American artist Peter Opheim’s amusing clay sculptures and paintings

Looking at Peter Opheim works is like observing out of this world characters come to life. They seem to transform into totally different creatures when observed from different angles. With short but forceful brushstrokes, his characters look animated and frenetic in their actions. His paintings take on a clay-like three-dimensional quality, especially when observed from a distance.

The pieces collected here are recently shown at Powen Gallery, Taipei. For more info, please contact the gallery. This is the first time that the artist exhibited in Asia.

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

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Opheim starts by creating models from regular clay. When he’s done, he makes another model from polymer clay. He then bakes them at 135 degrees to harden the clay. The paintings are then made and the regular clay models destroyed. These smaller paintings come with polymer clay models. Once they are acquired by a collector, they are transported in a wooden box with the character’s name engraved on the lid.

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The late French sculptor Val’s monumental and small-scale sculptures

Through her works, Valérie Goutard, or Val as she is widely known professionally, reflects on the interaction between man and nature in terms of space and lines. She sets shapes which relate to each other in the search for balance. (via artist website)

Her works are architectural in nature which feature the relationship of man and his surrounding environment. Her bronze sculptures are exhibited in Asia. Val’s monumental works are often mounted in public areas such as Waiting III at New Times Square, Taipei, Footsteps II in Sorrento, Singapore, Attraction II at Bangkok University, Rangsit, Flying lovers II at Lumpini Park, Bangkok, among others.

In 2004, Val moved to Thailand where she honed her craft in bronze sculpting in Thai foundries. She lived and worked in Bangkok until her death from a scooter accident in October 2016.

In 2016, Val installed three sculptures made of concrete, bronze and coral in an underwater site off Koh Tao in Thailand. This project, called “Ocean Utopia”, aims to promote the growth of endangered coral reefs. To know more about her Ocean Utopia project, click here and here.

You can see more of her works on her website.

The pieces collected here are currently displayed at Gin Huang Gallery in Taipei.

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Photos courtesy of Claire Teo

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Waiting III, Installed in 2014 in Taipei New Times Square, Photo courtesy of the artist

Korean artist Park Seung Mo’s wire mesh artwork

Park Seung Mo projects a photograph onto layers of aluminum wire mesh which are either welded or meticulously snipped off to achieve the right effect. On average the pieces consist of 11 layers of wire mesh attached to each other, giving the artwork a three-dimensional quality. As part of the Maya (meaning ‘illusion’ in Sanskrit) series, these artworks are a good introduction to the artist’s oeuvre. This series is inspired by his trip to India where he actively practiced meditation. For him, everything is not real in the sense that everything we see is an illusion.

Seung-mo Park says of his work, “You recognize it clearly as a picture from a distance first, but as you start to approach, it begins to fade and you feel a sense of alienation. People usually move back to view the work again, what I want is only for them to ask themselves at that moment – ‘Is it real or not?’” (via Posco)

You’ll see how the artist works in this Youtube video.

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

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Photos courtesy of Claire Teo

Russian artist Anna Berezovskaya’s whimsical paintings of Russian nobility and monarchs that reflect universal themes

Russian nobility and monarchs interspersed with other characters, objects, and landscapes fill the works of Anna Berezovskaya. Her works are an amalgamation of abstraction, realism, surrealism, and symbolism. Even though the characters in her paintings are whimsical, playful, and at times borderline fantastic, the themes of her paintings are based on her own experiences and imagination. The artist is also heavily inspired by Russian culture and literature.

At such a young age (She’s only 31!), Berezovskaya has already achieved technical mastery and found her own unique style which is easily recognizable. Her images are beautiful and full of details and symbols. However, they require some time to fully reveal themselves to you.

Anna Berezovskaya’s artworks are highly sought after by serious art collectors and investors in Russia, USA, Europe and Asia.

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

The pieces collected here are currently being exhibited at Gin Huang Gallery until 31 October.

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Photos courtesy of Gin Huang Gallery

 

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.