Taiwanese artist Leo Wang’s abstract paintings

From a distant, the colors in Leo Wang’s paintings interact, forming sceneries resembling the Milky Way, a cityscape, or a landscape. Looking at his works closely reveal thin swabs of colors which alternate between dark and light shades. Sometimes the artist throws in a sharp white vertical line across the canvas. The effect is subtle, but is meant to be appreciated from far away.

The show Stargazers runs from 5 Aug to 27 Aug at Liang Gallery in Taipei.

Leo Wang currently lives and works in Paris, France.

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Isa Ho captures the lives of artists living in Westbeth Artists’ Housing in her photographs

Westbeth Artists’ Housing is a housing and commercial complex dedicated to providing artists affordable living and working spaces. The housing complex is named after West and Bethune Streets in Manhattan. The renowned photographer Diane Arbus lived there until her suicide in 1972. The actor Vin Diesel grew up there with other kids of artist parents. Up to now the actor’s parents still live there and he visits them.

Isa Ho captures the unique lives of these senior artists, 60% of whom are in their 70s and 30% are in their 60s. It is indeed an aging population. Through Ho’s pictures, we can see how these artists were able to live authentically, unfazed by the social construct imposed by the outside world.

The works collected here are part of Ho’s Westbeth series and are part of an ongoing exhibition at Double Square Gallery in Taipei.

You can see more of the artist’s works on her website.

IMG_7476You can ride these electric wheelchairs as you view the gallery.

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Some of the works of the artists are hung on the walls. Books that mentioned Westbeth were bookmarked and displayed on the shelves.

Solo exhibition of Los Angeles artist Laddie John Dill in Taipei

Laddie John Dill has been making sculptures, wall-pieces, and installations using concrete, glass, sand, and metal since the 1970s. He was influenced by Robert Rauschenberg, Keith Sonnier, Robert Smithson, Dennis Oppenheim, and Robert Irwin, who were working with earth materials, light, and space as an alternative to easel painting. Dill also paints with pigments derived from cement and natural oxides. (via artist website)

In Light Trap Series, Dill uses 6061 aircraft aluminum because it picks up light in a non-reflective way. The metal is curved by hand and polished, a procedure that turns it into a lens. The lens then pulls in the light and changes depending on the light around it.

Based on the actual set drawings Laddie designed for Benjamin Britten’s last opera “Death in Venice”, this series of paintings made from marine ply, black iron oxide, and cement wash won Dill the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. It is also inspired by the landscape of the Mojave Desert.

In this installation Light and Sand, Dill buries these neon light tubes in sand. He chose sand because it absorbs light from the tubes and distributes the color across the sand. The artist used a shovel to make these intricate calligraphic marks below. (See picture on the right below.)

In Light Plains, an argon tube is buried in the sand, right below the sheets of glass. The light is carried upwards through the edge of the glass sheets. One side of the glass sheet touches the second glass sheet, creating a 90 degree angle of light. The sand holds the glass systematically. The artist also added peat moss into the sand.

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Light Sentences consist of mercury gas enclosed in glass tubing.

You can see more of the artist’s works on his website.

The show Contained Radiance runs from 5 August to 27 August at Whitestone Gallery in Taipei.

*Info Source: Contained Radiance, Whitestone Gallery Taipei

Taiwanese photographer Simon Chang captures the lives of refugees in Slovenia

Freelance photographer Simon Chang has been living in Slovenia for seven years. In 2015, Hungary built a fence to keep thousands of refugees from Syria, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan out. In Chang’s latest solo exhibition titled The Left Atrium, The Right Ventricle at Xue Xue Institute in Taipei, Chang documents the lives of these refugees from the point of view of an immigrant. He also photographed mental health patients at Bohnice Psychiatric Hospital, the largest mental institution in Prague, for three years. Looking at Chang’s photographs is taking a peek into the lives of people and realizing that we’re essentially the same regardless our differences in residence or current state of mind.

