kinetica at hotel elephant

Vanishing Point: kinetic sculptures by Ivan Black and mathematical images by Reuben Powell
Kinetica Museum at Hotel Elephant

Kinetica Museum is opening their latest show in the Frieze week last friday. Kinetic installations by Ivan Black and drawings by Reuben Powell are shown in Reuben's gallery space in Elephant & Castle.

video link

video link

Reuben Powell's drawing

Full photo set

Location -

Further Readings -
Page: Official web for Kinetica Museum
Page: Official page for the exhibition (link will expire after the show)
Twitter: @kineticamuseum

Marina Abramović's twitter interview


Lisson Gallery has chosen the Frieze week to launch a twitter interview with their 'new' artist Marina Abramović. It looks like a successful event, with the artist spending an hour answering questions posted by tweeple (people who uses twitter). We compiled the interview below from tweets under the #marinalissonlive hashtag - there may not be the 100% correct sequence of questions & answers since it is not really that clearly arranged online, but it should give you an idea of what's been asked and how she thinks of those topics nevertheless.

Q: (Nicholas Logsdail, founder of Lisson Gallery) How do you feel about your first Lisson show?
A:  I feel great about my first show at Lisson. It is the right moment. Nicholas asked me last year if I could be his Louise Bourgeois. 

Q: (Nicholas) How do you feel about the future of Performance?
A: Every time there is a economic crisis around you have to start from nothing. I always like to confront my fears. I am staging my fears in my performance. It is also important to explore humor in art.

Q: (@Squirrelala) Hi Marina, have you ever done an impromptu art performance or is it always planned before?
A: I've never done any performance spontaneously. I believe in preparation. I like to see the space before hand.  I don't believe in performance as entertainment.

Q: Do you think the re-performing of historical performance work is necessary for a new generation to experience them?
A: I believe that performance is a living form of art.

Q: Marina, what is the first performance that you remember doing? The last major show you had in the UK was at MoMA Oxford in 1998, why has it been so long since your return to the UK?
A: In many ways there was no time for performance art previously. It was more about putting artists here on an international platform rather than bringing new artists to the UK.

Q: (@londonart - that's ours!) The 2 pieces with onion & potato with Marina - why she uses New York Times as wrap on one & russian paper another?
A: Russia was very present in my culture. Potatoes have so much to do with Russia.

Q: (@CreativeLondon) Marina, how do you get a lamb/donkey to sign a model release form?
A: I love this question. I didn't! I love working with the donkey - they are known for their emotion. They are stubborn like me!

Q: How have you spent your time recovering from your MoMA performance?
A: It means so much to be around nature. It was hard to go back to normality. This performance has affected me more than any.

Q: (@DANIELjonKING) Many participants in "THE ARTIST IS PRESENT" view you as a mother figure. Do you consider them as your children?
A: I see my work as my children. For me it was important to be in the present for my MoMA performance. I gave unconditional love to total strangers.

"Marina Abramović: Live at MoMA" by MoMAVideos

Q: What was the most special moment of your MoMA performance?
A: For me the special moment of my MoMA performance was an old woman who came and gave me a shawl as a sign of friendship. It was a symbolic appreciation of my work. It made me burst in to tears. There was a very spiritual element to the work. Also important for me was that the guard for the performance waited and came to sit in front of me. 

Q: (@OperaCreep) Marina, do you think that performance art can live outside the realm of art galleries? Could flashmobs be its future?
A: What are these flash mobs? This is recent for me but I think its a great way to go. It is something I never use in my life because my is very real. I'm also a fan of second life. Flash mob is a big possibility.

Q: Where did you make most of the work in this show?
A:  I needed to do something which is going back to simplicity, which i would have never been able to do if I had not made these works in the 70's

Q: (@annieh_artist) Does performance art need an audience?
A: Absolutely yes. Any performance without an audience doesn't have the same energy. The work is the audience.

Q: Can you tell us a joke?
A: Oh yes. How many artists do you need to fix a light bulb? I don't know I was only there 6 hours!

