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Art Review: Now is the Summer of Our Discontent

Summer is in full swing and Bank Gallery[1] is celebrating with their exhibition, aptly titles, Now is the Summer of Our Discontent. The indie art gallery has invited 22 artists from different mediums and generations to present original work that speaks to the beauty and wonder of the brightest and hottest days of the year. From video, to sculpture, photography, installation and painting, the work of these individuals bring summer to life in ways only artists can.

Patty Chang's Losing Ground at Bank Gallery. Upon entering the basement level gallery and descending the stairs into the space, viewers are treated to the first piece in the show, Patty Chang’s video “Losing Ground.” Released way back in the year 2000, Chang, outfitted in formal women’s work attire, can be seen literally struggling to stand up, as the camera shakes violently, giving the illusion that the ground beneath her is moving and causing her to “lose ground” and prevent her from staying on two feet.

Using her body to address issues of objectification in the world, this metaphoric piece about a woman seemingly struggling in the world, perhaps not content with her place and position in society, is just as relevant today as it was nearly 20 years ago.

Polite Sheer Form at Bank Gallery. Next up, the work of Polite Sheer Form, a collective of five male artists catches your eye as the first piece in front of you once you finally walk all the way inside. All respected artists in their own right, the five men adhere to certain standards when creating work together. For starters they like to play with the idea of community, painting and creating pieces that showcase settings of togetherness and leisure from the standpoint of a group. In this piece for example, the five creators are seen standing on a beach shirtless enjoying the surroundings.

Their signature color a vibrant royal blue, a nod to the color red and it’s positive placement in Chinese culture, is displayed prominently. Two blue colored flags also hang on each side of the large scale painting, one can only conclude that their edition is also an ode to Chinese nationalism in it’s own way.

Wang Rui at Bank Gallery. “Lovely Nightfall” is a mixed media installation by Wang Rui.

Her work commands a few walls in the gallery, a collection of water color paints is on display, giving way to a larger more prominent video piece in which the artist herself can be seen outfitted in a tank top and shorts, posing over the a revolving backdrop of tropical settings. Smooth jazz places in the background, tantalizing the listener’s ears and complimenting the easy, breezy visuals. Other pieces are equally as bright, colorful and experimental. Despite being an exhibition about summer, most of the pieces stay far way from being too literal in how they come across. Instead, artifacts and ideas that evoke the spirit of summer are showcased in hopes of conveying the emotions that one might obtain during the summer months.

by: Niesha Davis What: Now is the Summer of Our Discontent[2] featuring various artists Where: Bank Gallery[3]

When: Through Fri September 8

References

  1. ^ Bank Gallery (www.cityweekend.com.cn)
  2. ^ Now is the Summer of Our Discontent (www.cityweekend.com.cn)
  3. ^ Bank Gallery (www.cityweekend.com.cn)

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