Tuesday, 23 November 2010

bridging home

This piece, "Bridging Home" by Do Ho Suh, is between two buildings on Duke Street. The building is very traditionally Asian in design, and it gives a surprising first impression. As a work of art I think it seems to imply an incongruity between the two cultures, with the jaunty angle and relatively small size of the house seemingly being crushed between the two larger, Western buildings speaking volumes. The work seems clever, but to me there's an inherent air of novelty to it that kept me from meditating on its meaning too long.

I think Ho Suh's piece echoes some of the concerns of the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who uses traditional Chinese objects in his practise, twisting some aspect of their appearance to make them speak broader truths as objects.

Tala Madani's mural, "Sunny Side Up," on Fleet Street is another outdoor part of the Biennial's Touched series. The work seems to be a very stylised, abstracted representation of a group of men, the yellow marks seeming to imply urination or feculence. The works allusion to the more base aspects of the human condition, and the fact that it seems to represent a group, may be intended as a reminder that, despite our differences, we are all still the same animal in some ways. There's a humour to the work, and the use of line reminds me of traditional caricature artists such as Gillray. This element of caricature is something I'd say I share in my own practise, and the feeling of base human experience is something I've explored through similar means in my own drawings in the past, albeit more explicitly.

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