top picks in the frieze week 2012

Venue Design by Kevin Carmody & Andrew Groarke for Frieze Art Fair 2011

With the return of Frieze Art Fair to its home town after a trans-atlantic conquer in New York earlier this year, it would be interesting to see how its spin-off fair Frieze Masters would fare among fellow art critics and audience. Continuing its well-praised tradition last year, Carmody & Groarke is reappointed (see photo above) to design the venue of the main fair this year. The Masters show next door would be, interestingly, designed by New York-based Selldorf Architects. It seems the competition between the two global cities are everywhere.

As usual, apart from the Giant Frieze, Moniker Art Fair in Village Underground and Sunday Art Fair in Ambika P3 are catering to a slightly more specific audience and do not cost a penny to get in. For the numerous shows in galleries around the whole city, we have shortlisted the followings for those who have no time to do the window-shopping: (in no particular order)

Kris Ruhs in the Wapping Project - full photo set here

Landing on Earth by Kris Ruhs in the Wapping Project
Kris has created a series of large installations in the power station (see photo above) that have a dialogue with each other as well as the space.

Elmgreen & Dragset's transformed attic space in Victoria Miro

Harvest by Elmgreen & Dragset in Victoria Miro (@victoriamiro) -
The duo who put a bronze boy on a rocking horse on the 4th plinth is making two distinct spaces inside the gallery's two floors in their latest show in town.

snails on junk in one of Bertozzi & Casoni's works in the show

Regeneration by Bertozzi & Casoni in All Visual Arts (@allvisualarts) -
Examine the bizarrely colourful life-like works of the Italian duo which are almost renaissance paintings come alive in 3D.

Left: Untitled 12050; Right: Untitled 12044 (2012) by Lee Knagwook

Invisible by Lee Kangwook in Hada Contemporary -
Korean artist Lee uses colour pencils and charoal to create minimalist works (see photo above) that look vibrant yet intriguing in order as a whole. The sparkle highlights in his works make a glam touch to the works.

Revolver presents works by ten artists made between 1983 and 2012 in discrete spaces in the gallery in a three-part series of short exhibitions. Show 2 features Anna Barham's live installation, Graham Gussin's sepia toned photographs and Tai Shani's sound-tracked installation.

Spazio di Luce by Giuseppe Penone in Whitechapel Gallery (@_thewhitechapel) -
No other artist have made a more poetic piece for Whitechapel Gallery's columned room yet than Penone (see photo above).

Ligurian Sea Saviore (1993) by Hiroshi Sugimoto

Dark Paintings & Seascapes by Rothko and Sugimoto in Pace (@pacegallery) -
If you think David Chipperfield's museum space is a must-see, a joint show of Mark Rothko & Hiroshi Sugimoto inside a space designed by Chipperfield would be one that is seen to be believed. See the above teaser photo. We hope the show can stay forever, it is timeless.



Blastfurnace by Atelier Van Lieshout in Carpenters Workshop (@cwgparislondon) - 
Carpenters Workshop is renown for their taste of craft designs. It is showing a few pieces of AVL's works that viewers can view the chemistry among them when they are all in the same space. 

On a sidenote, there was outrageous queue everyday in the Barbican Curve gallery since its current show opened last week (see below photo), those who live in London should avoid getting there in frieze week to save your valuable time in this period.

Random International (also represented by Carpenter Workshop)'s interactive Rain installation in the Barbican Curve gallery

A Kassen's work in Sunday Art Fair 2011 represented by New Gallerie Paris

A Kassen's work in Nettie Horn, 17A Riding House Street

17A Riding House Street by A Kassen in Nettie Horn (@nettiehorn) -

Danish Collective A Kassen is known for their reaction with the environment and space in their works. The show would see how they respond to the relocated gallery (from Vyner Street) in its new premise and hence an one-off not to be missed.

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

art august in london - part 2

A Net of Eels
09.07-23.08.2009 at the Wapping Project, London
29.08-04.10.2009 at the Babylon Gallery, Cambridgeshire
the wapping project by you.
outdoor seating in the evening

the wapping project by you.
the restaurant part - atmosphere in the evening seems to be quite romantic-ish

The Wapping Project is a gallery in the former Wapping Hydraulic Power Station. There's also a restaurant in the same venue. Since I haven't been to this building before, it is a double reward to me on this visit.

a net of eels by you.
rubber stamp - a very japanese set-up, you could see these in every train station and some tourist attractions in japan

a net of eels by you.

a net of eels by you.

With their personal backgrounds, what you see in this exhibition could be quite a diverse range of multimedia exhibits, from drawings, photographs, collectibles to audio recordings. The aim is probably to create a terrain of objects related to the culture of eels, mainly from the japanese population, for the visitors to explore and experience. Whether it was meant to encourage the visitors to engage in a self-reflection of culture-consumption or simply an appreciation of the dedication to a delicacy, it is up to the audience to decide.

a net of eels by you.

a net of eels by you.
a selection of art work related to the eels are presented

When one walk under the speakers of various fish markets from Tokyo to London, the bustling sound of people in transactions give an eerie feel to the deserted power station the exhibition is taking place. It is almost taking a volume of what's used to be white noise in the city and broadcasting it in a vacuum - anybody inside would be forced to listen to all the conversation and sound delivering out from the speaker. It's easy to say that by stepping back one could have a clearer view on things, but to a certain extent this is becoming increasingly difficult to do with information filling up the ambience every second nowadays - giant TVs in the city, speaking billboards in metro platforms, mobile boardband, twitter, facebook, etc. Everyone is trying to grab attention from everybody else. In the end, would all these white noise be productive to us? How could we tackle the dynamics and make good use of it? That remains a question to be resolved.

In the mean time, perhaps we could take inspriations first by observing how the eels navigate in water :)

Full photo set here
Further Reading -

Official page for the show at Jake Tilson's website
Happy Victim - Kyoichi Tsuzuki's last UK exhibition in the Photographers' Gallery in 2003 prior to the Wapping Project show
Official web for the Wapping Project
Official web for the Babylon Gallery
Official web of Film & Video Umbrella, the commissioner of this exhibition
Wikipedia's page on Wapping Hydraulic Power Station