Xiaolangdi – A project by Alain Feliu; The construction of a dam on the Yellow River in China.

(c) Alain Feliu courtesy Jecza Gallery

(c) Alain Feliu courtesy Jecza Gallery

Currently on view @ Jezca Gallery! October 17 – November 20

[Special thanks to Jezca Gallery for allowing us to share their PR with our followers.]

Alain Féliu (French artist) followed the construction process of a dam in Xiaolangdi. During three years time, using a large format 4 by 5 inch camera, Alain Féliu captured the evolution and implications of this construction project on the landscape, the environment and the people.

His photographic journey, in an unknown territory, means for many of us, the chance to explore this vast country, its people and policies. The series also shows the way nature and communities learn to adapt, move or change – in the region of Xiaolangdi more than 170.000 people had to move their homes in order to escape the flood, to give only one example.

This powerful exhibition doesn’t speak only about a 154 meter high and 1000 meter long Chinese dam, the project is more a metaphor for one of the biggest countries in the world – China – with its hierarchies, culture differences, people and constant evolution.

In his own introduction to the series the artists recalls his fascination for this site: “Xiaolangdi (“Small Deep Wave”/translation of name in English) is one of those places of an intense poetry and of whose imaginary you can no longer escape.

 So you return.”

(c) Alain Feliu courtesy Jecza Gallery

(c) Alain Feliu courtesy Jecza Gallery

 

If you are in Timisoara, Romania make sure you check out the show!

Jezca Gallery/ Calea Martirilor 51/52-53 / Timisoara, Romania

For more info email: jezca@jezcagallery.com

Cheers!

XX, CHC

@CultureHeARTs

 

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Ai Weiwei’s #Gunleg – The Current Political Trend, Art Activism

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The first thing I do when I wake up is groggily reach out for my iPhone for the time, my morning news updates, messages and emails…. AND what has become a vital part of my day, my INSTAGRAM feed. This is where I get my real news, most importantly including the THE CURRENT HAPPENINGS OF THE ART WORLD.

Naturally I assumed I would get a variety of posts when I woke up last week; however, what stared back at me from my rectangular mobile screen was a series of legs aimed like guns about to be fired into my retinas. I kept scrolling down, anxious for a family picture or a meal post, but all I kept getting were these limbs raised as if ready for WAR.

It took me a moment to realize it was the doing of NOTORIOUS Chinese artist and political activist Ai Weiwei, who posted the first picture wearing nothing than his underwear a traditional straw hat and sticking his leg out like a gun (pictured above), the artist created a visual stimulation that may address so many underlying factors, with the caption “Beijing Anti-terrorist Series”.

Naturally before overthinking this, I felt the need to JOIN IN. That evening, I took my first #gunleg photo and posted it on my Instagram, within 5 minutes, as I was checking for my followers responses, I realized that Ai Weiwei had reposted my picture. It literally made me jump with joy, as this LEGEND reposted my #GUNLEG.

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Here I am in my home in London with the artist being literally across continents, and within a space of minutes he has seen my picture and acknowledged it (see image above). Thus my OBSESSION began, and #GUNLEG is a current trend I have still not gotten enough of.

Being confined to one country has NOT stopped the artist from spreading his ideas globally. Like anyone living in our world, Weiwei took to SOCIAL MEDIA to create one of the fastest growing meme’s that may finally ‘out-post’ grumpy cat photos … This time it happens to be in the form of one of the FEW social media platforms that is UNBLOCKED and UNBANNED in China – Instagram. Now, you have the POWER to take politically charged selfles, and to get legit recognition for

Ever since several articles on the Guardian, Washington Post and BBC News to name a few have written articles trying to deduce Weiwei’s ultimate connotation, since his team have refused to respond to any inquiries. Some say it has drawn inspiration from The Red Detachment of Women, a state-sanctioned ballet that was famously shown to President Richard Nixon during his 1972 visit to China as a portrayal of women’s rise in the communist party. While others claim it is in direct correlation with the 25-year anniversary of the protests in the Tiananmen Square, satirically commenting on China’s onerous Cultural Control (The Guardian).

