These are photographs of the detailed murals that decorate the walls and windows of the Reclining Buddha temple. It exists in a much larger temple complex called the Wat Pho, which contains several hundred images of Buddha, many stupas, a huge Bodhi tree, stone statues and smaller temples. The scenes narrate the story of Buddha, and remind me of the vast murals in the Ajanta caves which are much older.
From the photos you notice that some parts of these murals look newer than others. I can only guess that these parts have been restored and touched up recently.
At the Taiwan pavilion, artists' Hong-Kai Wang and Yi-Hsien Su created soundscapes that transformed the way I look at how sound can be used in installation work. Hong-Kai Wang's work especially connected with my attempts to use sound to comment on Mumbai's atmosphere and culture. She says,
'By constructing an "architectural music-space...made possible by the microphone," Music While We Work explores how artistic practice can intervene in the social space of labor production at the intersection of history and everyday life.'
Hong-Kai WANG. Music While We Work. Huwei, Yunlin, Taiwan. 2011. Audio and video installation. Video still by Yann Tonnar. Courtesy Hong-Kai WANG.Taiwan pavilion at Venice Biennale 2011. [Press Release].
Music While We Work by Hong-Kai Wang. (2011). Installation photo by Aditi Kulkarni. Taiwan pavilion at Venice Biennale 2011.
In addition to these two artists the sound bar had a wide variety of independent music and sound compositions from Taiwan to sample and enjoy.
Sound Library Bar design by Kuo-Chang Liu. Taiwan Pavilion. Venice Biennale 2011. [Press Release].
Sound bar library at Taiwan pavilion. Photo by Aditi Kulkarni. Venice Biennale 2011.
'I think the most important and uninvestigated architectural music-space of our time is the imaginary space made possible by the microphone...a space that does not exist in any form in any place in the everyday world.' (Ashley,r. 2009 cited in Hong-Kai Wang, 2011. p.17)
In her artist statement Hong Kai Wang quotes American avante-garde composer Robert Ashley, and I found these lines especially relevant. My aim is to transport the audience to Mumbai, my hometown and I agree that this relation between sound and essence of place, though immensely powerful is often ignored.
Reference: Hong-Kai Wang. (2011). Music While We Work. Venice: Palazzo Delle Prigioni. Notes: The Heard and the Unheard: Soundscape Taiwan. The Exhibition of theTaipei Fine Arts Museum of Taiwan. The Taipei Fine Arts Museum of Taiwan. Curator: Amy Cheng. Artists: Hong-Kai Wang Yu-Hsien Su.
Cracked Culture? The Quest for Identity in Contemporary Chinese Art. Curators: Wang Lin (China), Gloria Vallese (Italy). Organizer: Guangdong Museum of Art, China. Photos by Aditi Kulkarni. Jiao Xingtao. The Powerful Dragon. 258X38X170cm. Mixed Medium. 2011.
Gao Yang. Jingzhe. Mixed Medium. 210X85cm. 2010.
Gao Yang. Mixed Medium 2011. Mixed Medium. 150X120cm. 2011.
Ying Tianqi Resurrects the Life of Yore in the Old City on the Spot: "In China, when the bulldozers were marching like an army across the ancient city of Wuhu where I spent my childhood. I determined to shoot the record of this dramatic change with my video camera. Before the old city was demolished, I set my video camera at a sport shooting a street of neibhourhood and the life of a household from dawn till midnight for 12 hours. The same day a year later, that place had turned to ruins, and I played the video on the spot showing the life of people there a year before, both times of which happened to be the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival."
"Over 100 artists, both Asian and non-, offer a kaleidoscopic panorama of a new aesthetic paradigm currently proliferating from Asia to the rest of the world. Crossing genres and disciplines as they appropriate the digital culture of the 21st century, artists working in this eclectic new aesthetic are generating new types of relationships to the globalizing world."- Excerpt from the Short Guide distributed at the exhibition. Future Pass - From Asia to the World. Collateral Event Biennale Arte 2011. June 4th - Nov. 6th 2011.
The word 'kaleidoscope' is an accurate description of this brilliant collection of work by a wide range of artists from across asia and the world. I spent hours here and didn't regret it for a moment (we had only 5 days to see the entire Biennale). If anyone asked me what the best thing to see in the Biennale was, it would be Future Pass. Several of the artists were also around when we visited, which made it an unforgettable experience.
Kea. 1980-. A Salute to Fashion. Acrylic on Canvas. 162X130cm. 2011.
Wang Mai. 1972-. Using wisdom to capture the oil monster #12. Mixed material. 160X100X200 cm. 2011. [detail].
Untitled Installation by Mu Lei. Video projection on a bathtub.
[Future Pass - From Asia to the World. Collateral Event Biennale Arte 2011. June 4th - Nov. 6th 2011. The UNEEC Culture and Education Foundation Taipei, The Today Art Museum of Beijing, The Wereldmuseum of Rotterdam, The National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, In Collaboration with the Fondazione Claudio Buziol of Venice, curated by Victoria Lu, Renzo di Renzo and Felix Schober].
This was a four day group project focussed on creating work based on our course inputs on artifice, site and place. During our presentation we spoke about our week long "trip" to spain, showing photographs, postcards and souvenirs from our travels. We also recounted interesting anecdotes about the journey. In the evening we organized an event around the "Spain" trip, exhibiting prints of our tourist photographs, postcards and a video of our journey to the airport. We also sold "Spanish" food, beer and candy to recover the cost of printing and attract a wider audience. At the Loarre Castle, in Huesca, Spain
Reactions to the work were varied. Some commented that the spanish trip was obviously fake and therefore made the audience feel like they were listening to a lie, also making them uncomfortable. Most of the audience laughed throughout the presentation, which was our main aim, to entertain and tell a good story. Others enjoyed the "tongue-in-cheek" retelling of our experience. Overall we created an artifical journey by producing digital collages of real pictures taken by one of our group members in Spain, and pictures of us digitally added into these "real" locations. We also aimed to comment on the tourist experience by bringing in cliche souvenirs such as the spanish bull. Overall, the audience felt that video was the most believable evidence of such a trip.
After noticing the autobiographical trend in my work, I looked at my past posts on Mumbai. I've kept a partially anonymous life blog since 2009 and this became an important resource for me to remember what images and events I felt were important enough to blog about. The oldest posts about Mumbai are from August 2009. I've inserted some photographs from the life blog below:
Update April 27th: The image below is a sketch of a concept inspired by one of my school memories of Mumbai. While travelling on the school bus, we stopped to drop off a student and I noticed a single chappal on the tar road. There was a small pool of bright blood beneath it, and a few bricks lying around it. I wondered what happened, and guessed that there had been an accident recently, and these were the leftovers. It had definitely happened recently, but no crowd of onlookers remained and the traffic on the road avoided the single slipper and bricks easily. The idea is to recreate this memory as I remember it, with the blood being bright and overshadowing the rest of the details within the picture.