Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Art in the Streets

Art has once again taken to the streets in Christchurch. I like that. I’m a great believer in art ‘going out to the people.’ I love the unexpectedness of coming upon a work of art in the everyday environment; and, placed among the flotsam and jetsam of our everyday existence, it has so much potential power to make us reassess our approach to art. I’m one of those people who actually sees art everywhere, in every corner of every street and I still believe most people move through their daily lives with their visual stimuli completely numbed over, missing a million visual miracles. That’s largely what this entire blog is about – communicating the small visual treasures that I see and experience everyday.
SO…. when someone like Korean artist, Sukjoon Jang ‘formalises’ art in the environment, I get very excited. Jang was artist-in-residence at the Christchurch Arts Centre in April-May this year and her large work, “Toyland” has been on show in the windows of SOFA Gallery in the Arts Centre for several months. Its stained glass, jewel-like colours give this grand old building a subtle visual lift. From a distance it looks like its always been there – just like stained glass; but when you get up close, you notice that Yang has compiled a colourful photographic montage of ‘a thousand’ coloured doors that she photographed in Christchurch industrial areas. Singly, the images are nothing special, but fused together into her enormous jigsaw-like montages, they take on a glowing new life. Who knew our industrial areas could look so good? Now Sukjoon Yang’s works have ‘marched’ beyond the Arts Centre to colonise the advertising spaces of notice boards and bus stops. I love the idea – and the way her large photographic prints (“social landscape photography” she calls it) are lighting up otherwise dull corners of suburbia.

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