TISHAN HSU’s paintings and sculptures evoke nightmarish visions of the body’s forced integration with its technological surrounds. After a spate of exhibitions in the 1980s at venues including Pat Hearn Gallery and Leo Castelli, the artist’s work largely disappeared from public view. Now, New York’s SculptureCenter has organized the survey “Tishan Hsu: Liquid Circuit.” The show debuted at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, this past winter and was slated to open at SculptureCenter in May before being postponed in the wake of Covid-19. To mark this occasion, Artforum invited artist MATTHEW RONAY and art historian LANE RELYEA to reflect on Hsu’s dark, prescient, and singularly weird oeuvre.
The Japanese Artist Turning Fruits and Vegetables Into Sculpture. Ikebana’s most irreverent practitioner, the 80-year-old Kosen Ohtsubo, finds beauty in the banal. On a January afternoon, in his stained-wood-floored studio in the Tokyo suburb of Tokorozawa, the artist Kosen Ohtsubo fingered a large cabbage leaf, its edges a bit too curled and droopy for a salad. “It’s about three days old,” he said. “Great material.”
‘A journey has to be arduous’ says Jes Fan, one of the artists shortlisted for this year’s BMW Art Journey, alongside sculptor Leelee Chan and artist duo Enzo Camacho and Amy Lien. Since 2015, BMW and Art Basel’s joint initiative enables an artist to develop a new project almost anywhere in the world. Previous winners have visited Jerusalem, the Bikini Atoll, the Southern Indian state of Kerala, and Ghana.
Book: In Praise of Shadows (1933) by Junichiro Tanizaki
This book-length essay led gallerist Stephen Cheng to reconsider what’s missing from our daily aesthetic experiences. In the work, Tanizaki—a famous Japanese novelist who was shortlisted for the Nobel Prize in 1964—espouses a mindful appreciation of the world around him. Tanizaki embraces darkness and obscurity, which can be deeply disconcerting to many of us—especially in times of crisis. Cheng’s favorite quote from the essay reflects on this theme. Tanizaki writes: “To snatch away from us even the darkness beneath trees that stand deep in the forest is the most heartless of crimes.”
Tishan Hsu: Liquid Circuit is the New-York-based artist’s first museum survey exhibition in the United States. The exhibition traces Hsu’s key ideas and demonstrates how they clearly resonate in the works of younger artists coming of age today. In the mid-1980s Hsu began a series of works that considered the implications of the accelerated use of technology and artificial intelligence and their impact on the body and human condition.
Perspectives: shaping the world through visual culture
The first talk of the program will be led by New York-based artist Jes Fan, with his lecture titled Leakages, Puddles, Discharge, Infections and Bubbles… Jes Fan’s trans-disciplinary practice emerges from a sustained inquiry into the concept of otherness. Primarily working in the field of expanded sculpture, Fan navigates the slippery complexities of identity as guided by the tactile and material histories of his chosen media.
James T. Hong, an Asian American documentary filmmaker based in Taiwan, also makes sculpture and video projections. At Hong Kong’s Empty Gallery, Hong shows boxes made from frosted glass, illuminated from within and ostentatiously padlocked. Shifting shadow-play hints at creepy, undiscernible contents of a vaguely taxidermal sort secreted inside the boxes. A luminous video projection on a side wall is little more than a glowing blur.
Since the 1970s, Tishan Hsu’s practice has been nurtured by a cosmology that perceives a unity of heaven and humanity. His works often present clinical trials and tribulations where one can see the body exploded. The concern is not to locate the body in relation to technology, but to reconstitute the body anew. By Hera Chan
Co-organised by Empty Gallery’s long term friend Xper. Xr. and The Xevarion Institute. Tickets are available from the link below – hope to see you there!
January 22, 2020, 7 – 10PM
Chan Shu Kui City Hall, North Point 北角 陳樹渠大會堂
The gallery will be closed on 23 – 26, 29 – 31 Dec 2019 & 1 Jan 2020. Normal opening hours will resume on 2 Jan 2020.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
從John Coltrane / Rashied Ali《Interstellar Space》到John Tilbury / Marcus Schmickler《Variety》，二重形式的微密本質不時釀製出最扣人心弦的即興音樂。The Empty Gallery隆重呈獻《Dialogues》，兩對合作已久的音樂夥伴Ko Ishikawa / Joel Ryan與Jean-Luc Guionnet / Daichi Yoshikawa將帶來一場與別不同的即興演奏音樂會。率先演奏的是電腦與笙二重奏，緊接著為擴音色士風與音響回授的搭配。兩項演奏探索的異常樂器組合，在聆賞上彷彿互相糅合，併發出既前衛亦古老的音樂奏章。
Ko Ishikawa (石川高) 是一位受學於日本皇室導師古典訓練的笙樂演奏家，亦是當代雅樂團伶樂舍及Evan Parker電聲樂隊成員。縱然受傳統雅樂訓練的音樂家多涉足現代古典音樂，Ko是當中少數從事拓展實驗音樂與自由即興組織的音樂家。
Joel Ryan堪稱一代美國發明家 / 作曲家的典範。他最初受科學教育，其後逐漸移遷至音樂領域。就讀三藩市密爾斯學院時期，他曾與Robert Ashley及David Behrman同門，又加入了協助奠定矽谷地位的新興組織artist-hacker-radicals。他從其科學底子中借鑑，開創了應用在原聲樂器中的數碼信號處理系統。自1984年，Joel加入阿姆斯特丹STEIM並廣泛地與藝術家和音樂家合作，包括Evan Parker、William Forsyth、George Lewis、Steina Vasulka及Jerry Hunt。
Jean-Luc Guionnet是一位紮根巴黎的多棲樂器演奏家、作曲家及藝術家。他以能夠產生「有聲思考和行動」場景劃分作多個渠道的音樂實踐。他主要從事電聲範疇的工作，同時兼及自由即興音樂，演奏中音色士風、高音色士風、教堂管風琴和鋼琴，亦不時與Daichi Yoshikawa、Eric La Casa、Sejiro Murayama、Eric Cordier、Thomas Bonvalet Taku Unami等人物合作。
Daichi Yoshikawa (吉川大地) 是一位紮根於柏林及倫敦的音樂家及單車手。作為倫敦Cafe Oto一帶豐沃之地的新世代音樂家之一，他以自由即興的聲場為出發點，以回授與物件的運作為形式，把個人研究轉化為表演之聲。Daichi熱衷於能夠透過即場演出的緊湊感共同建構的空間。他的作品是音調、音量與姿態動作等極端裡的波動與起伏。