RENDEVOUS AT YOGYAKARTA CONDE NAST TRAVELER, CHINA

Visit LWH Gallery, Shanghai.It is currently hosting an art exhibition “Impression Indonesia”. Two Indonesian artists from Yogyakarta – Harun and Yuli, share some of the most interesting places in Yogyakarta.

 

Yuli Kodo – Classical Yogyakarta

Yogyakarta is a royal city filled with rich Javanese culture. The sunrise at the famous Borobudur is most spectacular. It is best to stay in the vicinity of the site the night before. Manohara and Tembi Rumah Budaya are two distinctive local resorts near Borobudur. Yogyakarta is renown for its batik, sculpture, ceramic and silverware. Jalan Kasongan wholesale market and Beringharjo are wonderful place for shopping. At Jimbaran Resto, House of Raminten and Gajah Wong Resto, one can find authentic Javanese and Indonesian cuisine with a cosy ambience. In the evening, one could enjoy a Ramayana dance performance at Prambanan temple. It is the largest and perhaps the most beautiful Hindu temple in Indonesia.

 

Harun – Art Pulse of Yogyakarta

Yogyakarta is the heart of Javanese art and culture. Almost every other day, there will be a new art exhibition somewhere in Yogyakarta. When I need inspiration, I will visit the Yogyakarta National Museum. The museum building used to be my school, the Indonesia Institute of Art. Most of Indonesia’s great masters have shown their works at the museum. One of Indonesia’s foremost art collect, Dr Oei Hong Djien’s private museum – OHD Museum, is located at Malang, which is not far from Yogyakarta. Dr Oei supports many young Indonesian artists who have become masters of contemporary art. The museum has an excellent collection of art covering a wide genre – certainly a treasure trove of contemporary Indonesian art.

DREAMS LOVE COMPANY BY CHOW YIAN PING, ZbBz ART

Emerging artist Zhang Zuo has found a believer in Singaporean-owned LWH Gallery, which organised his first solo exhibition

By Chow Yian Ping

 

The sun has just set on Moganshan Road and the LWH Gallery, established by Singaporean Lee Woon Hoe right by Suzhou Creek is ready to close for the day. This was the last day of 27-year-old Zhang Zuo’s solo exhibition – Solace of Youth, and he managed to sell three works.

 

If artists such as Xu Zhen, Maleonn, Yang Yongliang and Lu Yang are part of the young constellation that is lighting up in China’s contemporary arts scene, then Zhang – an industrial design graduate of Yanshan University in Hebei – is biding his time for a spot among the stars.

 

Simplicity and Solitude
Zhang was born to a family of farmers in rural Hebei. Although he did not gain admission to a fine arts programme after high school, he has doggedly stuck to his dream of becoming an artist, practicing on his own in the meantime. He went from Beijing to Shanghai last year, because Beijing was too “dry” as were his networking options. “Beijing’s winters are bleak and there is little warmth in interpersonal relations.” He concludes. “Although it’s a place I’m familiar with. I decided to stay away. I also wanted to experience other cities.”

 

In Shanghai, he took up day jobs and painted at night. He rented a small studio and gave himself the title “Su Ren” (or “Amateur”). It is a term used in the writings of Taiwanese author San Mao about a group of individuals in Paris doing the same thing as he was: working in the day, painting at night – leading all in all an ascetic lifestyle.

 

While looking for a job, Zhang had walked into LWH Gallery and it was there that he met Lee, a Singaporean who had quit his job in a multinational firm to set up an art gallery in Shanghai with his life savings. Impressed with his portfolio, Lee decided to organise an exhibition for Zhang, his first solo exhibition. The works are created using paint, watercolours and in pen, and express the lack of moorings and loneliness felt by young migrants in the cities. Zhang says he relies more on emotions than an understanding of society to paint his canvasses, as the latter is something he lacks.

 

Society Too Much For Him
The alienation Zhang feels, that is a major theme in his works, had been brewing since he left home for the big cities. Preferring a more stable life, none of Zhang’s schoolmates had chosen to become artists, even those who had gone on to study the fine arts. On the other hand, Zhang was determined to continue painting and wait for a breakthrough.

