On October 25, 2019, a number of red-themed, dramatic and performance-oriented giant installations appeared in the exhibition hall of CAFA Art Museum, bringing a new visual challenge to the audience withunique shape and color. The creator of the transcendent vision space is the internationally acclaimed British artist Anish Kapoor.As the first art gallery-level solo exhibition of Kapoor in China, this exhibition presents the artist''''''''''''''''s important artistic creation spanning 35 years.
Anish Kapoor was born in Mumbai, India in 1954 and currently lives and works in London.He studied at Hornsey College of Art, London, followed by postgraduate studies at Chelsea School of Art, London. He attended the 44th Venice Biennale in 1990 on behalf of the UK, won the "Premio Duemila Rookie Artist Award" and became the "Turner Award" winner in the following year.His creations are known for the large-scale installations with minimalist style. Red wax blocks, stainless steel mirrors, and powder are his frequently-used medium of creation.Each work contains Kapoor''''''''''''''''s exploration of the world and self-consciousness, the pursuit of time and space, thus forming a dialogue between phenomena and spirit.
Su Xinping, Vice President of CAFA, delivering a speech
At the press conference, Su Xinping, Vice President of CAFA, said that he had seen Mr. Kapoor’s works years ago in New York. The scale, volume and even the thoughts and concepts reflected by them had impressed people deeply. In the late autumn of 2019, Anish Kapoor’s first solo exhibition in China is exhibited on a grand scale simultaneouslyin CAFA Art Museum and Taimiao Art Museum, enabling the Chinese audience to fully understand the artistic features and to experience the artistic charm of this world-renowned artist. This exhibition is a dialogue between tradition and modernity, combining the multicultural background of the East and West with broad vision, which will become a powerful exploration of the CAFA in developing aesthetic education and promoting popular aesthetic ability, and is also an important testimony of cultural exchanges between China and the UK.
Zhang Zikang, chief curator of the exhibition and director of CAFA Art Museum，delivering a speech
Zhang Zikang, chief curator of the exhibition and director of CAFA Art Museum, said in the speech, perhaps people had experienced the visual shock from Anish Kapoor’s large-scale work that combines the spirit of the East and West and perfectly integrates with the environment in many important international art galleries and public spaces, such as the Tate Modern, the Palace of Versailles, the Museum of Modern Art in Rome, the Millennium Park in Chicago, etc.Kapoor came to Beijing this time to exhibit his works in CAFA Art Museum with modern cultural spirit and in Taimiao Art Museumwith the best symbolization of Chinese culture, would present an uncommon exhibition of dialogue and collision between Eastern and Western multicultural concepts. The Chinese audience would witness Kapoor''''''''''''''''s in-depth exploration of materials, forms, techniques and Eastern and Western cultures. The exhibition would present 73 groups of important artistic creations spanning 35 years: the CAFA Art Museum will display 60 works, including 4 imposing and large-scale important large-scale installations and 56 significantpublic project models; Taimiao Art Museum woulddisplay 13 sculptures full of emotions and inspiration from the mind and inspiration.
Yue Jieqiong, curator of the exhibition, executive curator of Taimiao Art Museum, and director of the Collaborative Innovation Office of CAFA, delivering a speech
Yue Jieqiong, executive curator of Taimiao Art Museum, and director of the Collaborative Innovation Office of CAFA, said that Taimiao Art Museum was part of the ancient architectural complex of the Forbidden City and has a history of nearly 600 years. Displaying contemporary art works in such a space was of special significance. She hoped that the collision between Kapoor''''''''''''''''s works and Chinese traditional architectural space could trigger audiences'''''''''''''''' thinking and inspire Chinese artists to create more works of great time significance.
Ms. Mo Rui, Director of Art Projects of British Council in China and Cultural and Art Counselor of British Embassy in China, delivering a speech
Ms. Mo Rui, Director of Art Projects of British Council in China and Cultural and Art Counselor of British Embassy in China said that it was an honor to cooperate with CAFA. As this was Kapoor''''''''''''''''s first large-scale exhibition in Beijing, China, she believed his work would bring an unparalleled visual experience to the Chinese audience.
