Tag Archive | Chinese

Ai Weiwei’s Good Fences Make Good Neighbors, In and Around NYC!

Gilded Cage Central Park
Ai Weiwei’s Gilded Cage in Central Park (All Photos By Gail)

Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has a new series of public art sculpture installations up in Manhattan and across the five boroughs, which is called Good Fences Make Good Neighbors. Inspired by the international migration crisis and current geopolitical landscape, the ambitious project is installed in over 300 locations, including two monumental sculptures situated within in highly-trafficked Manhattan parks, along with security fences on top of, and in between, buildings (such as The Cooper Union), and several bus shelters. In addition, there are also graphic and photographic works on flags, billboards and lamppost banners. I saw a lot of these banners along Chrystie Street, which is where I also got my first glimpse of one of the fences.

Fence On Chrystie
Rooftop Fence Installation at 189 Chrystie Street

Fence On Chrystie

Ai’s metal fence is designed as a modular form, readily adaptable to the existing architecture, to span and partition the space.

Fence On Chrystie

You can still see the fences at night, because they are illuminated.

Fence On Bowery
Rooftop Fence Installation on Bowery

Don’t forget to look up!

Bus Shelter at Ave C and E 6th Street
Bus Shelter at Ave C and E 6th Street

Gilded Cage Central Park

While it’s fun to spot the fences, it’s the interactive sculptures in the parks that really bring the Instagram Moments. Gilded Cage located at the Doris C. Freedman Plaza, Central Park (at 5th Avenue and 60th Street) can be entered on one side.

Gilded Cage Central Park Detail

Gilded Cage Central Park Top Detal

Gilded Cage Central Park Top Detail

This is the money shot, am I right?

Gilded Cage Central Park Detail

This turnstile is trapped between two layers of the cage and cannot be accessed from inside or outside. Think on that for a bit.

Gilded Cage Central Park Detail

Gilded Cage Central Park Detail

Gilded Cage Central Park

I haven’t see Gilded Cage at night, but it has to also be illuminated, and you can probably get an entirely different vibe from it (not to mention great photos) after dark.

Gilded Cage Central Park
Facing The Plaza Hotel

On the evening of the same day I saw Gilded Cage, Geoffrey and I were down in Tribeca at an art opening and we walked back uptown through Washington Square Park so I could get a glimpse of Arch, which, appropriately, is installed under the one of the most famous landmarks in the city.

Washington Square Arch Park to Street View With Fountain

Let’s take a closer look!

Washington Square Arch Park to Street View

Arch is also a cage-like structure with a cut-out passageway in the center, which is formed in the shadowy shape of two men holding each other. The passageway was influenced by one of Marcel Duchamp’s early artworks.

Arch Park to Street View

This is the view facing the Arch from inside the park, looking towards the park’s northern boarder on University Place.

Arch Park to Street View

And now we walk through!

Arch Street to Park View

Arch Street to Park View

Washington Square Arch Street to Park View
Looking at the Arch from Outside the Park!

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors is a fun thing to see all over the city, and if you have friends or relatives visiting from outside NYC it is a cool, non-touristy thing to expose them to the art of Ai Weiwe! Enjoy!

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors is on Exhibit Citywide Through February 11, 2018. Consult the Google for Locations Near You!

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Pink Thing of The Day: Pink Joss Paper Mercedes

Joss Paper Mercedes
Photos By Gail

Joss Paper is burned by the Chinese to honor the deceased. Traditional Joss Paper, or ghost money, is commonly found in the form of squares of rough bamboo paper printed with seals and rectangles of gold or silver. More contemporary forms of Joss Paper include hell notes, often with denominations of $10,000 to $5,000,000,000. There are also elaborate, faithful paper reproductions of everyday objects such as suits of clothes, shirts and ties, high heel shoes, cell phones, cameras, computers, packs of cigarettes, bottles of alcohol, toothpaste, false teeth and makeup kits. Larger Joss objects include television sets, jet planes and Mercedes Benz automobiles.

These items represent the favorite objects of the dead, and when they are burned the items are sent along with the dead into the hereafter. They are made of papier mache and waste paper from packaging, and the backs and undersides of the objects sometimes reveal the logos of the various products they originally packaged.  The Joss Paper objects themselves sometime feature parodies of familiar logos, such as Kekou Cola and Halloro Lights cigarettes.

Joss Paper Mercedes

Pink Thing of The Day: Chinese Lotus Flower Chandelier

Chinese Lotus Flower Chandelier
Photo By Gail

Oh man, this is really lovely. Photographed in an Asian Import Store on Grand Street in Chinatown, NYC.

A$AP (Safety Exit) By Siu Lan Ko

A$AP Sign
A$AP (Safety Exit), 2010; LED Lightbox, Aluminum Frame, Glass Panel, LED Lights, Still Screen
Edition of Eight (Photo By Gail)

Our friends from Petersen Parts have mentioned an avid customer of theirs, Chinese artist Siu Lan Ko makes objects, public works, performances, videos and installations. Words and slogans as readymades are at the center of her art process. Living in both China and Canada, she enjoys wordplay and actions which reflect the misunderstandings and contradictions that result from different coexisting cultures, languages and social systems, stemming from her China East versus China West cultural experiences. Her performances, installations, objects and Public Works utilized the possibilities created by the impossibility of translation, and embrace the poetic limitations of speech.

Zhang Xiaogang at Pace Gallery

Zhang Xiaogang Boy Sculpture
Painted Bronze Sculpture by Zhang Xiaogang (All Photos By Gail)

There are two things you can usually count on when attending an art opening at Pace Gallery: The art will be physically imposing in some way and the room will be absolutely packed. Such was the case last Thursday when we attended the reception for an exhibit by Chinese artist Zhang Xiaogang, who has been represented by Pace since 2007.

Zhang Xiaogang Boy in Sailor Hat

For this exhibit, Zhang fills both of Pace’s adjoining galleries with monochromatic painted bronze sculptures depicting youth of both sexes dressed in what look like school uniforms. There is also a selection of sculpted, unclothed infants seated on pedestals around the gallery, which weren’t as compelling to me as the stoic-expressioned, uniformed busts of the youth.

Zhang Xiaogang Two Busts

A press release nailed these sculpture’s unique presence, offering that the bronze busts, which range in size from six inches to over five feet tall, are “Sculpted with great clarity in a political-realist style that echoes the state-sanctioned sculptures of the Cultural Revolution.” A few of the subjects are repeated over the course of the two room exhibit, but in different sizes or colors.

Zhang Xiaogang, My Father
Zhang Xiaogang, My Father, 2012

In the smaller of the two gallery rooms, you can see four of Zhang’s large scale oil paintings, which often depict fully realized representations of the youths seen in the assorted busts. According to the exhibit press release, the paintings “continue Zhang’s inquiries into the domestic interiors to which people returned after the Cultural Revolution, and in which the artist came of age.”

Zhang Xiaogang Being Interviewed

The Artist was in attendace at the opening and can be seen in this photo being interviewed by the news media.

Geoffrey with Bust of Boy
Geoffrey and One of Zhang’s Sculptures

I enjoyed these sculptures – and the deep cultural back-story they hinted at – very much and would encourage anyone intrigued by this post to check out the show while it is still up.

Zhang Xiaogang Girl Bronze Bust

Zhang Xiaogang’s Bronze Sculptures and Paintings will be on Exhibit through April 27, 2013 at Pace Gallery, Located at 508 and 510 West 25th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.