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Blurring Boundaries

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Exhibit Catalog for Blurring Boundaries

Text of Blurring Boundaries

  • blurring boundaries

    october 16, 2009 thru january 23, 2010


  • The intermingling of people and media from different cultures is a communication-based phenomenon known as hybridity. Our current society is experiencing a level of globalization never seen before. Cultures and borders seem to be disappearing. It seems we are on a path to one single homogeneous society. All other cultures seem to be modernising, and westernizing. One can argue that this effect has been happening ever since primitive cultures invaded one another, but it has never evolved at such rapid pace as what we are experiencing now. This can probably be credited to the lasting effects of western imperialism. I believe we are perhaps at an in between stage where cultures are in the process of homogenizing. I have experienced this first hand during my travels to many parts of the world. One can be in a remote village in Thailand or Vietnam and you will notice the locals with a cell phone or a Nike baseball cap but at the same time herding sheep or cows. This cultural hybridity is also happening with art. In recent years we have seen many artists exploring cultural hybridity and its effects.

    Blurring Boundaries explores this phenomenon. The group of artists chosen to be in this exhibit encompass the essence of this occurrence. The lists of those artists include: Ai WeiWie, Chen Zhen, Gonkar Gyatso, Dario Escobar, Haegue Yang.

    blurring boundaries


  • the artistsAi Wei Wei

    Chen Zhen

    Gonkar Gyatso

    Dario Escobar

    Haegue Yang


  • ai wei wei


    Ai WeiWei is a leading Chinese artist, curator, architec-tural designer, cultural and social commentator. His work was highlighted in the 48th Venice Biennale. Some of his famous design work include the Beijing Olympic stadium, also known as the Birds Nest. Ai WeiWei has been displaying cultural hybridity in his work for some-time. His series of vases highlight the mixture of two cultures. The classical greek culture which embraced and honored water vessels and our modern culture with the emphasis on branding and consumerism.

    Ai Weiwei, Han Dynasty Urn with Coca-Cola Logo, 10 X 11 X 11, painted Han Dynasty urn, 1994


  • Ai Weiwei - Neolithic Culture Pot with Coca-Cola Logo, 1992

    Ai Weiwei - Pot with Coca-Cola Logo, 19935

  • chen zhen


    Chen Zhen, born in shanghai in 1955 and deceasedin 2000 in paris, is considered the leading representativeof the chinese avant-garde. After training as an art-ist in the period of the chinese cultural revolution, he moved to paris in 1986, andstudied at lecole nationale suprieure des beaux-artsand at linstitut des hautes etudes en arts plastiques,subsequently teaching at both. His work in the US with shakers and in Brazil with the poor showed his diversity when working with different cultures.

    My Diary in Shaker Village1997 paper, photo, pencil chinese ink, wood, glass, from The Quiet in the Land


  • Un village sans frontireswood, candles and paraffin22 x 12.2 x 9.1 in. / 56 x 31 x 23 cm.

    the voice of migrators, 1995 and social inves-tigation - shanghai 1, 1997

    the voice of migratorsthe fragile balance of the voice of migrators , an oversized textile ball from which the multilin-gual murmur of a telephone answering machine is heard , illustrates a visionwhich does not pinpoint the individual on one ethnicposition but gently integrates individual cultural identity into the framework of the totality of existence.


  • gonkar gyatso


    Gonkar Gyatso is a Tibetan contemporary artist. His work was highlighted in the last installment of the Venice Biennale. Gyatso does not like to be called a political artist, but his work has a political undertone and man-ages to display cultural hybridity. His work consists of collages of various western items that when looked at from a distance display Buddhist icons.

    The Shambala of the Modern Times (2009)Mixed Media Screen Prints, Silk Screen varnished with silver and gold leaf on fine art paper100 x 109 cm


  • Buddha Sakyamuni (2008)silk-screen print85 x 65 cm

    Reclining Buddha - Beijing Tibet Relationship Index (2009)Pencil, stickers, papercuts, prints, Indian ink on treated paper149 x 600 cm


  • dario escobar


    Dario Escobar is a Guatemalan artist that is known for is known for his sculptural recontextualization of everyday objects. Dario reaches into his cultural past to project cultural hybridity. His piece the return of Quetzalcoatl its a perfect example of what this show is about. Quet-zalcoatl (feathered serpent) is the mythical Aztec and Mayan god, which leaves his people with the promise of one day returning. Escobar portrays a Quetzalcoatl made out of bicycle tires which symbolize his feathers, I see the tires as symbolism of transportation which enables one to get from one place to another.

    kukulkan, 2009made from tires, steel, bronze100 x 109 cm


  • kukulkan, 2009 (detail)made from tires, steel, bronze

    Ecce Homo1998Oil painting, silicon fiber, fabric.h: 200 cm / h: 78.7 in


  • haegue yang


    Haegue Yang is a Korean born artist, her art resists a defining medium. She uses a self-analysis as a subject of her art. Her work consists of her placeless feeling throughout her life as she has lived many years outside her native country. The feeling of high-mobility and in-transit condition has been present in her work and creates a feeling of intimacy and alienation. I see her placeness feeling and her potential search of a place as a cultural hybridity, she uses her cultural background and her experiences of all the cultures she has encoun-tered during her travels as inspiration to her work.

    condensation2009 venice biennale


  • storage piece2006Steming from the situation of absolute lack of storage space, various previous works are transported and stalked in a pile on the wooden palette in order to fullfill another exhibition.

    5, Rue Saint-Benot, 2008


  • We live in a world that is constantly on the move. People move between places and cultures either as an immigrant, refugee, worker, or tourist. Further, with tech-nologies such as television, radio, and the Internet, we can be virtual travelers to almost anywhere at any time. Many contemporary artists have experienced movement between and among cultures in their lives, and their work often explores issues of personal and cultural iden-tity. These artists are now blurring the boundaries.

    blurring boundaries


  • Blurring Boundaries wascurated by Juan F. Hernandezunder the direction from Mark Andersonfor AH318 at MIAD.


  • blurring boundaries

    20 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago Illinois 60611

    312.280.2660 | machicago.org16

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