As boundaries seem more permeable in an increasingly globalized world, what is the nature of a place? What does it mean to produce site-specific art in this contemporary context? Perhaps the question of place no longer concerns simply the coincidence of the “here and now” but rather a nuanced consideration of the “here and there?” When “place” is increasingly losing its normative ground, “displacement” seems to become the new norm. The artists in the exhibition use various material media and artistic processes to explore a place “here”-Beijing-from a specific “over there”-New York. The works provoke reflection on “place” defined in multiple ways-materially as location, environs and circumstance, also conceptually as situation, condition and position.
A place can be an area with definite or indefinite boundaries. A particular spot or portion of space occupied or belonging to a person or location, and yet it may be a conceptual place (“a place in one’s heart”), a relative standing (“to find one’s place”), or even a particular situation or circumstance (“put yourself in my place”) both physical and mental. From your birthplace to the place where you live, one can try to “put everything in its place” but place can still exist as a blank space to be filled.
How do we locate “place?” Here, this place. There, that place. Yet, a place is relative to where the speaker is. It is in fact difficult to locate the artists in this exhibition – as Chinese, Chinese-American, American, living in Beijing and/or New York while working in Beijing and/or New York, or working “on location” which involves a workplace away from studio, elsewhere. While the artists may elude, all the works in the exhibition were produced for a specific location, the Yuan Art Museum. Perhaps journeying through the “location” and “dislocation” of these works, the viewers can find their own place.
In Alois Kronschlaeger’s piece, constructed at the Yuan Art Museum in collaboration with American students, a point in space becomes infinitely divisible, multiple and mobile, as each movement induces new perceptual experience. Lin Yan’s “Sky” reflects on air quality by using ink，Xuan paper and light to track the condition of our environment, yet float across boundaries, materializing the ephemeral.
Michelle Fornabai’s “Tilt: Digging to China,” a “concrete poem” cast with local materials on location at Studio X Beijing, constructs conceptual holes between Beijing and Brazil which allow the viewer to occupy imaginary landscapes. In Wei Jia’s work, paper and traditional Chinese ink painting materials are transformed into conceptual ideograms experienced both physically and in the mind of the viewer.
Yelin Qiu, independent curator and art critic based in New York, graduated from Yale University with Film Studies and Political Science double-major. He helped organize Sotheby’s New York’s first exhibition on contemporary Chinese ink paintings. He also writes for various art magazines in New York.
Michelle Fornabai received her Masters of Architecture from Princeton University. Her work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria, Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York, the Contemporary Art Center in New Orleans, and recently in Beijing, China at Studio-X Beijing. Her work has been reviewed in The New York Times and Frieze Magazine. She currently teaches at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University, having taught previously at RISD, UCLA, and Tulane University. She has lectured at the Whitney Museum, the ICA in Philadelphia, the San Francisco Art Institute, the Fashion Institute of Technology and for the Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation. Her practice, ambo.infra design, was established in 2001. Her recent work on ink, Rorschach Paintings, Projective Drawings, and Concrete Poetry: 10 Conceptual Acts of Architecture in Concrete, explores pattern perception and its relation to figuration and abstract order.
Wei Jia graduated with a B.F.A from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, and continued his studies in the United States at Bloomsburg University. Currently he works and lives between New York and Beijing where he teaches at the Central Academy of Fine Arts. Wei has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in the United States and China, including Schmidt/Dean Gallery in Philadelphia, Cheryl McGinnis Gallery in New York, Amy Simon Fine Art in Connecticut and the National Art Museum of China in Beijing. His works are in many private collections in US and the collections of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and the Utah Museum among others.
Alois Kronschlaeger‘s work exists at the intersection of art, architecture, fashion and design. Kronschlaeger is best known for his site-specific installations and sculptures, which demonstrate a preoccupation with environment and light, as well as an interest in exploring time and space via geometry. Within the past two years, Kronschlaeger’s work has grown in scale from encompassing the entire horizontal plane of the Cristin Tierney Gallery in New York to encompassing the vertical axis of a 4-story abandoned building in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Most recently, he completed Habitat, a 27-part architectural intervention within the deserted habitat dioramas in the former Grand Rapids Public Museum. In 2013, Kronschlaeger will exhibit in Mexico City, Beijing, and he will have his first major solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tucson, Arizona. Kronschlaeger is represented by Tierney Gardarin in New York.
Lin Yan is the third generation of artist in her family to go abroad to study. After she graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, studied at L’école National Supérieur des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Lin Yan came to the United Sates in 1986 and earned M.A from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. She has exhibited her work across the United States,China, and Germany, including a recent exhibitions at the Museum of the Chinese in America in New York, the National Art Museum of China, Shanghai MOCA in China and Dresden State Art Collections in Germany. Lin’s work have been reviewed and featured in the New York Times, Art News, Art in America, Art Asia Pacific, and Art and Architecture among others. Her works is included in the public collections at the National Art Museum of China, Chengdu Contemporary Art Museum and Deutsche Bank.
About the exhibition
Duration: Oct 24 – Nov 5, 2013
Venue: Yuan Art Museum
Opening: Oct 24, 2013 Thur 16:00
Add: No. 112, Lizexiyuan, North Guangshun Street, Wangjing, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Courtesy of the artists and Yuan Art Museum, for further information please visit www.yuanartmuseum.com.