 

Living in Shanghai, the city has grown more unfamiliar and even frightening to him, he confesses. He takes heart in being able to continue with his passion, with the best success being the exhibition gig he snagged.

 

“Now I feel I have nothing to do with society, that I am a person who is not in society. I don’t seem to be able to handle things like interpersonal relationships and financial relationships in modern life… therefore, I wish to keep a distance. Perhaps, one day, I will have no choice but to go into society, to face it and even to confront it, but the time is not now.

 

As it turns out, the 500 sq ft of gallery space in LWH may have been the warmest place in chilly Shanghai for him – at least for now.

 

“There’s a saying that goes, if you feel that something is too great, too overwhelming, then you should keep a distance from it. Once I go (into society). I will not be able to see or feel certain things. I am not resisting (society), I just wish to be myself.”

 

Courtesy Of ZbBZ

THE ESSENCE OF ‘i’

For eternality, man have long deliberated on definition and meaning of ‘I’.

But with the growing invention of science on ‘I’, be it through artificial intelligence or research on human cloning, coupled with our ever cyber-connected human relations, in both the social and politics sphere, the discussion of ‘I’ has become ever more complex.

“Can an ‘I’ cloned from my genes be considered a human being?” With the ever pervasive stealth like the social and political conditioning, “Am I really who I am ?”

At first glance, there is no commonality in the works of these between these two highly acclaimed contemporary artists from Korea. Ho Yoon SHIN expresses though the ancient craft of the fine paper cutting technique while Zi Woon WANG work’s features technology and science through the bodies of cyborgs.

However, as one delves deeper into the psyche of the two artists and their artistic expression about mankind, their similarities begin to unfold.

Wang considers it important to for man to learn to break free from physical human bondage in order to achieve harmony between men and machines. He thinks this harmony can be achieved through the process of religious practices and spiritual enlightenment, just like Buddha is a being who reaches the highest level of enlightenment. The artist has no intention to emphasize religious connotations through those Buddhist iconography inspired works. Rather is a platform to reflect his own or our own existence between utopia and dystopia.

Like Wang, Shin deliberates upon the state dystopia of in Korean using Buddhism inspired iconography to express to state of man and society.

“I am interested in social phenomena and approached the essence of it. I realised that the closer I approached it, I realised there is no essence. I think it is already intrinsic in you, being judged and evaluated by the inherent values in our things or me. Therefore, if examined in that viewpoint, I begin to understand why the power group of Korea has wanted to spilt all kinds of social systems, – the right and the left, social classes divided on its economic structure, dominance and subordination etc.

Although both of their work stemmed from their personal narratives, it has gradually extended its domain to issues on human existence. Wang’s work aggressively questions on human existence and makes an attempt to graft this onto something mechanical rather than passively accepting the future. While in the case of Shin, his distinct expression on ‘emptiness’ of his works and that of the world as a whole is a testimony to that belief of all is if no substance.

“Looking at a solid body made up through several layers, we get to know that the system of the body is organised rather dangerously than strangely, and the system looks like the contemporary society. And its vacant surface and inside are getting filled with our inherent images to completion. In the end, it’s a story about the situation and a point where we fill a surface that doesn’t exist… and console and satisfy ourselves.”, says Shin.

So what lies ahead for us? Wang is hopeful humans will evolve and adapt themselves to enhanced science and technology, just as Shin bring forth an ancient craft to a another level and communicated in a contemporary context. Both see the future, not as a fight to eliminate the negative, a defeat of the dystopia, or feud between good vs. evil. But rather it about is attainting that state of harmony and balance of life.

For perhaps at the end of it all….. ‘i’ is no essence.
About Ho Yoon Shin

Born in 1975, Ho Yoon Shin graduated from Chosun University in 2001. His awe-inspiring works has won him multiple awards in Korea and has been shown Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany, Bulgaria and USA.

There is No Essence’ is a series of sculptures made entirely of hi fibre paper and crafted entirely by hand, these intricate artworks are inspired by not just Buddhism philosophy; but they also explores the fundamental social and political conditions in Korea and the world today.

Each of these intricate sculptures is painstaking crafted by Shin. Shin hand cuts each layer of the sculpture and coat them Urethane that protects and preserves the paper. Each layer is then carefully put together with coated paper joints that lend strength and stability to the artwork. Each of this artwork weighs no more than 200 gm.