Dong Daozi, Asian Director of Lisson Gallery of the UK, delivering a speech as the designated spokesman of Mr. Kapoor
As the designated spokesman of Mr. Kapoor, Dong Daozi, Asian Director of Lisson Gallery of the UK said, although Mr. Kapoor was not able to attend in person, he sincerely hoped that people would feel his enthusiasm and gratefulness through the exhibition.
Wang Chunchen, curator of the exhibition and deputy director of the CAFA Art Museum, hosting the activity
Guests takinggroup photos
As Fan Di''''''''''''''''an, president of CAFA said, as one of the most prolific and respected contemporary artists in the world, Kapoor was a model in combining the ancient and modern, the East and West. His creation is rooted in ancient Indian philosophy, combining the spiritual core of Eastern culture with the modern symbol of Western culture, establishing a unique connection between material media and cultural metaphor, between self-sufficiency and ecological environment.He advocates that color is baptism and faith, space is mind and soul, material is the possession of spirit, and makes the mysterious and strong resonance powerin the dualistic compound language of material and immaterial, existence and transcendence, essence and extension.
The red primely signifying the origin of life, the powder embodying the concept of “all empty”, these language symbols became the “patent” of Kapoor.He once said: “Red is a color that gives me strongfeeling. Maybe because red is such an Indian color that filled the environment I grown up, and then I re-recognized it on another level.”
Symphony for a Beloved Sun, Stainless steel, wax, conveyor belts
Symphony of the Sun (2013), which was exhibited at the Martin Gropius Bau in Berlin in 2013, greets the viewer with a new look in the lobby of the first floor of the museum.Blood-red waxy bricks dramatically fall from the end of several rising conveyor belts into a gathering of the same material, and a floatinghuge red sun looks at this mechanized, uninspired scene.The artist''''''''''''''''s hand was replaced by a seemingly automatic machine, so the viewer could feel the work more directly and gain a subjective and profound experience.
Sectional Body Preparing for Monadic Singularity，2015，P.V.C andsteel,730 x 730 x 730cm
On the third floor of the museum, it displays Kapoor''''''''''''''''s creation of the first personal exhibition in Versailles, France, Sectional Body Preparing for Monadic Singularity(2015).Kapoor not only presents the viewer with a fascinating biomorphic design, but also invites them to enter the interior of the work through the hidden door to explore the geometrical relationship between the interior and exterior of the device.The bright red holes are mysteriously connected to form a network of bodies, beings and beliefs.
In another space next to the work, Kapoor’s industrial landscape work Destierro(2017), which was exhibited at the Argentine Memorial Park in 2017, is presented.An excavator all painted in blue is climbing over hundreds of tons of red soil in sharp contrast. The red toner in the mountains and plains is like a surge, layer upon layer, forming a warm landscape.
My Red Homeland, 2003, Wax and oil-based paint, steel arm and motor,Diameter: 12 m
On the fourth floor of the museum, it is another giant automatic installation My Red Hometown (2003). A machine drives a metal arm to rotate along the surface of an open container with 25 tons of red soft wax inside. During one hour of rotation, the metal arm moves slowly around the waxy surface, as if stirring the material, constantly molding the shape of the wax, and repeatedly forming an unusual landscape.
In addition to these large-scale installations, Kapoor also exhibited models of important public project works in art practice over the past few decades, including Cloud Door(2004), Orbit(2010), Southbank Centre (2001), Subway station, Monte Sant’Angelo, Naples (1999-2002) and Leonard Street Model that will be exhibited in New York in this October.
The exhibition will last until January 1, 2020.
The site of exhibition
Article and Photos by CAFA Art Museum Edited by Song Manqing, Publicity Department October 28, 2019
ADDRESS： CAFA .No.8 Hua Jia Di Nan St., Chao Yang District, Beijing, P. R. China