestrian unremarkable place of respite. I use the term unremarkable for my work, even though they are most of the time monumental in scale, for they recede into the background at the tilt of the head. They are not focus points like a painting or a sculpture. How do you deal with art becoming functional and applied art?
I am not interested in making divisions between fine art and applied art. Art has always been functional. Even if it is a painting on a wall, it is either functioning as contemplative provocation, a decorative object or as a trophy on a collectors wall. I think that some of the most important works of art are the ones that we live with and effect our daily lives such as architecture, furniture, and fashion, that can be said to even shape our bodies and minds.
You often work together with assistants or students. Even during the production of your works, art becomes a social event. Rirkrit Tiravanija also often tries to make places and situations where people meet possible, places where there is communality and communication. How close is your work to this artistic praxis? All my works are produced by groups of people that we recruit on site because the productions are very laborious. There is communality and communication but in toil. The work is not about my personal expression with paint but more about my proposition for a relationship to a place.
What is your relationship to them? For Untitled Cigarette Break I was thinking much more about the relationship of ornamentation to Modernism. For me the DC2 chair of Le Corbusier reflected perfectly the white cube of the gallery space I was showing in. The chairs became a scale model of the room. The paintings on the wall were scaled somewhere between the chairs and the room.
Smoke describing the breath. The chairs describing the room. The walls becoming a shirt for our body. Can you explain the technical aspects of your work? I have heard you refer to yourself as a painter; what do consider your position in painting to be? I refer to myself as a painter because I use paint. I am a house painter and perhaps we can say that that is my position in painting.
It was the first time that I painted directly on the architecture with the ornamental patterns that I found in my home. Sometimes your work appears to me to be film or stage decoration and the visitors are the potential protagonists. Am I mistaken? No, not at all, even for my first floor painting, I thought of it as a stage for something to take place on.
The works are places as opposed to spaces. Space is an abstraction while a place has a name, is in time, and necessitates physical experience. The avant-garde — and above all the neo-avant-garde — had the problem that if their claims for art were realised, namely the combination of art with life, art would then become superfluous and completely assimilated into life. How do your works look against the background of this debate?
This is only a problem if the premise is that art is separate from life. You also show outside the classical exhibition space. Thus art as such is less visible and more difficult to identify. With that, you step outside the pre-existing framework of art, the institution. How do you see the institutional critiques of Michael Asher and Daniel Buren? Buren and Asher critiques of institutions are exactly their limit. I am less interested in the formalized spaces in the institutions for presenting art. These spaces on the margins of the institutional space, the events and social interactions are much more important for me.
I am much more interested in the everyday, the general culture. It is in these places that art is not so clearly defined that questions of the function of art come to light. In these marginal places like Taiwan, outside of the clear parameters of art as it is defined in the European and American traditions, that these traditions are exposed and become more susceptible to be redefined.
In your exhibition project for the Kunsthalle Vienna project space you will be making transparent film to be affixed to the inside of the windows. Most of the windows will be covered with a green floral pattern, the rest will show lilac, strictly geometrical, interlocked circles. You designed the work specially with the effect it will have in the evening when it is dark and the room brightly lit. Then the pavilion will take on an almost psychedelic mood reminiscent of Flower Power in the Seventies.
Are you playing with these associations and the lightness and hedonism of a lifestyle like that? I was thinking more of an oriental lamp. This cryptic glass pavilion transformed into a beautiful banal object. If someone would call you a decorator who, above all, designs beautiful rooms, what would you answer? The lattice windows with organic patterns or geometric patterns in traditional Chinese architecture were never seen as being in oppositions, quite the contrary, they are seen as being complementary.
The interior of the project space, the museum room, remains empty. A room which could be used or an empty space for the reception of the facade design? The gallery space becomes a receptacle for the play of light and color dictated by the passage of time and the sun moving across the sky. The glass curtain wall is made more physical and sensual.
The gaze is broken by the screen, like a blink, allowing the eyes to see again. Vision becomes more conscious and active. What was particularly appealing or challenging about the Kunsthalle Vienna building? How did you arrive at the artistic solution you are now showing? The KV building is very appropriate for me, one space, one building, a glass pavilion, a very strong symbol of domestic modernism, like the Philip Johnson House.
I was very much interested in working directly on the architecture, one work, one space, one building. What is the role of music in your work? Are you concerned with a synaesthetic experience or are you following another goal with your holistic approach in relation to constructing an atmosphere? I wanted to normalize the space with the furniture music from the restaurant. To some how fuse the two spaces with the music.
The restaurant as a social space, merging with the exhibition space. One modifying the other, but always returning to the emptiness of the institution. The most radical break in my work occurred between my first solo show in Taipei in and my second solo show in In the 94 I was making monochrome paintings on steel two years later I was moving my furniture into the gallery for my exhibition. Again it was this change of context from Southern California to Taipei that changed my concerns in my work.
A rose-colored carpet strewn with tendrils of red, yellow, violet, green, and white foliage unfurls beneath you, crawls up the walls, slithers through passage ways, butts against baseboards, arches, windows, and doors. This is excessive painting, painting that does not know its limits until it reaches them, is contained by them, and stops. This is painting that so vividly and insistently asserts its capacity to extend beyond its frame, and its habitual frames of reference, that it threatens to turn into something else.
