In the afternoon of January 8th, APSMUSEUM will invite Mr. Lu Xun, contemporary art collector, founder of the Sifang Art Museum; Mr. David Tung, Director of Lisson Gallery, Shanghai, and Daniel Statham, architect and founder of the Daniel Statham Architects, to have a conversation on the artworks of Anish Kapoor, one of the participating artists of Ensemble Urbain. The forum will be hosted by Karen Smith, art critic and curator, Executive Museum Director of OCAT, Xi’an, Artistic Director of SCOP, and focuses on the topic of “Anish Kapoor: The Final Illusion”.
In the exhibition of Ensemble Urbain, we have presented a work by the artist, Random Triangle Mirror, which was made in 2015. The concave surface made with stainless steel creates a dialogue between the viewer and the environment. Its silent and perfectly-polished surface collides with and assimilates into the surrounding objects in a constant flow, causing an incessant fluidity and instantaneity of the solid material. As well as warping and distorting the viewer’s vision and the very landscape and environment in which it is sited, Kapoor’s mirror extend his interest in the transcendental qualities of color to new levels of luminosity and independent existence. Kapoor observes, “they [the fragmented mirror] seem to be active, to be in various states of becoming.”
Anish Kapoor is one of the most influential sculptors of the world. Early in the 1980s, he caught the art world's attention with his clean, curved sculptures covered with brightly colored pigments. Kapoor’s works usually remind the viewer of immateriality as well as spirituality. The public sculptures that he has created, which have bold appearance and beautifully embody the principles of engineering, have also earned him international reputation.
One of Kapoor's masterpieces of public sculpture, the Cloud Gate is located in Chicago's Millennium Park and has been affectionately known as "The Bean" based on its shape; Sky Mirror, another exquisitely executed sculpture, has been installed in Rockefeller Center in New York, Kensington Gardens in London, and Versailles in the suburbs of Paris; C-Curve was also exhibited in the Imperial Ancestral Temple in Beijing and Versailles, Paris…… All of his enormous stainless-steel surfaces, without any exception, absorb and twist the surrounding space, thus creating an illusion for the viewer. People walk around the sculptures, experiencing the movement creating by their own bodies and their change of position. The artist challenges our perception of space by reconstructing the relationship between the body, artwork, and the environment.
Likewise, Leviathan, presented in Paris, France in 2011, and Descension, shown to the public at Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York, also draw resonance and intrigue from the work's physical presence. On the other hand, the artworks provoke the viewers' imagination and thinking about society and human existence.
As the artist famously said, “I am always curious about presenting the absence, the illusional space. It comes from spirituality and mythologies. To show this with sculptures—this is what I have been trying to do.”
Karen Smith is a British national, specialized in the field of contemporary Chinese art. Her main activities are research, writing and curating. In mid-2012, she was appointed founding director of OCAT Xi’an, a contemporary art museum that is part of the OCAT Museum Group founded in Shenzhen in 2005. OCAT Xi’an opened in November 2013. Since 2015, she has also worked as artistic director of Shanghai Center of Photography.
Smith’s writings can be found in numerous monologues and exhibition catalogues. She has contributed texts to Art Now Volume 4, Taschen, June 2013; Vitamin D2, Phaidon, 2012; Vitamin P2, Phaidon, 2011 and numerous other publications, including the Phaidon contemporary artist series, for which she authored the volume on Ai Weiwei (2009). She has produced her won books: Nine Lives: The Birth of Avant-Garde Art in New China (2008) and the series As Seen; Notable Artworks by Chinese Artists (2011; 2013; 2015).
Lu Xun lives and works between Nanjing and Shanghai, China. He is a collector of contemporary Chinese and international art. In 2013, he founded the Sifang Art Museum designed by the renowned American architect Steven Holl. He worked closely with architects and artists to plan and commission more than 40 buildings and art installations in the Sifang Parkland, which was nominated by The New York Times as a “Leading Culture Destination in Asia and the Pacific” in 2015. Listed in “The World's Top 100 Art Collectors” by artnet, Lu currently sits on Tate Modern’s Acquisition Committee, advisory board of Fosun Foundation, Art Basel's Global Patrons Council and is a founding member of Delfina Foundation’s Asia-Pacific Patron group.
David Tung is the Director, Shanghai for Lisson Gallery. He was formerly director at Long March Space (2009-2014) and served as deputy director of the Yuz Museum, Shanghai (2015). David Tung holds B.A. in Asian Studies and Languages from the University of Texas, Austin and is a graduate from the first Kellogg-Guanghua Executive Masters of Business Administration Program (class 2016).
Daniel Statham graduated from University College London in 1999 and went on to work at Foster and Partners in London for several years on International projects mainly in Asia including the Petronas University of Technology in Malaysia and Singapore Supreme Law Courts in addition to assisting the studio teams with other European projects.
His experience was developed further with award winning structural engineers Atelier One in London developing innovative methods of construction and working on the design and construction of the White Cube Gallery’s in London. There were also collaborations within the UK modern arts working with artists that included Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor, Langlands & Bell, Juan Muñoz, and Marc Quinn. In 2004 he worked along side the award winning British Product Designers Barber Osgerby to deliver the Stella McCartney Flagship Store, Mayfair, London which after completion went on to work with Grimshaw in London and New York which projects included the Battersea Power Station Redevelopment, London and Fulton Street Station in New York.
In 2006 Daniel started his studio and to date has worked in a variety of sectors across Asia, America and Europe. The first project was the successful exhibition of China’s Terracotta Army at the British Museum, London with Atelier One which was a showcase event in the UK during 2007. Daniel Statham Architects have now gone on to work on projects in collaboration for the United Nations HQ and Times Square Redevelopment in New York, the Singapore Pavilion for EXPO 2010 Shanghai, the Buddhist Cultural Museum and CDL HQ in Singapore and to work with Santiago Calatrava on the facade of the Chicago Spire in the United States. Some of the clients along this journey include Samsung, Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Government and British Telecom.