Q: (@gtvone) Marina, as a performance artist - how much input do you have into how your art is captured, technically?
A: In the beginning I never knew about control. Now I have complete control which is extremely important. To make such a performance you need to be invited and I have never been invited.

Q: Do you think you will ever repeat the performance in another part of the world.
A:  I would never say no to this but right now I can't imagine it because it was only three months ago. I need time to see if I have the strength to do this. 

Q: (@DANIELjonKING) Valuable friendships developed amongst many queuing for THE ARTIST IS PRESENT. Did you ever imagine this?
A: Why did Johnny Depp not ask anything? A community developed around my work at Guggenheim and this developed with the performance at MoMA. It was really emotional because people involved in the performance really felt it would change their lives. 75 people came 10 times to see me at MoMA.

Q: How do you feel when looking at work you made over 35 years ago in the 1970's?
A: It makes me very tired actually. It is the only time I feel old. I should really move on and I am always trying to move on. Let's say I have a healthy distance.

Q: (@yacabo) Do you believe that there is a star system in contemporary arts as well like Hollywood?
A: Oh definitely and I am against that. Artists should not be an idol. The work of art is important not the artist.  I have just been asked by a film maker in Russia if I can play the lead role a film. I refused. That was my big chance to get to Hollywood.

Q: Can I come meet you?
Who are you?

Q: (@rowanhull) How important is time in your work?
A: Time is everything. I really believe long duration is important in a work of art. It can change you emotionally and physically.

Q: Will your show from MoMA tour to anywhere else?
What is this 'back-up' question? I just got information yesterday that it is going to be in the Garage Moscow in September 2011

Q: Why and how do you think people relate to your work?
 My concern is to give everything I have to the audience and it is up to them how they want to deal with that. There are so many different reactions to my work. The ones who participate see something happen because we have shared the same experience. The audience are free to take what they want from the work. The public are an important part of the performance. 

Q: (@DANIELjonKING) if you could choose anyone (living or dead) to play you in a film, who would it be?
A: That is a good question. I need some time to think. I would like to be played by Maria Callas because she would understand me the best. Or I think it would be Anna Magnani. She's italian and she understands drama and emotions. 

Q: (@IsabellaBurley) When will you stop producing work?
A: For an artist is is very important to know when to stop, when not to repeat oneself and when to die. I should not stop producing work now. 

Q: (@delfinafdnThe Abramavic Studio at Location One is a powerhouse for development. Do you think residencies are still important in this mobile age?
A: I think artists today are modern nomads and residencies give them the chance to go from place to place. With residencies you are exposed to a new environment which is very important for artists making new work. 

Q: (@annieh_artist) Is performance art the only unmediated art form?
A: Before there was a bit of photography but not any more. Performance now has a chance to become mainstream art.
Q: How are you finding this interview process
A: It is very fancy. I've never done Twitter in my life. I'm not good with technology. I had a washing machine for one year which I couldn't use and it was only pressing one button! This is like science fiction for me. 

Q: How does your early work relate to what you are doing now?
I could never do what I do now if I didn't do early work. I investigated my body limits now I investigate my mental limits. So what do you do in this office? Is this only a Twitter room? And are these your Twitter girls? Is the final question 'Where do you want to die?' It is really important to start from the beginning to see where everything comes from. My biography would be great to understand my childhood. Everything comes in to place after that. You have to take something personal and make it universal. 

Q: (@dhmonroy) Dear Marina, who artist influenced you, when you begining as an artist?
A:  I really don't think I was influenced by an artist. Being influenced by another artist is like being second hand. Artists that I admire are Yves Klein, Rothko, Duchamp and John Cage among others. So now I've done Twitter for the first time in my life!

Marina Abramović private view 12.10.2010 by Lisson Gallery

See our review on her show at Lisson Gallery here


We will be covering the official Frieze Art Fair in the upcoming posts - stay tuned.

a sedimentation of life - dirk stewen / ai wei wei / marina abramović

As our previous post suggests, here are 3 of our 10 picks in town during the Frieze Art Fair week which shows a sedimentation of the lives in the three artists featured -


Dirk Stewen
Maureen Paley

German artist Dirk Stewen is reknown for creating art pieces from his wide collection of materials, be it photographic paper, pages taken from antiquated art catalogues, posters, confetti of all sizes and colours, streamers, book covers, and sometimes with industrial prefab wood or metal.