“Many people ask me why I like photographing ‘the marginalized,’ but who are the marginalized? These people are the ones dealing with their issues, and we know nothing about their problems. Oftentimes we’re probably just making assumptions, and from this point of view, we are the ones that are marginalized,” says Chang. (via The News Lens)

The photos collected here are part of the exhibition titled The Left Atrium, The Right Ventricle which runs from 5 May to 27 August at Xue Xue Institute in Taipei.

You can see more of the artist’s works on Facebook and on his website.

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Other photographs included in the exhibit:

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Photographer Daniel Eskenazi and his vivid photographs

Since the early 1990s, Daniel Eskenazi has been making photographic works. Most recently, his photographs reveal smokes that seem to have transformed into unimaginable forms as they are picking up their momentum in space. Eskenazi also shows us close-up shots of bugs and shells. His subjects, although not relatively huge in real life, seem to adopt a colossal size. Eskenazi breathes life into the non-living things that he chooses to be the subjects in his photographs.

The show Time/Light runs from 22 July to 3 September at SOKA Art Center in Taipei.

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Five Korean artists depict humans as central figure in their work in a group show

This exhibition features five Korean artists who through paintings, sculptures, and mixed media gravitate around the idea that human beings can be a catalyst for change in areas as socially relevant as environmental protection and pop culture, and something as personal as love.

Influenced by the painter Francis Bacon and the abstract expressionist Willem de Kooning, Kim Byung Kwan aims to defamiliarize us with the way we see hollywood icons and celebrities and historical figures by deliberately smearing their faces with paint.  For the artist, seeing these faces everywhere becomes a habit and thus creates comfort. However, this also shuts down all other possibilities. (via artist website)

As of 2010, women in Korea are allowed to enroll in army reserve. In this work, the artist poses the question: How do women think of those who join the military service? Do they think they’re not bound by restrictive social status anymore?

Lim Jong-Doo‘s works depict a Utopian world where Man and Nature live in harmony. Women surrounded by flowers, fish , birds, and butterflies are the central figures in his paintings. The artist applies pigments onto the Korean paper in multiple layers until the right density and hue are achieved.

Everlasting love is the central theme in Cho Hye-Yoon‘s works. She sometimes bases the big-eyed characters in her paintings off movies like Léon: The Professional (1994) and La La Land (2016). The artist paints the dreamy background by spraying layers of acrylic paint multiple times, resulting in a delicate and misty atmosphere.

In Lim Eun Hee‘s mixed media on Korean paper, flowers and greens seem to “inhabit” her female figures, in that they seem to invade them. What I like about her work is that they are rich in details. There is no such thing as too much details in her work!

Kim Ki-Min channels her environmental advocacy through her sculptures that depict an innocent-looking human figure sitting on a shell or perched on a stand. This figure is the artist’s alter-ego who wishes to engage in a dialogue with the viewers and tell them that we should be living in harmony with Nature.

The show Character.Note runs from 29 July to 24 September at Art Influence in Taipei.

Stunning artworks made out of Korean paper by Korean artist Woo Sagong

Little is known about Woo Sagong in Taiwan. This is the first time he holds an exhibit in the country. Born in 1961, he started out his career painting figurative art before switching to abstraction. His early works are inspired by the interaction between humans and nature. After 1995, the artist incorporates musical themes into his paintings. Later on he includes musical notations of composers like Beethoven, Mozart and Bach into his works as he believes their music beautifully represents human life. These musical notations are printed out on Korean paper and transformed into a visual experience rich in color, form, and texture.

