Sunday, May 25, 2014

K11 Concepts Limited; K11Art Mall

Lock Your Dream

Not an art piece per se, but part of the K11 Art Mall experience. K11 opened in January 2013 and has gained momentum as a site where contemplation and commerce intersect. It is conceived of by the scion of an art collecting family, Adrian Cheng. He said in an online interview, which I now cannot find, that "Shanghai K11 Art Mall is our brand's first art mall in the Mainland which merges art appreciation, experience of humanity and environmental consciousness, as well as shopping. Located in the bustling area of Shanghai, it boasts international brands, many of which have chosen the art mall as the location of their first flagship or concept store, which proves the success of the business model of K11. In the next few years, the K11 brand and its multi-cultural lifestyle zone will expand to 10 locations in the Mainland, namely Shenyang, Wuhan, Beijing, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Guiyang, Guanggu, Qingdao, Haikou and Ningbo, spanning more than 160,000 sq m, with a nice blend of commerce and art integrated spaces." As in all things Chinese, K11 balances multiple perspectives.
In this video (context below) Marilyn smokes and at one point Warhol appears top left. The colors change and smoke emits. 

Context for the Marilyn video. The art is often placed near signage and illuminated lamps. On the 6th floor there is a rooftop garden; there is art all over the mall and maps directing visitors. It changes the context of seeing a little--one looks at a dress, a video, as constructed objects, no sacrosanct white cube.

I visited K11 to see Monet's first exhibit in Mainland China, located on the bottom floor of the mall. The works were borrowed from the Marmatton Monet in Paris. Having visited the Marmatton in 2006 in a life changing experience of the late paintings, I wanted to see them again.

The first room of the Monet was tepid, and I braced for the second room as a loss of the 100 RMB admission (16.20, by today's conversion amount). But the second room was stellar. The boat painting, four flower paintings with great color shifts and compositions, including an unlikely naples yellow, lavenders and fruity greens, plus the late bridge paintings were there.  On a Tuesday morning, crowds were minimal. It was fantastic.

On the second floor someone touches the wall painting to see if it is real.

There is a store that sells art works.

A large work by Jean-Michel Othoniel who enjoyed a Brooklyn Museum retrospective in 2012 (August-December),  is in an office lobby that connects to K11.

A video work by emerging Korean artist Lee Jelim, Cheer-Ajumma (housewife), whose figures don red gloves for quotidian chores that celebrate their powerful role within the family.  (from panel text)

Damien Hirst's panel

and work

Part of what I love about travel is the chance to see works I might not otherwise know or see.

K11 entrance

Speaking with a K11 assistant some days later, I learn there is urban farming as well.

And that a miniature Giverny was built for the Monet show.

It was a gorgeous day and the Monets were lovely. How I wish I could have photographed them. There was a catalog, but the reproductions were not as beautiful as the paintings. There is something about those late paintings where he reaches toward abstraction, and touches it.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Notes on a Landscape: Shanghai Museum of Art

Love this big scale and episodic format.

Free and easy brushwork. This feels so germane in Asia--much more so than in New York. It captivates.

Beautiful structure in the landscape.

Black and dilute ink, interwoven together.

So light and delicate--look at both sides of each tree

Almost kitsch in its simplicity. Funny, too.

The Four Gentlemen and more...

Kou le stroke with chrysanthemum leaf application

On these chrysanthemums note the variation in ink: black and dry,  dilute

Orchid--almost wipes out on the blossom but the leaves are so free it is balanced

Plum--great control

The beautiful big rock with 2 birds


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One of the Eight  Eccentrics of Shanghai--these painters are the most interesting

Color to ink

Light to dark


Plum - takes a lot of work to pull this off

Sweet nights cape, sky stained from back

Stylized weirdness and a lovely limpid green tint throughout

At first, passed it up

But then this got me. Reminds me of Morris Graves.