Dirk's series of black-ink-soaked paper collage art evokes a sense of cosmic creations of the spanish surrealism master Joan Miró. And his use of 'aged' raw materials bring various dimensions of time in one piece - which is something quite poetically supernatural even though no new-age technology seems to be involved in producing each piece of work.

The intimate scale of individual elements within the overall scale of each piece of work; and the delicate nature of these pieces are key to his success (you can read the links below to find out more how he makes these pieces). It strikes a chord of 'vulnerable beauty' to us.

Full photo set

Finally, a special thank you to Maureen Paley & Wolfgang Tillmans for the complimentary autograph - it's a pleasure to meet 'the' photographer of our time!

Further Readings - 
Page: Official website of the artist
Page: Official page for the show at Maureen Paley Gallery
Publication: listings from
Show: Droplets (2009), Atle Gerhardsen
Show: Paper Eye Collection (2009), Tanya Bonakdar Gallery
Show: The Exhibition Formerly Known as Passengers (2008), CCA Wattis Institute of Contemporary Arts
Blog: Tribute by, 02.06.2009
Review (for Tanya Bonakdar show): by Fionn Meade for ARTFORUM


Ai Wei Wei - Sunflower's seeds
Tate Modern Turbine Hall

The long-awaited Turbine Hall blockbuster by the hottest Chinese artist on earth is finally open. Ai wei wei's flower seeds is an installation full of his individual character and the communist character of collective production as well as uniformity. Each seed is hand-painted and thus should be unique on its own, yet when combining 100 million of them together you can no longer see the individuality but just one sheer mass of a uniform texture - it is exactly this conflicting dual characters that is so resembling to what contemporary China is to the West. 

And whatever Ai does, people would assume/regard himself to be a representation of a group of Chinese fighting for human rights and social justice. To some extent, this is true. But irony sometimes do put a joke on him. In his interview with Fantastic Man magazine before the show unveils, he told the interviewer to 'ask me anything you like'. But then when he was asked about the Turbine Hall installation, he said "I really can't talk about it, they even asked me no to talk to you in particular about this." The interviewer concludes that Ai is 'partially censored' by Tate - C'est la vie.

Visitors are allowed to do whatever they like on the field - the sound of the porcelain sands make one feel like walking in a pebble beach. And because the seeds would get worn with constant rubbing, there is clearly a layer of dust suspending inside the hall, which creates a sense of anxiety despite the relaxed mood of the installation.

panorama video

aerial view

Ai embraces social-media technology. So there is an interactive element within the installation which the visitors can record and upload their views to the installation and questions to the artist.

Making-of video from Tate Modern online

Full photo set

We suggest a read of the current (A/W2010) issue of Fantastic Man or issue #22 of Mono Kultur if you would enjoy finding out what Ai Wei Wei's life is about through interviews.

Further Readings -
Page: Official website of the artist
Page: Ai Wei Wei on Fantastic Man
Page: Official page of the show in Tate Modern
Review & Photos: "Tate Modern's Sunflower Seeds - Globalisation in the palm of your hand" by Adrian Searle for the Guardian, 11.10.2010
Review:"Reflections on Ai Weiwei’s Dialogue with Katie Hill at the Tate Modern" by Jennifer Ng, 13.10.2010
Interview: by John Sunyer for New Statesman, 12.10.2010
Video: VernissageTV, 12.10.2010
Twitter: of the artist (chinese version)
Twitter: of the artist (translated english version - fewer updates)


Marine Abramović
Lisson Gallery

Known as one of the most important performing artist of our time, Marina Abramović challenges the limits of performance constantly in terms of the body of the actors as well as the mind of the audience. Here in this show, a complete collection of her early work series Rhythm is shown as well as some recent works in the 2 gallery spaces of Lisson across the street respectively.

