Saturday, 18 August 2012

Sydney Biennale highlights

Whilst I was in Sydney for my latest exhibition Daily Rituals, I was lucky enough to squeeze in some time for the Sydney Biennale.

Some of the highlights were Yuken Teruya's Notice - Forest series at the NSW Art Gallery, a collection of paper bags which had tree silhouettes cut into them. The bags were displayed lying down, encouraging the viewer to look inside and see a three dimensional paper tree.

View looking inside a paper bag

Looking down onto a Chanel paper bag

Installation of the artworks - a clever way to engage the viewer
I was also impressed by Lee Mingwei's installation at the Museum of Contemporary Arts. Thousands of colourful cotton reels were attached to the gallery walls. A thread from each reel was attached to the clothing piled on the table. 

Lee's participatory installations, explore issues of trust, intimacy and self-awareness as the artist invites the viewer to engage with his work on a one-to-one basis. 

Lee Mingwei says "In The Mending Project, my interactive conceptual installation, I use very simple elements – thread, color, sewing – as points of departure for gaining insights into the relationships among self, other and immediate surroundings. It also constitutes an act of sharing between a stranger and myself. Visitors initially see a long table, two chairs and a wall of colorful cone-shaped spools of thread. During gallery hours, I am seated at that table, to which visitors can bring various damaged textile articles, choose the color of thread they wish, and watch as I mend the article. The mended article, with thread ends still attached, is then placed on the table along with previously mended items. Owners are asked to return to the gallery to collect their mended articles on the last day of the exhibition. The act of mending takes on emotional value as well, depending on how personal the damaged item is – a favourite shirt versus an old but little-used tablecloth."

Along with NSWAG and the MCA, the Biennale is also staged at Cockatoo Island, Pier 2/3 and the Carriage Works and runs until 16 September 2012.

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