To view more works by the artist, click here
About Zi Won Wang

Born in 1980, Korea, Zi –Won Wang graduated from the Chung Ang University with a BA in Sculpture in 2005. He proceeded to complete his Masters in 2007. In addition to having multiple solo exhibitions in Seoul, Tokyo and Amsterdam, Wang’s works have been shown in other major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Chicago and New York.

Wang’s work begins from the birth of Z, a mechanical man. He refers to this man as a post human species, appropriating his own appearance and naming the mechanic man Z after his own name’s English initial. In his work, Z has proliferated and evolved in diverse modes. His works is a reflection of himself in human society, and appears as a protagonist or a baby. It is without doubt the artist himself, facing and playing with us, at the point where his most fundamental questioning begins. The question is whether Z can exist as a human being, and a machine with the spirit breaking away from the human body can be admitted as ‘I’ by others.

To view more works by the artist, click here

Zi Won Wang

Artist Story
Wang considers it important for man to learn to break free from our bondage with our physical body in order to achieve harmony between men and machines. He thinks this harmony can be achieved through the process of religious practices and spiritual enlightenment,  just like Buddha is a being who reaches the highest level of enlightenment. The artist has no intention to emphasize religious connotations through those Buddhist iconography inspired works. Rather is a platform to reflect his own or our own existence between utopia and dystopia.

 

Although his work stemmed from a personal narrative, it has gradually extended its domain to issues on human existence. Wang’s work aggressively questions on human existence and makes an attempt to graft this onto something mechanical rather than passively accepting the future.

 

So what lies ahead for us? Wang is hopeful humans will evolve and adapt themselves to enhanced science and technology.  He sees the future,  not as a fight to eliminate the negative, a defeat of the dystopia, or feud between good vs. evil. But rather it about is attainting that state of harmony and balance of life.

 

Born in 1980, Korea, Zi –Won Wang graduated from the Chung Ang University with a BA in Sculpture in 2005. He proceeded to complete his Masters in 2007. In addition to having multiple solo exhibitions in Seoul,  Tokyo and Amsterdam, Wang’s works have been shown in other major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai,  Chicago and New York.

 
Awards

2010 - Song Eun Award
2009 - 2010 Seoul City Nanji Art Studio,   7th Artist,   Seoul,   Korea
2011 - The National Art Studio (Goyang),   4th Artist,   Gyeonggi-do,   Korea
2012 - 2014 Jang Heung Sculpture Atelier   3th Artist,   GyeonggI-do,   Korea

 

Solo Exhibition

2007 - ‘My name is Z’  Sungbo Gallery,  Seoul,   Korea (2007.06.16~06.22)
2008 - ‘Z’ Yoshiko Matsumoto Gallery, Netherlands (2008.02.20~03.30)
2008 - ‘Collective Intelligence’ Dukwon Gallery,  Seoul,  Korea (2008.08.08~08.24)
2010 - ‘Mechanical Nirvana’  355 Gallery,   Tokyo,   Japan (2010.11.06~11.25)
2011 - ‘Mechanical Xanadu’  GYM Project,   Seoul,   Korea (2011.11.30~12.14)
2013 - ‘Mechanical Samsara’  Kumsan Gallery,   Seoul,   Korea

 