Activated by these other presences, the floor paintings become the ground for myriad figures: a patch of contrasting cushions designed by the artist, clusters of people drinking and smoking, crushed cigarette butts and tossed candy wrappers, deflated exhibition visitors wondering what to see next, children running in circles.
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For as his painting descends from the wall to the ground and stands back up again, it disrupts and destabilizes the position of the beholder accustomed to approaching sculpture, video-monitors, performances, projections, canvases, and installations from a more or less upright, more or less centered, and a more or less sovereign position. From the upper galleries looking down, the painting is framed by the staircases that lead directly into it. It is reinforced as she tentatively sits down, and then stretches her body across the painted surface.
Now horizontal, the body may be at rest and vision may be thwarted, but it is at rest and it is thwarted in the space of painting and in the space of culture. Lin delineates these two spaces as hybrids: composed of heterogeneous elements translated from both Eastern and Western visual languages and traditions. Judging solely from current artistic and curatorial practice, the answer would seem to be yes. And they are meant to do so through their staging of conviviality. With Untitled Cigarette Break , he leaves the realm of metaphor and, with cheery irony, covers two sleek beige Corbusier chairs with floral slip-covers one can just imagine le Corbu turning over in his grave.
By positioning their backs to the identically patterned paintings hung on the walls, Lin makes the chairs available without imposing the condition of looking on the visitor. He invites the spectator to break with the rhythm established as she moves throughout the exhibition, and to communicate with whoever might be in the neighboring chair. The seated visitors then become part of the installation, altering its form with speech and gesture, interfacing with their surroundings. Here, the material form of social exchange is indexed as an extension of bodies in space, of corporeal movement, of the potential for pleasurable physical interaction.
Instead, it manipulates form and plays with pictorial conventions in such a way as to trace out and safeguard a place for the individual—differentiated by her or his corporeal, cultural, and linguistic specificity —within the collective. The permeable limits of the body are held in tension against the permeable limits of the artwork.
Neither can be translated into the other. London: Kala Press, , p. ARS 01 , exh. Visiting a large scale exhibition which claims to be globally encompassing and relevant — the ARS01 show at Kiasma is such an exhibition — can be an exciting experience. In the meantime, it can also be an exhausting physical and intellectual exercise. This affects deeply our everyday life as well as cultural concerns today. The Taipei based artist Michael Lin, far away from being an activist in the global-local negotiation, however, expresses his modest, discreet but unique voice in such a context to claim a space for free thoughts and actions.
This is a place for exhausted exhibition visitors to sit on or lay down to relax. People have views both outside to the city centre and inside to the entrance hall. He introduces an ignored element in the highly conceptualised contemporary art language, decoration, or textile motives, to be the main formal appearance of his work. It may recall the common strategy of Pop Art, but it definitively opposes itself to the heroic and macho show-off of Pop Art.
It is by no means that kind of tension that an exotic object may cause in contrast to Western norms of perception. It is equally a main focus for the art world. The identity anxiety, interestingly, has also become a driving force for cultural debates and development. Emigrated to the US as a child and returned to Taiwan recently, he has a more distant and critical view on the issue. Rather than making any straightforward and partisan claim for an identity, he puts the question on the most down-to-earth level and dissolves it into the current of the everyday: identity is never a permanent and stable block.
It is actually a constant changing construct.
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The movement of deconstruction, circulation and reconstruction is its real core. However, they are not so much distinguished from what you can see in mainland China and other neighbours. To figure out the meaning of such a usage of the motives, one should actually transcend the question of origin and enjoy the contemplative experience of the real itself.
The real unfolds itself in time and space; and it evolves in movement. They tasted perfectly delicious, like any good beer in the world…. Every painting and every poem has its edges; the question is where they are placed. While they meld, their scale and intensity almost dare people to overlook them, or at times, walk over them.
Widely known for his expansive installations of predominantly floral patterns, it could be easy to classify Lin as simply a decorative painter. Describing himself as a conceptual artist,  Lin synthesizes ideas from sagacious sources. He observes and absorbs a variety of information, an osmotic approach, possibly informed by the migrations of his childhood, from the countryside of central Taiwan, to school in Los Angeles.
His approach to art is very much influenced by American art history, from the artists he invokes in conversation, to the pop sensibility that he notes of his work. Returning to Taiwan in , Lin found a culture that was both familiar and distant, a country dealing with a history of colonial rule, martial law and moves toward democracy. The traditional cotton textiles he recalled from the countryside of his childhood, were now decorating his Taipei apartment.
He began painting the patterns from these fabrics as intimately-scaled still lives. A place of small and not-so-small, innovative, investing and award-winning firms, sometimes almost unknown abroad. Massimo Donda has a long-lasting family background in the shoemaking industry.
In cooperation with Andrea Guolo, journalist and expert of the sector, sixteen case histories of Italian leading firm of the shoemaking industry have benn collected. One specialized in comfort footwear: Melluso. Three sportswear companies: Fila, Diadora, Superga. Three volume production firms. Olip, Manas, De Fonseca. A fashionable brand: Fornari. The book provides an overview of the most significant issues in the shoe-making industry not only seen through sixteen success stories, but also into account the consumer viewpoint and, maybe a novelty within the existing literature on the subject, that of the show retail sector.