Photographs from this year's Sculpture by the Sea staged along the Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk from 24th October to 10th November.
Warnings such as 'strobe effect on video', 'high sound level' can build the excitement, but Ryoji Ikeda's Test Pattern [No 5] is something to experience. The large-scale audio-visual installation is inspired by barcodes and binary patterns of computer programming data.
The black and white light projection creates a stage of 30m x 10m where the performers aka visitors can submerge and enjoy the experience.
Commissioned by Carriageworks and ISEA2013 in collaboration with Vivid Sydney, the installation is at Carriageworks until 1st July 2013.
Sydney, recently, experienced a very innovative approach to contemporary art. A group exhibition of 13 'living sculptures' in 13 purpose-built rooms appropriately called '13 Rooms' was being exhibited at Pier 2/3 in Walsh Bay from 11th April to 21st April 2013. A Kaldor Public Art Project curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-director of London’s Serpentine Gallery, and Klaus Biesenbach, Director of MoMA PS1 in New York combined the art of performance and sculptures to bring a fresh concept in modern art.
13 Rooms of equal dimensions (approx 3.5 x 3.5m) were built within a flexible high-volume space of Pier 2/3 and the space in-between was cleverly used for changing rooms. Apart from well thought utilisation of available space, the organic plan allowed visitors to navigate themselves as they please, unlike a usual one directional route.
Out of 13 living sculptures, Man=flesh / Woman=flesh - FLAT, 1997 was most appealing for me. A very small space lit by a dim light had one person lying silently, at times staring at the viewer. The installation really made the viewer experience the confinement and the pain.
The artwork of Xu Zhen, who often has a sophisticated trickery in his works, had a body floating mysteriously in space as if it is frozen in time. In Just a Blink of an Eye, 2005, surely caught eye of all viewers, many of them trying to find how a living person can defy the constraints of physics.
Thirteen Colourful Inside Jobs, 2013 by John Baldessari was indeed the most colourful one. The performer aka painter is continuously changing the colour of the room in duration of the exhibition.
Revolving Door, 2011 was grey and interactive, where a group of dancers wearing grey costume form a revolving door and march in various dance movements in a circular motion.
The only Australian artists were the duo Clark Beaumont from Brisbane who were investigating interpersonal relationships in Coexisting, 2013, where both artists were sharing a small plinth for the whole day making themselves seen as a sculptural form.
From as simple as Veterans of the Wars of Afghanistan, Timor-Leste, Iraq and Vietnam Facing the Corner, 2013, to a complex installation Future / Perfect, 2012, to Hans, George, 1992 that required cast of twins, all the installations were powerful and unique. No wonder the exhibition attracted big crowds and at times had 45mins wait to get in.
(Also featured in World Architecture News: Metroblogs on 15/02/2013)
From 3 'R's of sustainable principles - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle - 'Reuse' has most power of creating innovative and refreshing objects, that also have an embedded cultural value. Like inheritance from our ancestors, the reused objects have a story, making them very special, unlike mass produced things we buy everyday. This is why the installation Waste Not by artist Song Dong is one of its kind. And the fact that it has been housed under Carriageworks - a Waste Not, modern cultural space created by reusing the old Eveleigh rail yard - makes it extraordinarily unique.
From paper bags to leather bags, bowls to bottles, bird cages and empty boxes, Waste Not is a massive collection by the artist's mother, either out of fear of shortage or to reuse them as something else or because it reminded her of her deceased husband. The art compelled all visitors to feel the daily life of a whole generation of Chinese people, and question the everyday waste we generate today.
(Also republished in World Architecture News: Metroblogs on 11/01/2013)
During 2012, Sydney saw various Public Art Festivals including
Vivid Sydney (May - June 2012)
18th Biennale of Sydney (June - Sept 2012)
Art and About (Sept - Oct 2012)
Sculptures by the sea (Oct 2012)
One Planet Living emphasises on reviving the local cultural heritage that is being lost throughout the world due to globalisation, by supporting and participating in the arts.