Seeing her works from different times put together is an excellent manifestation of her achievement because of her endurance in the art pursuit. She has clearly lived her artistic life fruitfully, yet she hasn't been thinking of retiring and retreating. In her interview with the Monocle magazine, she said she is still raising funds for building a Performance Arts Academy under her name. Her whole life has been very much dedicated to this single art form. She hopes to keep her legacy in a permanent form to inspire the future generations.

Below are 2 videos produced earlier this year on her MoMA show -
"Marina Abramović: Live at MoMA" by MoMAVideos

T Magazine: T Exclusive | Marina Abramovic by TheNewYorkTimes

Lisson Gallery would hold a twitter interview with the artist on 14.10 - send your questions to @lisson_gallery!

Full photo set

Further Readings -
Page: Official page for the 2010 show in Lisson Gallery
Page: "Marina Abramović in London" by Cherie Federico for Aesthetica 05.10.2010
Page: "Marina Abramović - Make Me Cry" for her MoMA show 2010
Page: "Marina Abramović - Hotties" for her MoMA show 2010
Page: "Living the Art" by Luke Crisell for Monocle 10.2010
Interview: Matthew Stone meets Marina Abramović by Matthew Stone for DazedDigital
Wikipedia: entry for the artist

more than frieze... our picks outside the main fair

Frieze Art Fair 2010

With the mega Frieze in town this week, every one in the art 'industry' is cooking full speed to serve the audience a big feast. Below are some recommendations from various print media -

The Independent: here
Wall Street Journal: here
W magazine: here
Official media partner the Guardian: here

If you have any energy left after the official Frieze events, or simply don't bother to spend money for entry but still want to support art, here are a few shows around which we quite like (in no particular order!) -

Finally, if you have not booked your tickets yet, don't forget the 2-for-1 offer by TimeOut here!

a group show in a WWII bunker

When the Dust Settles
The Bunker at the Print House

It's First Thursdays last night and art is exploding around East London as usual. We were invited to visit this group show in an exciting space in Dalston -

London Bunker Preview by c4eye

DnA by Amanda Whittle (partial close-up)

David J. Smith performing live

Full photo set

You can see for yourself above the show is quite a good mix of various media. Other than what's been captured here, there are also a projector showing a film as well as 2 rooms with live music (at the time we visited) and sound installation. For details see official promotion post here. Everything will end after Sunday!


Further Readings -
Page: David J. Smith's blog
Page: Amanda Sylvia's blog
Video: Disinformation's Youtube channel

a trio show in three distinctive spaces

Ten Thousand Waves - Issac Julien / Yayoi Kusama / The Hallucinations of Poets - Hernan Bas

The Victoria Miro Gallery is one of our favourites in London in terms of spatial quality. Converted from an old warehouse to the current gallery complex by Claudio Silvestrin & Michael Dain Architects, this week the gallery opens a trio show with three artists showing works in 3 types of media in 3 distinctive spaces within their premise. 


Once you walked into the gallery, you would find the works of Hernan Bas in the ground floor showspace and the upper level attic. The colours and landscape background in Hernan's paintings blend in very well with the attic's exposed timber frames. In this show, the paintings are all subjected with young men isolated in a gloomy grotesque landscape settings, but highlighted with sparkling or colo. They evoke a sense of "Dark Romantics", as the gallery press release says.

Hernan Bas's paintings shown at the attic (as well as the ground floor gallery space which inter-connect with the attic by a void)

The insertion of young man into bizarre landscape settings create a tense yet interesting image

Previous dialogue with Hernan Bas in New York:
A Conversation with Hernan Bas at the Brooklyn Museum in 02.2009


Outside the building lie the wild flowers by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Contrary to her previous work in the same space, this time she is as pop as ever and the 3 flora installations have definitely spiced up the calm backgarden. The presence of real nature provides an even-more contrasting aspect of the pseudo-nature (or mutated-nature) in Yayoi's works.

