Friday, March 5, 2010

Today- wonderful Spring

I am so behind on blogging what’s going on- and with how my work is developing. Work has really started to take over – which is great, but I am so used to not talking to people and reflecting publicly about my work, I keep not writing about the questions I am asking myself and which I would actually like to talk to people about…anyway…

Bec, Lisa and Anneka have been here for a live art showcase organised by the British Council, has been really nice to see people from home. We have caught a few times for dinner and today after the conference was over we went to see a few shows. We spent most of the day at the Hara Art Mueusm and the Yang Fudong exhibition.

Yang Fudong had the series "Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest" parts 1 to 4 in the 2007 Venice Biennale (If I remember right it was 4 parts). I enjoyed seeing the work on that occasion although did not watch them all the way through as each is an hour long. I felt then, and it was the same feeling on seeing his work again, that there must be another layer of narrative and symbolism that is not accessible for me, not knowing much about China and its history and language. It was good to see his work in a focus exhibition and see the development of his use of the film form and his concerns about the massive social changes occurring in China. His later works have become really long marathons, the new work the "General’s Smile" is a multi- channel installation that you would need to spend an hour in to get through everything, and each part of Seven Intellectuals is an hour long. However I feel that the earliest work in the show “Backyard- Hey! Sun is rising” was the easiest to enter and had some of the imagery and qualities, as well as the same actors that appear in later works. This is a Black and White 35mm film that has a fracture and surreal narrative, with repeated actions such as the four men in a small room yawning, running through a garden with swords like is stylised battle scenes from Chinese cinema and stalking each other along the street. The sound track was a bamboo flute that accentuated the distance of the viewer from the action and added to the playful humour. Because his work was shorter it was easier to deal with this fractured narrative and parts that where less readable as there was still a sense of the work as a whole.

Because we are old friends we didn’t think to take pictures of each other in Tokyo- so here we are walking away from the very photogenic Hara Art Museum gardens (postcard top).

Today had the feeling of Spring, warm clear skies after a month of grey... I just checked the weather though and we are back to grey and cold for the rest of the week- not good for filming or fuji viewing...


  1. I wouldn't force the reflexive aspect of practice - because it is already there in your response to what's happening in the context you're in. Be yourself, and notice the world in the way that only you are able to. The thing I enjoy about your work is the sense of a fit between the conceptual premise and materiality - whether that's the material *situation* or the material that you work with, it's a strong thing, something that's native to what you do. Maybe what's happening at the moment is that you're waiting for this aspect of what you are 'researching' to come to your attention. And come it will, and the work will happen.

    Can you visit here for me while you are in Japan?

  2. Thanks Andrew- I will have to get someone to look at the Japanese page and see if you can visit the factory, or see where they have a store in Tokyo. The e-glass sounds very interesting.

  3. Were you all wearing dark jeans and black tops?

  4. we where all wearing dark jeans- and black jackets, although Bec had a white top on and I had a red t-shirt. I love now people wear colour here. x

  5. Thanks for the adventures. I think I was actually wearing a black shirt with spots.

  6. Ah yes... post Vodka daze..

    Did the bottle fir in your bag?

  7. Bottle arrived safe and well.