The various installations we saw this year in Sydney, both inside and outside, created opportunity for the community to interact, reflect and share the ideas, creativity and culture. Both local and global artists, by use of innovative ideas and at times high-tech technologies, presented some very fine installations lifting up the 'spirit of art' among Sydney-siders. The long queue at circular quay for ferry to Cockatoo Island and always full forecourt of MCA and Custom house during Vivid Sydney 2012 were among the few proofs of the success of these events. Hope all of you in and around Sydney got chance to be a part of these celebrations. If not, watch out for them in 2013.
Below are my Top 12 installations from this year's various Art Festivals. They are in no particular order. Feel free to share yours by dropping a line below under comments.
Fujiko Nakaya's Living Chasm - This installation created fog-like effect using pure water. This site-specific installation converted the normal afternoon into a magical, dream-like atmosphere …
Lee Mingwel's Mending Project - A simple yet colourful installation where visitors could participate by bringing in a garment or object that requires mending that became a part of installation.
Tiffany Singh's Knock on the Sky Listen to the Sound - the large entry hall of Pier 2/3 was full of colourful ribbons and wind chimes. Visitors were encouraged to take a chime home, decorate as they like and return to a dedicated space on Cockatoo island. An artist's installation was transformed into people's installation.
Ed Pien and Tanya Tagaq's Source - The black and white film of hand gestures was projected on floor from a ceiling mounted projector, creating interesting display right in the front of the entrance. One could walk over or simply watch the display without any interruptions, establishing a connection in their own way.
Philip Beesley's Hylozoic series - Working with the concept of hylozoism – the belief that all matter in the universe has a life of its own – Philip Beesley creates interactive environments that respond to the actions of the audience, offering a vision of how buildings in the future might move, think and feel.
Daan Roosegaarde’s Dune - Cockatoo Island's Dog Legged tunnel was lined with Interactive landscape, a hybrid of nature and technology made from large amounts of fibre optics which reacts to the sounds and motions of people walking by. Visitors become active participants, having a direct influence on the interactive artwork’s identity.
Light Display on MCA facade by various Australian artist from MCA and Sydney's Spinifex Group - During Vivid Sydney 2012, the Museum of Contemporaty Arts (MCA) was transformed into a Canvas of Light. Every evening 3D colour projections and digital artistry did their magic transforming architecture into vibrant graphic art.
Li Hongbo's Ocean of Flowers - This installation has been created by gluing piles of paper together with the honeycomb technique carved into forms resembling weapons that the artist twirls into new ‘flower shapes’. The thing that struck me the most is the scale and the intricate detail of every flower making the installation space into a huge colourful ocean of flowers.
Ken Unsworth's No Return - The life size skeleton balancing on the pole creates an atmosphere of tension or uneasiness that gives the viewer an opportunity to re-evaluate one's own life.
Kathryn Clifton and Martin Bevz's Sea Grass - The strands of optic fibres changed colours as a response to human presence. As you can see, it was a big hit among kids. (This image got highly commended in Australian Photography Competition, Theme - Colour Green)
Alex Richie's Kaleidoscope Cube - The towers of mirrors depicted urban landscape of tall buildings with curtain wall facades. The way they reflect each other resembles the current cities with sense of commonness between them. However, from certain angle, these walls merged into the surrounding being a part of natural environment. A simple yet very interesting installation.
Hilde A. Danielsen's Upside Down Again - The most facinating thing about this installation way wooden slats were installed to create a fluid twirl-like form. The juxtaposition of rigidity of slats vs fluidity of installation attracted many art lovers.
Sculpture by the Sea is one of the largest public event where Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk transforms into a 2km long temporary sculpture park featuring over 100 sculptures by artists from Australia and across the world. This time-lapse video showcases variety of sculptures displayed during Oct-Nov 2012.
Vin is a Sydney based photographer and travels in Australia and around the world for photography projects. He specialises in Architecture, Art, Fine Art and Time-Lapse photography. The images from his photography projects are available to purchase as Archival quality fine art prints and canvases...Read more