Yayoi Kusama's "Flowers that Bloom Tomorrow" negotiating with the private view crowd

The signature 'pop' of Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama - I Love ME trailer by jpop4america:


At the top floor studio where the space is reduced to the minimal white walls, framless glazing and timber flooring; 9 photographs taken in the making of Issac Julien's film "Ten Thousand Waves" are displayed. The photographs have a very engineered feel with its glossy surface and the very subject of a movie set (the green screen, the ancient costume etc.), which re-inforce the artificiality of the minimal space they are situated.

Looking down the narrow staircase from top floor dance studio

Glass House (Ten Thousand Waves) by Issac Julien, 2010

A previous film by Issac:
"Baltimore by Issac Julien" by Alavaraoa


It is an enjoyable visit which shows the power of well-executed curatorship.

Full photo set

Further Readings -
Page: Official page for the show in Victoria Miro online - Issac Julien / Hernan Bas / Yayoi Kusama
Page: Wikipedia entry for Hernan Bas
Page: Hernan Bas introduced by Saatchi Gallery
Page: Official page of Ten Thousand Waves
Video: Hernan Bas by Nicole Davis for Artnet TV
Video: Yayoi Kusama - Kusama's Self Obliteration (1967) by Andyfshito
Video: Director Isaac Julien and actor Tilda Swinton discuss "Derek" by sundancechannel


And a side note - londonist has started a series called London Street Art Guide. Stik, Eine & CitizenKane are so far featured -


A multi-media public art sensation

part of Late at Tate Britain

KMA, an artist duo belongs to Kit Monkman and Tom Wexler, had brought their amazing interactive installation to London this week.

People gather around the screen and found themselves becoming part of the installation

Setting it at the venue of Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground in the Chelsea College of Art & Design next to Tate Britain is clearly not going to attract attention as much as the Outrace in Trafalgar Square during the London Design Festival. However, we would say the quiet neighbourhood proves to be a more suitable location for the KMA's work. It is a very poetic act to try inviting viewers to become performers and get involved in the whole act. And it proves to be very successful despite the bad weather on last friday - see for yourselves in the following pictures and videos -

Light beams on ground trace the presence of 'performers' within the detection zone and follow their movements as well 

Spotlights are cast on 'performers' in sequence

People posing for the motion-capture under spotlight

People follows their 'own' light-cones cast on them previously when the cones start to move along a circular path, making a ritual-like moment

The music by Peter Broderick is an importance part to ignite the mood of the participants -
The 'stage' at Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground - video link

Another video when the performance was hold in Bournemouth Square for its European debut - video by Alastair Nisbet

We believe KMA has done a wonderful and truly multi-media sensation. It can really represent the best of Britain to audience around the world!

Full photo set

Further Readings-
Official page at Tate Britain online and Official page at UAL
Official page of KMA
Facebook page for KMA
Peter Broderick on Myspace

design detour: london design festival part 1 - tent london & showhow

TENT London is once again showing at the Old Trumen Brewery in Brick Lane this year. With some exhibitiors moving on to new venue such as the Tramshed (to be continued in part 2), we felt there is a sense of emptiness in TENT, particularly in the TENT digital section, which shows the amazing work of digital designer group WOW last year in the main screen. This year it becomes non-design propaganda for the UK Trade Commission, which we think is a bit anti-climax and lack of originality. Kingston Uniersity has occupied a space in TENT to show its graduates' works, which helps to bring back some edge to the show.

Still some of the exhibitors in the main hall are doing great job - here are some highlights:

Full photo set link

Just a few steps from the main fee-accessed venue, Showhow has a group of danish designers and enterprises showing innovative and sustainably-designed products:

Full photo set link

More to come in part 2 for the LDF!

publicity & reality

Paul Boudens - Trust Me
The Wapping Project

Introduction at the entrance

Graphics Master Paul Boudens is collaborating with Set Designer Bob Verhelst on the Wapping Project's latest show in conjunction with the London Design Festival. Boudens is a key player in the visual representation of the fashion world and has also been involved in invitation design with Yohji Yamamoto and Dries Van Noten. The show features his works in the past 20 years, which has been the transition between traditional media to new & multi-media.

