Floral Headlines – Michael Lin: Shanghai Daily

michael lin at leo xu

From Randian

by Gu Ling Translated by: Fei Wu

Michael Lin: Shanghai Daily 林明弘:上海每日

Leo Xu Project画廊

林明弘对日常、与对上海日常的关注由来已久。1999年林明弘在伊通公园的地板上画满台湾民间的画布,让参观者踩踏在画面上,使其之后成为标志性的创作融入空间成为寻常生活的一部分,却也让人反思画布来自的民间文化同当代生活及艺术展示之间的关联。2008年林明弘在沪申画廊的个展将上海的一座普通杂货铺原封不动地呈现在空间中,在彻底去除对象本身的商业功能之余挑衅了展览空间作为日常空间的角色转换。2012上半年刚落下帷幕的展览“样板屋”中,艺术家林明弘标志性的巨幅墙面壁画隐藏在了建筑空间结构中,根据建筑元素本身定制的花纹结构来自建筑工人的被褥,并邀请不具有绘画经验的建筑工人绘制图案。上海外滩美术馆墙面的粗糙笔触被解读为艺术家对当代社会建筑工人的生存现状及其同建筑、城市之关系的关注与设计方案,后者则以实体呈现为林明弘同犬吠工作室合作的“样板屋”工棚。这场不完全是个展(因为林邀请了其他艺术家参与展览)的个展更像是一场主题研究而非单纯的创作展。Leo Xu Project画廊此次与上海当代艺博会同期推出的林明弘个展“上海日常”则更为纯粹,画廊二楼通往三楼的墙壁贴满了艺术家的花卉壁画,但与以往的人工绘制不同,此次采用丝网印刷的拼贴,作为墙纸给予三楼展厅明显的“林明弘”身份认定。三面墙六幅作品成双成对,路边书报亭的照片与其局部,薄荷色花卉的与暖色花茎的放大图案均取自墙纸中的花纹局部。好像调整镜头焦距从远处看到近处,具象的花卉图案被放大的局部有着抽象纹理的美感。在直接摄影的日常气味同四张尺幅合宜的绘画之间,形成空间的对话与内容的脱节。书报亭前街边的下水道口用两张报纸封得很周正,皱眉读报女子的脚踝在近焦的失焦处看似站立不稳。照片的局部与照片本身的画面构图同墙纸花纹的放大有共通之处。至于是否可以从中读出日常与这个被滥用词汇在艺术家处的理解与深意,林明弘可能在那张印有新闻图片与标题的展览明信片上说得更多。

“Michael Lin: Shanghai Daily”

Leo Xu Projects (Lane 49, Building 3, Fuxing Xi Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai). Sept 7 – Oct 23, 2012.

For many years, Michael Lin has been attentive to the details of daily life, and indeed daily life in Shanghai. In 1999, the artist used the walkways of Yi Tong Park as his canvas and painted folk scenes from the everyday lives of Taiwanese people, which were then trod on by the spectators.  He skillfully blurred the lines of art and everyday life, while simultaneously creating a link between the paradigms of modern life and traditional culture.

In his 2008 solo show at the Shanghai Gallery of Art, he took a run-of-the-mill Shanghainese grocery and methodically transplanted the entire store to the gallery space. By obliterating the function of the store as a business, he questioned the definition of the entity itself, begging the question: can a store with no customers still be called a store? Or rather, should it be called art?

The themes of transience and ambiguity arose once again in the recent exhibition entitled “Model Home.” Lin imbedded his iconic wall murals within the soaring spaces of the Rockbund Art Museum. The mural highlighted the human element often overlooked in Shanghai’s massive construction projects by incorporating patterns culled from the construction workers’ bedding. Lin also got construction workers to paint his designs. The exhibit questioned the condition of construction workers, and also highlighted their position in relation to architecture and the city, as well as design. In this collaboration with Atelier Bow-Wow, Lin invited several artists to take part in what could have been a solo exhibition. His goal in doing this was to create an exhibition that was not just about a single subject, but rather a group exploration of a theme.
Taking place during 2012 SH Contemporary in Shanghai, Michael Lin’s exhibition “Shanghai Daily” (Leo Xu Projects Gallery) puts the focus purely on the artist’s works. The walls of the stairwell between the second and third floors of the gallery were covered with the artist’s floral murals. Composed of screen-printed wallpaper, this ostensibly brands the gallery space with a strong “Michael Lin” identity. Six pieces were placed in pairs on three walls of the space. Each pair was accompanied by a photograph of an ordinary newsstand. The works being displayed were close-ups of the print found in the wallpaper lining the stairwell, giving the viewer the impression of zooming in and then out of focus. The expanded prints on the walls had a blurred, abstracted beauty, while the newsstand photos gave off a sense of the ordinary. The contrasting photos and close-ups form a dialogue, and took the exhibit beyond the confines of its content.

In the photographs of the newsstand, two pieces of newspaper sealed off the opening of a storm drain. A girl stands precariously on the edge of the curb, brow furrowed, attempting to read the news. The area around her ankles is blurred, and adds to the impression of something being askew. Both the content and the composition of the photograph bore a subtle link to the prints and the wallpaper of the gallery. But it is a mystery whether viewers discovered the deeper meanings or the “everyday” hidden inside the artist’s works. Michael Lin may find that he spoke more clearly through this article, with its bolded title, and explanatory text.

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