Selected Group Exhibitions

2005 - ‘Neo imagination’ Ie-young Contemporary Art Museum, Gyeonggi-do. Korea
2006 - ‘Gosam-myeon reservoir Art Festival,   Gyeonggi-do Korea
2006 - ‘Beijing National Art College Interchange-Exhibition’,   Beijing,   China
2007 - ‘New a Spring’  Art Space Hyun,   Seoul,   Korea
2007 - ‘Park and Park’  Seoul foundation for Arts & Culture,   Seoul,   Korea
2007 - ‘Badaq with Z’ Badaq Bar,   Seoul,   Korea
2007 - ‘W Hotel Art & Wine’,   W Hotel,   Seoul,   Korea
2008 - ‘Longstory’  Amsterdam Museum of Art,   Amsterdam,   Netherlands
2008 - ‘RAI ( KunstRAI)’,   Amsterdam,   Netherlands
2009 - ‘Kring’  Kring Gallery,    Seoul,    Korea
2009 - ‘Emergency Room’ Kepco Plaza Gallery,    Seoul,    Korea
2009 - ‘I’ Gate Gallery,   Seoul,   Korea
2009 - ‘Robot City Masan’  3.15 Art Center,   Masan,   Korea
2009 - ‘Incheon International Digital Art Festival’,   Incheon,   Korea
2009 - ‘Combination of Science and Art’  Savina Museum,   Gwacheon Korea
2009 - ‘Scale of dragon’  Seoul Art Center,   Seoul,   Korea
2009 - ‘No…’  Gwangju Museum of Art,   Gwangju,   Korea
2009 - ‘I robot’ Soma Museum,   Seoul Korea
2009 - ‘Extended Movement’  Kring Gallery,   Seoul,   Korea
2010 - ‘Wonder kiddy’  Gallery Ihn,   Seoul,   Korea
2010 - ‘Korean Art Show’,   New York,   U.S.A
2010 - ‘Individuals’  Artpark Gallery,   Seoul,   Korea
2010 - ‘Seogyo60’  Sangsangmadang Gallery,   Seoul,   Korea
2010 - ‘Art Chicago’,   Chicago,   U.S.A
2010 - ‘First Decade’  Seoul Museum of Art,   Seoul,   Korea
2010 - ‘Between and Tension’  Moran Museum of Art Gyeonggi-do,   Korea
2010 - ‘New faces’  Andrew Bae Gallery,   Chicago U.S.A
2010 - ‘The Lamp of the East preview’  Atelier Aki,   Seoul,   Korea
2010 - ‘The Lamp of the East’,   Mumbai,   India
2011 - ‘I Robot’ Chosun Art Museum,   Seoul,   Korea
2011 - ‘Song Eun Award’  Song Eun Art Space,   Seoul,   Korea
2011 - ‘Hybrid Creativity’ Savina Museum,   Seoul,   Korea
2011 - ‘Intro’  The National Art Studio
2011 - ‘SCOPE Art Show’,   New York,   USA
2011 - ‘Homo_Substitutio’  LVS Gallery,   Seoul Korea
2011 - ‘Art Chicago’,   Chicago,   U.S.A
2011 - ‘ON. PLAN. MAKE.’  Televison12,   Seoul Korea
2011 - ‘Art Wave-Why Contemporary?’  Atelier Arki in VERSACE HOME,   Seoul Korea
2011 - ‘Haein Art Project‘  Sungbo Museum,   Hapcheon-gun,   Korea
2012 - ‘Being with You’  Behive Gallery,   Seoul,   Korea
2012 - ‘Kinetikos’  Space K,   Daejeon,   Korea
2012 - ‘ART NOVA 100’ Wie-e Museum, SZ Art Center,  Jiuchang Arario Gallery,  Beijing
2012 - ‘Gwangju Media Art Festival’  Asia Culture floor,   Gwangju,   Korea
2012 - ‘Don Quixote ’  Jangheung Sculpture Park,   Jangheung,   Korea
2012 - ‘Ancient Future’,   Culture Station Seoul 284,   Seoul,   Korea
2012 - ‘Art X Game – Bartz Revolutionary War’  Gyeonggi-do Musuem,   Korea
2012 - ‘Beautiful Star’ Beyond Museum,   Seoul,   Korea
2013 - ‘Brilliant Yangpyeong’  Yangpyeong Museum,   Yangpyeong,   Korea
2013 - ‘Open mind’  KOTRA Open Gallery,   Seoul,   Korea
2013 - ‘Gravity & Time Moving Sculpture’ SOMA Museum,   Seoul,   Korea
2013 - ‘(Utopia)²’  GS Caltax Yeulmaru Yesu,   Korea
2013 - ‘A Night on the Galactic Railroad’  Nampo Museum,   Goheung,   Korea
2013 - ‘Heterology’  Seoul Tech Museum of Art,   Seoul,   Korea
2014 - ‘Heterology’  Seoul Tech Museum of Art,   Seoul,   Korea
2014 - The Essence of ‘I’,   LWH Gallery,   Shanghai