Paul Boudens'  works are mosaics on the floor, the wall and the ceiling

We are very impressed with the publicity posters and flyers Paul designed for his own show - it has been all around town. (Of course we would not show it here, you would have to go to see it for yourself in the gallery. It is available for sale.)

The main suspending showcase in the gallery

It can be easily understood that the show is a propaganda set for his new book. However, it seems that the dialogue between the set design and his works is a bit weak. Other than wallpapering prints of his works here & there, we do not quite get how the set concept is related to his works, his style or his book. Perhaps the spectacle in the preview night as described in the official listing is good enough for the mainstream media and visitors to leave a good impression. But without that, it becomes a really static space which cannot quite portray the vibrant creativity of the Belgian master.

A number of Paul's first books (volume 1) are being used as the subject of the installation at the annex space

A search on youtube found these showcase clips of A Magazine, which was founded by Paul Boudens -

A magazine #3 - Art Director & Graphic Designer: Paul Boudens

A magazine #5 - Art Director & Graphic Designer: Paul Boudens

A magazine #7 - Art Director & Graphic Designer: Paul Boudens

If these videos are projected on the outside walls of the suspending room, it would animate the space and give a better understanding on the design aesthetics of Paul Boudens (the set works probably more in the philosophy level). Afterall, this is a multimedia era, we do not feel our visit is concluded until this blog has been finished :)

Full photo set

If you have visited the show, feel free to share what you think here.


Further Readings -
Official listing in London Design Festival
Official website of Paul Boudens (contains an interesting animation clip, mainly for promoting his book)
Paul Boudens in fashion brand Coming Soon's campaign

interview with DS


London-based DS has been showing his works around the UK as well as the continent via Affordable Art Fair & Art Helsinki. You can see his works in the upcoming London Fashion & Art Event in ICA (21.09). He talks to us about what inspries him, how commercialism and individual originality could co-exist/complement each other in graffiti art, and his future plans -


Pissed Panda


1. You say in your website you were fascinated by miniature design, Japanese animation & propaganda posters. What qualities in each of them do you fall in love with?

A: Propaganda posters and Japanese animation have a massive influence on my art. Stories and tension conveyed in a single image, the exploration of themes of violence and fragility, the use of epic characters are all aspects that I try and incorporate to my art. As for the miniature design, this is the reason for why I chose do stencil art. The wild art of the can is tamed, controlled & brought to solid form by a surgically hand-carved template creating levels of detail that would rival an airbrush.


Scuba - Amsterdam


2. Now that Banksy has gone truly global and has even hold a solo show in a council-owned venue, do you agree that stencil art has become "over main stream" and hijacked by commercialism or is there any emerging approach to reclaim the territory / agenda from the others back to the hands of the artists?

A: Acording to a graffiti purists, the day you step out of the shadows into the light of the gallery you’re a sell out. Any level after that your “over main stream.” I don't think its that black and white though, but there are mainstream parts of stencil art for sure though. The day Bansky started to get big, gorilla media companies used stencils to promote albums; Donnie Darko, Just Jack, even Puma had some out there. It’s all very basic stuff though and I’m not particularly worried about it undermining from my art nor do I feel it's been high jacked.


El Presidente


3. How do you feel about London in general as a platform for artists? What is the best parts of that and what makes you feel frustrated?

A: London's a great platform for so many different careers, art is definitely one of them. It's a city that loves art, so many spaces to view, buy and exhibit, be it on the streets, café or in a gallery there’s a place suited for you and your medium. It’s certainly shaped me as an artist. The flip side would be there is a lot of competition but that's always healthy, it keeps me on my toes and developing my art.


AK47 Camo


4. Do you have any future plans? What's next? 

A: I’ve got a lot of things coming up that are getting me excited. I’m designing T-shirts with the aim to bring out my own brand by early 2011 and soon should have a DS Art iPhone app too. Got a whole lot more in the pipeline too which I can’t yet reveal so keep your eyes out on my blog or twitter.


All images featured from the artist's homepage © DS


Further Readings -

Official website and twitter

Interview with Idol magazine