CRITICAL

ANALYSES

"I BEGAN, AND STILL DO BEGIN, with a love for color and unrelenting interest in the intersection of a pictorial way of looking, (or thinking,) with the physical matter of the body and the materiality of things in space." is the first sentence of Jessica Stockholder's artist statement, which means she never stops to explore the new possibilities of vision, material, colour and space. Similar elements can be found in my artist statement. We are both visual artists.

The vitality of Jessica Stockholder's works is always full of "visual-language" duality and rhythm. She gives new life to things that seem familiar and common in our daily life, making them all reflect, respond and talk with each other in a new role that is almost impossible, which leaves people a very deep impression. No matter how they become, they will never be unimaginative. Jessica's world is more made up of associations than traditional forms of analysis-if we gaze at a form carefully, we may get more than we expect. That's why she could extend her work into space while keeping the strong visual impact as her early paint on canvas. It was Stockholder gave me the concept of "Expanded Painting" and let me found a way to develop my painting into 3D.

Stockhoder has a conclusion of her thought that both the structure of our perceptual apparatus (eyes, brain, size) and the given nature of the cosmos are the foundation for thought and understanding, which is very relevant to the "visual system" that I mentioned in MFA Show page.(see relative content) Visual artworks are not only concerned with visual effects, but more as a simplified and reinforced expression, which may integrate abstract art, structuralism, semiotics, and other art forms to express history and philosophy. The question of how we exist as individuals within a larger whole from which we are inseparable, and how we manage this juncture resonates with hundreds of years of philosophy, psychology and history.

My current works are more limited to wooden square structures. Stockholder's works shows her control over the combination of daily objects and art. Based on the inspiration she gives me, I will try to use more materials and structural shapes in my following creation.

Jessica  Stockholder

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Going Public

Boris Groys

Most of my works require public participation, and only with spectator can they be perfected. As a result, I will consider how to communicate with the public when I make works. At the same time, I have a strong interest in being a curator. In the name of the public, the curator views artworks and manages the exhibition space as a public representative. Therefore, the curator must maintain the public characteristics of the space, but also maintain the vitality of the works and encourage the public to watch them.


Going Public focused on the issue of how to coordinate the coexistence of the artist's and the public's cognition of artworks in the context of contemporary art. Many of these discussions are directly related to my creation and professional practice. For example, how can installation works establish private autonomous spaces in public spaces? What is the difference between the space set up when facing the same work as a curator and an artist? With contemporary civilization almost completely dominated by the market, how to interpret art?

It is generally believed that artists make and display art, and audiences watch and evaluate art. The artist seems to be in a dominant position. However, what people often overlook is that artists are always dominated by public opinion. I always considered this issue in my early creations, and I always worried that my things would not be understood by the public. However, after two years of study and research, I think such worries are completely unnecessary. The artist's creation can be independent, and the public's point of view can exist completely independent of the artist's original intention. So in the end, I directly hand over the right to complete the work to the audience. Once the public sees my work, they become the producers of the works in front of them.

Solo show: Dora Maurer

I was attracted by this solo show of Dora Maurer when I visited Tate Modern in February, 2020. Dora Maurer is a Hungarian visual artist. The reason why I write an exhibition here instead of just writing an artist Dora Maurer is I was not only attracted by this artist's works but also appreciated the curation and installation of this show. At the first moment after I had scanned the space, I could strongly feel my works and Maurer's works have some common traits.

