Renowned Chinese artist, Yiming Min, will make his UK debut next week with a sculpture and painting exhibition entitled ‘Therefore‘ presented by Very Art Space. The show will usher viewers into a machine-made yet natural world including a large-scale installation, sculptures and a suite of oil paintings.
The inspiration for the works is Yiming’s studio in Xiamen, China, which is located within a natural oasis of trees and wildlife, whilst still only 100 metres away from a bustling port city — the juxtaposition between man and nature informs the work. In his own words, Yiming seeks to examine the “coherence of perception between humanity and the natural world.”
After a quick Venezia break to bring you a bit of Central Saint Martins inspiration, we are back on our biennale grind, and ready to share some more of our favourite moments with you. As I mentioned previously, the main venues for this international event are the Giardini, (a beautiful garden dotted with various exhibition halls and country pavilions), and the Arsenale (a complex of former shipyards and armories for which construction began as early as 1104). The latter, perhaps due to its’ age and history, has a very majestic feel to it, and witnessing such a multitude of art within its’ antique walls is truly special.
Like the Giardini, the Arsenale houses both specific country pavilions and a general ‘All the World’s Futures‘ exhibition, showcasing multiple international artists and curated by Okwui Enwezor.
I suppose the major difference between the two spaces is that while the Giardini feels light and airy — no doubt because of its’ outdoor setting — the Arsenale gives off a much more severe vibe, leaving less room for dillydallying and daydreaming, and hence producing, in my view, a more focused and intense experience.
The armory itself also feels endless, with art around every dark corner, and even outside rising from the canal (Chinese artist, Xu Bing‘s ‘Phoenix Project‘ and Brazilian Vik Muniz‘ ‘Lampedusa‘ to name a few). Walking through the exhibition feels something like making one’s way through a maze — you tread carefully so as to not miss anything, and yet you deliberately plough forward too, with the pulsing goal to make it out the other side.
After too many sunny days to count, it seems the rain has returned to London, so this morning I regretfully swapped a summer dress for leggings and flannel and trudged forward, once more, unto the gloom. Thankfully, the rest of my day was not to be so dreary as I finally made my way to S|2, Sotheby’s intimate St. George Street gallery, for their current exhibition, ‘Henry Hudson: The Rise and Fall of Young Sen.’
Having not done my proper research prior, I didn’t initially realise that this was a narrative series, so the first work I cast eyes on was in fact the second of the story. I stared in awe, whilst simultaneously gaping in horror at the sight before my eyes — heavily textured guts and curling intestines spilling out of a female body being dissected at King’s Cross medical school. The graphic nature of the piece is really astounding, and the detail Hudson achieves with the plasticine medium is ultra impressive.
I soon found my way back to the beginning of the series, and painting by painting, accompanied our protagonist, Young Sen, on his life’s journey, from his humble beginnings in a Chinese factory town, to fulfilling his parents’ dream of attending medical school in London, his decision to follow his own dream instead and become an artist, a love affair, a marriage, his first NYC gallery opening, drugs, parties, rehab and finally back to China to make a political difference through his art.
I realise I might be making a vital mistake by writing this as it forces me to admit that I only just watched Never Sorry, a documentary on contemporary Chinese artist and activist, Ai Wei Wei, directed by Alison Klayman and made way back in 2012. However, the first week of 2015 is certainly no time to ponder excuses, so I’ll just say thank you, Netflix and better late than never.
The truth is, I’m glad I was late to the party on this one, because a good dose of a fearless artist determined to change the world no matter the cost, is probably the best possible way to start my new year. Continue reading