Although refusing to answer press questions, when pressed by the Washington Post, Weiwei replied with this ambiguous and rather mischievous answer: “It is a pure use of social media. To pick up public notions on mixed issues — the power to control individuals…terror, arms, many issues… to use the body as weapon,” he said. “You cannot do this with a novel or movie or in theater. It’s more like poetry… Some are so empty; some are so profound.”

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As we at CH say… Stand up for what you believe in. Follow your he(ART). Join the movement. Be PROACTIVE.

xx,

LZ

Tightrope @ Sumarria Lunn Gallery

HEY LONDON! CHECK IT OUT!!!

TIGHTROPE: Takming Chuang, Echo Morgan, Emily Speed and Hanae Utamura

Opening: 5th September 6-9pm with performance by Echo Morgan

Exhibition runs: 6th September to 17th September 2013 / 11am – 6pm (Tuesday to Friday) / 12 – 5pm (Saturday)1003553_628715632369_1273852454_n

Curated by Kate Pantling, Tightrope brings together the work of four international emerging artists Takming Chuang, Echo Morgan, Emily Speed and Hanae Utamura.

The artists share a performative approach to their practice, where a sense of harmony, dissonance and a raw energy are connecting threads. Each artist takes their own body as a starting point, orchestrating narratives that explore the impact of encounters with materials, environments and cultures. Their work is personal, particular and often intimate but speaks to broader political and cultural concerns.

By approaching their work from the context of performance, the artists bring a strong sense of dramatic tension to their artworks. Each of them embraces the visual impact of their interventions to create work that encapsulates a moment imbued with anticipation. They create projects that play across multiple mediums eluding easy categorisation and bringing dynamism and depth to the expression of their ideas.

Takming Chuang documents physical, often uncomfortable encounters between his own body and traditional art materials. For Dead Hang the artist used his own perspiration to tarnish brass plates after performing repeated pull-ups. His Stand marks the result of hours spent motionless on top of a section of painted canvas until his body heat and weight caused it to harden into a mould of his feet. Through these repeated actions, leaving traces of his own body, Chuang explores themes of physicality, sexual identity and mortality.

Echo Morgan uses her own body as a canvas to reclaim and reassess the cultural expectations of her birthplace in China. Applying the feminist theories of Hélène Cixous who asks us to ‘write about our own story, our history, and ourselves’ she addresses issues of gender, and cultural politics through performance, film and photography. For I am the Four Gentlemen Morgan paints on her skin a depiction of the four plants known in China by the same name, chosen for their hardy attributes and depicted as a group: the orchid, the bamboo, the chrysanthemum and the plum blossom. Through doing so Morgan reclaims this Chinese trope as her own and challenges traditional cultural ideals.

Emily Speed explores the relationship between the body and architecture, considering how a person is shaped by the buildings they have occupied and how a person occupies their own psychological space. Her Body / Building photographs mark the point of intersection between the body and the buildings built to house and protect it. Speed’s works make connections by building up shifting layers of disparate materials over time. Through exploring the built environment and drawing on historic architecture, she examines our attempts to create permanence and legacy through building.

Hanae Utamura’s works arise from the artist’s encounters with specific sites. Her Secret Performance Series documents a series of performances in which the artist, as an anonymous figure, makes subtle, insistent and sometimes dangerous interventions into the natural environment. Utamura’s photographic works refer to the traditional Japanese preference for landscape art and the desire to eliminate the self in order to be at one with nature. Her works hinge on an exploration of harmony and disjuncture between her body and the physical and cultural landscape it inhabits.

For more information check out their website! The gallery is located at: Sumarria Lunn Gallery
36 South Molton Lane
London W1K 5AB

ENJOY! Let us know what you think!

XX, DP