From the introduction I knew that most of Maurer's work follows the theme of showing options to the viewer and what the viewer can do with those options. Maurer works with almost all mediums, including graphic works, photographs, films and paintings. She is good at composing various of irregularly geometric patterns. It was her Overlapping painting inspired me to make Fission. Overlapping painting consist in distorted or decomposed structures and spaces painted in complementary colours as well as found the simple abstract relationship between three-dimentional and two-dimentional vision. Colour itself becomes her medium as she essentially deals with the way colour behaves in her works. Also, her use of complementary colours directly influenced my consideration when I was painting Somewhere Only We Know

As the audience, I felt very comfortable when I shuttling from hall to hall. Works were installed in an atmosphere of conversation. the exhibition presents an art practice that remains hopeful, inventive and encouraging throughout.The development of Dora's research was clearly displayed. As an artist, I desire to try more possibilities on mediums while keep focusing on the geometric style and the visual interaction with my audience. Dora Maurer has done this successfully. I will keep an eye on her future works.

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Ways of Seeing

John Berger

In terms of stimulation and influence on art, Ways of Seeing is rare. The advancement of photography technology brought about by the industrial revolution has made artworks far from the noble monopoly and is gradually and frequently used by the general public. Walter Benjamin sensitively recognized the revolutionary impact of photography on artworks, and sighed for the advent of the vanishing of aure. John Berger confronted the question of how to watch for modern people. He initially integrated a bunch of modern people's viewing system. Starting from the visual experience of artworks presented to the viewers, the in-depth analysis of the close relationship between art and gender, politics, economy, and so on. Because I repeatedly discuss "visual", "public", "perspective", etc. in my works, these keywords are inseparably related to ways of seeing.

From the chapters about watching oil paintings in the book, I found common discussions directly related to my research. For example, John mentioned, "Mystification is the process of explaining away what might otherwise be evident." 

Mystification is actually a process of covering up the facts. Similarly, in my opinion, simplified or even minimalist art is covering facts and even narrating more abstract emotions. For example, when discussing oil paintings with mirrors, it is a philosophical discussion to discuss the relationship between visual mechanisms and people and works.


Drawings and paintings can use perspective to let the spectator propose he was the unique one, but cameras cannot. "Cameras showed that the notion of time passing was inseparable from the experience of the visual (except in paintings) What you saw depended upon where you were when." When I am making works that need to be completed by the witness, I clearly feel that installation in space can provide a "here and now "aura to the public. As Benjamin said, installation is a mass cultural version of individual flanuer, a site for the aura to exist and a site for profane illumination. Interaction is one of the solutions that I found can be used to face "the Age of Mechanical Reproduction".

 A World in A Well 

Old windows bear the real imprint of humans' lives, and once served as a ventilation, lighting and viewing function. The "window" itself is an interactive port, even with philosophical colour and the meaning of enlightening cognition. In "A World in A Well", Song replaced the transparent glass with mirrors, which hindered the interaction between the inside and the outside. If you walk into the inner space, you will feel it is completely different from the outside. It ways me back to my question about " what can or cannot people physically, interactively and optically access?" The lights inside

A World in A Well

 A World in A Well 

Among Song's works, a series of works using old window frames, such as "Doing Nothing", "A World in A Well", "Usefulness of Uselessness", etc., present his conceptual exploration of daily "waste". When I was using structures' composition to build visual abstract tableaus. I found Song's windows. I felt he was using window frames to do 3D collage in space, which was a kind of deconstruction and reconstruction.

were brilliant, mirrors reflected each other, and the space looked large, even infinite. The actuality of vision in the work was doubted. Song transshaped window frames into new installations. The grills putted space into small factions. These fragmentary or deconstructed shapes let the window regrown, which add an eternally faithful meaning to objects.

Song Dong's Windows

As one of China's most influential contemporary artists, Song Dong's creations over the years have covered almost all kinds of media, including performance, video, installation, photography, painting and "drama". He once said, "The boundary between art and my life is blurry." 

Objects take people's memories and emotions, some of which even involve common senses of one generation. Artists who work with objects are actually expressing the relationships between private and public, between people and objects, between objects and objects. Song lives with his artworks. We can see that he likes to use daily necessities or furniture as creative elements to describe his understanding of the connection among individuals, families, life and objects.

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All content © Chuanzi(Kate) Huang 2020
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