Thursday, November 25, 2010

“By Day, By Night” at the Rockbund Art Museum

Stephanie Hsu

"By Day, By Night" at the Rockbund Art Museum

The Rockbund Art Museum is currently presenting "By Day, By Night, or
Some (Special) Things a Museum Can Do" an exhibition curated by the
internationally acclaimed curator Hou Hanru. "By Day By Night"
showcases the works of nine Chinese and international artists in the
global art scene--Choi Jeong Hwa, Nedko Solakov, Perdo Cabrita Reis,
Sam Samore, Shahzia Sikander, Du Yun, Sun Xun, Tu Weicheng, and Zhou
Tiehai—who have been invited to spend a few weeks in residency to
explore Shanghai and create site-specific works for the exhibition.
The exhibition aims to engage the public in a dialogue with both the
global art world as well as the city of Shanghai about the rapid
economic, social, and cultural changes occurring in their

During our visit to the exhibition last week, our class observed the
diversity of themes, media, and styles of experimentation among the
artworks. The first work that we  looked at (and the one I enjoyed the
most) was Bulgarian artist Nedko Solakov's work "I Want back Home
(Said the Frog)," which occupied the square-ring shape of the gallery
space. The installation consists of video documentation of Solakov's
14-day train journey from Sofia to Shanghai, accompanied by his wife
and a large porcelain frog that the artist had purchased in New York's
Chinatown. Each day of Solakov's trip is depicted by a television
monitor and an accompanying vitrine that showcases the artist's diary
entries, collected souvenirs, sketches, texts, and photos— all of
which create a unique narrative of the artist's experience passing
through Siberia, Moscow, Ulaanbaatar, and Beijing. Solakov's work is
lighthearted and humorous, while demonstrating the artist's sharp
observations and appreciation of the simple details in his changing
daily surroundings.

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