Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Vancouver Biennale: Meeting

During one of our session on July 15, we had a chance to speak with Gillian, who works for the Vancouver International Biennale. She was a great help and we got to know more about the whole project. Then the opportunity came to present a piece of work from the biennale to the rest of the group on July 20th. Time to use some of our research skills!

The piece I researched on is called Meeting. It will definitely catch your attention as you stroll down Coal Harbour, you can't miss it. Its the eight red figure squatting down on the patch of green grass. From afar, they look almost real.

This piece is by Wang Shugang, a famous Chinese artist. He crafted these eight crouching figures from painted bronze. The vivid color catches the attention of crowds. The striking red has a symbolic meaning to the Chinese culture. For one, the Chinese flag is red, it is the national color. Red is also the color for communism and it marks an important period in history, when China turned red. It can also symbolize the blood lost during this transition in history. For us in Canada, looking at these figures can merely be a creative work of art, but would this mean something different in a different country, different setting?

These Buddhist monks are in a 'meeting' position. In fact, this piece of work was created during the Heiligendamm Germany in 2007 for the G-8 summit meeting. In a way, this work mocks the nature of the meeting. These statues are having a 'meeting' but obviously nothing is going on. In the same way, are the leaders of the world at the G-8 conference having a 'meeting' but virtually doing nothing at all? This work clearly exhibits irony. Something to think about.

Information from the Vancouver Biennale

Laura Lam

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