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The artist uses Korean paper because of its durability and firmness. They are stiff in that they don’t fold easily when standing on one edge. Korean paper, or hanji, is made from the inner bark of Paper Mulberry, a tree native to Korea that grows on rocky mountainsides. Musical notations are printed on the Korean paper. The paper is cut into several pieces of varying sizes and then folded gently in groups. The artist then soaks the lower edge of each paper in white glue. Using tweezers, he carefully sticks the paper onto the larger Korean paper wrapped around the canvas, since Korean paper sticks better with each other. When stuck together, the pieces of paper creates a wave-like effect.  Sometimes, the artist runs his hands across the pieces of paper and applies some pressure to make them tilt to one direction.

Woo Sagong also rolls the paper to make it look like tree branches being blown by the wind. Notice how the subtle folds of the pieces of paper interact with each other and how the colors seem to blend like a painting.

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The pieces of Korean paper are not cut equally, which means some are taller than the rest, adding texture to the work.

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This work resembles autumn leaves falling from trees.

I like how this work is a product of folding each piece of paper meticulously and gluing them side by side to create the effect of “waves”. Notice how the varying shades and tints of pink interact in this work.

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The artist uses dye to add color to the off-white Korean paper. I like how the colors change in a subtle way as we look outwards.

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The show Song of Life runs from 29 July 24 September at Wellington Gallery in Taipei.

 

 

Filipino-Dutch artist Martha Atienza’s two-video installation of the North Atlantic Ocean

Since 2010, Martha Atienza was able to board international cargo vessels and record videos of oceans and Filipino seafarers. Her work tackles environmental and social issues through experimental sound and video installations. She also delves into long-term social projects with the help of her family, friends, neighbors, and locals in her hometown in Bantayan Island in Cebu, Philippines where she partly grew up as a child. Her family works in the shipping industry–her father was a sea captain and her grandfather was a lighthouse watcher on a tiny island for twenty years. As for the aesthetics in her works, Atienza experiments with the basic elements of water, sound, and light. (via The Sovereign Art Foundation)

In this two-video installation, Atienza shows the North Atlantic Ocean in its sheer vastness, shrouded in mist. There is no sound accompanying the video. All we see is the quiet ominous ocean, waves crashing into each other, and the cloudless grey sky above it. The video imposes a kind of contemplation and after watching it for some time, I feel like I’m on the cargo vessel myself, wanting to jump and be part of something as boundless as the ocean.

The artist recently won the prestigious Baloise Prize at Art Basel 2017.

You can see more of the artist’s works on her website.

The show runs from 29 July to 26 August at Mindset Art Center in Taipei.

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Migration N 50°42’31.08” W 028° 54’57.65” and Migration N 49°57’04.39” W 033°08’05.15”, Photos courtesy of Mindset Art Center, Taipei

A New Vision of Printmaking: Printmaking group show at Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei

In this exhibit, works by contemporary artists from Spain, UK, and Taiwan are shown, not to challenge the traditional way of printmaking nor propose an alternative to the old ways, but to show that traditional ways can be used in producing contemporary art, especially at this time when technology is advancing too fast. The show is curated by Chris Wainwright, Chu Teh-I, and Wang Li-Ya.

Since 2002, Anne Lydiat and her husband artist Chris Wainright have been living and working on board a ship moored at Hermitage Moorings on the River Thames.  In this series, she drew on an old piano roll with perforations or holes by suspending a pen from the roof of the interior of the ship, and like a pendulum the pen runs across the surface of the paper, completely surrendering to the movement of the vessel.

Anne Lydiat, A Silent Symphony, Inkjet print and hand printed ink on archival paper, 37 x 30 cm x 7 pcs, 2017

We Are All Stars is a diptych  consisting of two inkjet prints. (Top) Chris Wainwright took a screenshot of the positioning of all the stars in the sky during the time when Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami hit Japan in 2011. The location, date, and time were also included in the picture. (Bottom) Young locals joined a performance wherein they drew stars using lights in the air, which was recorded on camera. The title relates to the people who lost their lives and were never found. The survivors imagined that they became stars the night of the tsunami.

