It takes an artist of ingenuity, exception and a certain skill level when it comes to contemporary art to capture my eye ( as there is a plethora of HAM out there ) and Chinese artist Liu Bolin is indeed exceptional.
“Totems features the acrobatic stacking feats of Shanghai’s bikers.
Delorme explains, ‘Cardboard and chairs seem to be the new totems of a society in transformation, both the world’s factory and new Eldorado of the market economy.’
The series is not presented in a documentary style. Instead, Delorme plays with color editing to create an ‘augmented reality’ that ‘puts light on the paradoxes of the most dynamic city in China.”
“They show the reality of the migrants and their small jobs, the reality as well of the expansion of Shanghai, with all these skyscrapers rising up. It is some kind of augmented reality, though [the ‘totems’ are photoshopped]: you do see these workers carrying their impressive loads throughout the city. I just exaggerated the piles to draw attention to them, while still trying to remain believable. There are also some incoherent details left on purpose, to encourage questioning on what is true or not. For instance, one of the workers drives with flowers in front of his eyes. How could he do that in real life?”
Red Thread Legend Series installation by Beili Liu
The ancient Chinese legend of the red thread tells that when children are born, invisible red threads connect them to the ones whom they are fated to be with. Over the years of their lives they come closer and eventurally find each other, overcoming the distance between, and cultural and social divides.
The installation makes use of thousands of hand spiraled coils of red thread suspended from the ceiling of the gallery. Each disk is connected to another, as a “couple”, and each pair is made from a single thread. Every coil is pierced in the center by a sewing needle, which enables the suspension of the disks a few inches from the ground. Subtle air currents set the red disks swaying and turning slowly as the loose strands of thread on the floor drift and become entangled.