Thursday, February 4, 2010

Vancouver Biennale

In the previous essay, you can read about how I much I admired the 2008 Olympics artwork in Hong Kong. Fast forward to Christmas 2009, 7 weeks before the start of the 2010 games, you’d think there be a public tribute to winter sports. Well if there was, I missed it. Instead, what I found were these public sculptures by Chinese artists.

Vancouver, December 2009:
Welcome to the Vancouver Biennale 

The objective of the Vancouver Biennale is to celebrate art in public spaces, inviting the entire community to experience the brightest new and world renown talent in contemporary art. Through a diversity of artistic mediums, aesthetic sensibilities and cultural perspectives, an open dialogue about the art and the importance of art in public spaces begins.
OK, nothing to do with the Olympics, but I’m a fan of modern art, let’s see some highlights, which my way of saying, let’s see what I happened to find while looking for other things. Sort of like John Lennon’s words, “Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.”

A-maze-ing Laughter; Artist: Yue Minjun, China; Location: Morton Park (Triangle), Vancouver; Media: Patinated bronze

Pleasant idea. A little grotesque at first, but popular with the people who I saw admiring it. Fun subject for a photo or two.

Artificial Rock #143; Artist: Zhan Wang, China; Location: Vancouver City Center Station, Canada-Line, Vancouver; Media: Stainless steel

Not as much fun as the first one. Maybe a little more imagination could have gone into the name, for example, “Honey, I melted the Prius?” Were Artificial Rocks #1 through #142 such disasters that it didn’t seem real until Artificial Rock #143 tumbled out of its castings? And, how do you know when you’ve got it right? When does your blob of metal have the right blobbiness?

Miss Mao Trying to Poise Herself at the Top of Lenin's Head; Artist: Gao Brothers, China; Location: ALO Triangle, Richmond

Here’s my guess at what happened: the Gao Brothers were sitting in their mom’s basement watching the movie, Frida, co-starring Salma Hayek’s breasts, hey, just saying (see the movie.)  After the scene where Nelson Rockefeller has Diego Rivera’s mural destroyed, because it featured an image of Vladamir Lenin, the Gao brothers turned to each other and said,  “Dude, we can top that!” And did they ever! Not sure why Mao has breasts. I don’t think that was discussed in the little red book.

Not my photos, though: When I saw this, I was driving my dad back to his place. He was tired and I didn’t want to stop to take photos, so these are from this site.

Copyright © 2010 David G. Kelly

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