Saturday, May 17, 2014

Contemporary Art Show at the Conrad

Michael and I recently went to check out the Asia Contemporary Art Show, held this year at the Conrad hotel.

We went on the Collector's preview night, the first night, eager to roam the halls of the hotel rooms and see art brought in from all over the world.  There seemed to me to a disproportionately large number of galleries from Korea, but also quite a few galleries from China, Vietnam, Singapore and Australia, and then a few from Russia and the US.  The show is held over three floors in the Conrad hotel, and each gallery sets up shop in a hotel room.  This permits visitors to wander in and out of rooms with ease.
It also allows visitors to see art propped up in some strange places - the bed, the doorway, the floor, over the sink, shower door and even the bathtub. 

In the room of a Chengdu gallery, Michael was particularly intrigued by an artist who does a lot of oil paintings and pencil sketches of world leaders.  The oil paintings of Qaddafi and Kim Jong Un caught our attention.  The portraits were slightly caricaturized, but the likeness was captured remarkably well.   Of this artist's work, Michael really liked the pencil drawing of a young Mao Ze Dong, but unfortunately this particular pencil sketch had already sold. 

We also really liked the art of an artist who lives in Ho Chi Minh City and who is represented by a Vietnamese gallery.  He had a particularly cool piece of art that was a picture of a local banh mi seller, created in negative relief from sandpaper scratched out of black acrylic paint.  How cool is that?  I am still thinking about that painting.  It was haunting and dark and evocative. We might actually get it...

Below are some of the other art works that I found interesting, compelling or thought provoking.  My dream would be to have a lot of art and sculpture hanging all over my house, so that I could be surrounded by objects of beauty and encounter thought provoking pieces that are stimulating to the senses on a daily basis.

I just finished reading the book (or tome might be a better word), The Goldfinch, which, without giving anything away, focuses a lot pn art, poetry, old things and things of beauty.  Even though these pieces are not necessarily of the same caliber as the art described in The Goldfinch, it seemed quite fitting that I was lost in the reverie of that book while strolling these exhibits.

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