Chris Wainwright, We Are All Stars, Inkjet print on archival paper, 61 x 91.5 cm + 65 x 97.5 cm, 2015

Sue Ridge‘s images are X-ray files she later alters digitally like collages. She said, “I am interested in making visible the inner history of objects, looking beneath the surface, re-working the black and white images to transform them into unforeseen, elusive images.” (via KdMofaDuchamp’s Suitcase is one of a series of X-rays of her suitcase taken to Northwick Park Hospital. The image looks like Duchamp’s Large GlassBrownie 127 Camera is the X-ray scan of her first camera with images taken of the television broadcast of the moon landing in 1969. It’s important to note, as Wainwright, one of the curators, said that Ridge captures images that aren’t visible to the naked eye.

(Left) Sue Ridge, Duchamp’s Suitcase, Digital print, 80 x 60 cm, 2014 (Right) Brownie 127 Camera, 40 x 40 cm, 2012

In Isa Ho‘s Isabelle, a lace mantle is put on top of a picture of a building captured from the ground. Ho relates this work to two opposing sides, the home and the city. For Ho, “Compared to the lifeless buildings, the concept of “home” can make us rethink the city and the life. It provides us a different perspective to look at things, and to unite people to subvert the world. The city is colorful because of its ‘people’.” (via KdMofa)

Isa Ho, Isabelle, 3D, UV inkjet on Dibond, 60 x 75 cm, 2014

Chu Teh-I attempts the possibility of color and form of abstract painting in woodcut prints. Here he employs geometric shapes in different layers which collide with different colors and eventually blend with each other.

(Left) Chu Teh-I, Variation/Plate II, Woodcut, 42 x 63 cm, 2017 (Right) Variation/Plate I, Woodcut, 42 x 63 cm, 2017

Mar Mendoza Urgal is inspired by the French philosopher Henri Bergson who argued that our memory collects and preserves all aspects of our existence, and that “we do not go from the present to the past; from perception to memory, but from the past to the present, from recollection to perception.” (via KdMofa) Perhaps the image we form in our heads by connecting the dots here is influenced by our memory.

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Mar Mendoza Urgal, 1971Silkscreen and pencil on Japanese paper, 69 x 50.7 cm, 2015

Hermanos Pardo, or Pardo Brothers, practices realism in Spain. Although the two brothers have pursued different paths in art-making, they still stick to realism. Their artistic philosophy focus on the works of Diego Velázquez, one of the most important painters of the Spanish Golden Age.

Hermanos Pardo (Pardo Brothers), Study of Acid Sheet S032, Drawing, 71 x 100 cm, 2016

Johanna Love is continually fascinated with what most people seem insignificant, like a tiny speck of dust. For her these tiny things have the power to fascinate and provoke as much as bigger things.

Johanna Love, Feinstaub III, Lithograph, 45 x 64 cm, 2017

Joaquín Millán Rodríguez is interested in architecture and its relation with the whole city. He draws continually and at different places to understand the uniqueness innate in every culture.

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Joaquín Millán Rodríguez, Battersea Power Station London, Greasy ink on Hahnemühle, 51 x 117 cm, 2016

For a complete list of all the artists included in the show, please go to this website.

The show runs from 21 July to 24 September at Kuandu Fine Arts Museum, Taipei.

 

 

Taiwanese artist Hu Kun Jung’s geometric abstract paintings that examine movement and equilibrium

Geometric abstraction is a form of abstract art that employs geometric forms in non-representational compositions. It is pioneered by the Russian painter and art theoretician Kazimir Malevich.  Abstract expressionism, as practiced by Jackson Pollock, is the opposite of this art movement.

Hu Kun Jung’s paintings are examples of geometric abstraction. The pastel-colored and sometimes dark squares seem to be moving swiftly within the canvas and settling down slowly, gradually as the viewer looks into the painting.

The show Coordination Between Equilibrium and Mobility runs from 8 July to 19 August at Beyond Gallery in Taipei.

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Photos courtesy of Beyond Gallery