Until the end of the year, the Asian Art Museum will feature videos and interactive exhibits designed to inspire us to imagine and create different worlds.
A CONTINUOUS EXPERIENCE
“After Hope: Videos of Resistance” asks the question: “How does hope push us to imagine new worlds?” An eclectic mix of 50 short films explores the role of hope in contemporary art and activism. Looping around the clock, the six-hour film collection also includes the participation of artists who are not generally represented in museums outside of Asia; artists from Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Palestine, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey tackle a variety of contemporary subjects. Fragments of issues and causes combine to reveal common themes related to the environment, eco-feminism, queer ecologies, art and activism, transgressive stories, speculative futures, song, music and stories of exile, diaspora and identity in this repeated circle of imagery.
“’After Hope’ tackles all of these fragmented problems and causes and reveals common themes – refuge, renewal, revolution – almost like a chain of letters or an exquisite corpse,” said Abby Chen, head of contemporary art at Asian Art Museum, referring to the surrealist game where artists contribute a sketch or a word to a continual composition, and the work is not revealed in its entirety until the end of the process. “It’s a surprisingly moving experience and people who spend even a little time with these videos, whether in our gallery or online at home, will leave with a wider, richer and more current connection with the Asia. Visitors “dive” into their own unique experience of the continuum, making their own connections between the videos they stumble upon as they reflect on their own ideas about the meaning of “hope.”
“After Hope: Videos of Resistance” is one of three interdependent programs produced in collaboration with curators and external institutions aimed at fostering artistic pollination across communities, practices and perspectives. Additional offerings include a series of meetings within the international working group and a digital platform, AfterHope.com. Video art, as an accessible and immediate art form, has the power to create a sense of global solidarity. Jay Xu, CEO of the Asian Art Museum, said: “. . . masterpieces that illuminate our essential humanity – as well as the profound changes of our own century – are still happening today, and in the digital age, great art is as likely to appear on our phones as in a magnificent gallery setting.
IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE “TEAMLAB: CONTINUITY”
“TeamLab: Continuity” consists of 14 works of art sensitive to movement, filling the gallery space in a hyper-response to human activity and transforming visitors into participants. The responsive digital animation algorithm responds to the locations and movements of museum visitors as they move through space, creating a sort of artistic imprint of that particular moment.
Creating digital art experiences across the globe, several hundred programmers and designers make up the TeamLab collective, traditionally working together behind the scenes to create art and explore the relationship between the individual and the world.
‘TEAM LAB: SKETCH OCEAN’
At the new Shriram Experiential Learning Center, a school of brilliant sea creatures swims in an aquarium enlivened by the creativity of the public. What started in February 2020 as “TeamLab: Sketch Aquarium” is now “TeamLab: Sketch Ocean” with the opening of the “Continuity” exhibition. This is the place to go if you’ve always wanted to see your works come to life, float and swirl on the walls of the museum. A “submersible” experience, the drawings swim off the page to join an ocean teeming with fish, a collective creation. Visitors are invited to come in, grab a model, and create their sea creature. When finished, a museum volunteer scans the paper and adds the most recent creation to the ever-changing piece of art.
“Continuity prompts us to view our own impact on the environment and our relationship to technology as a force for social evolution,” said exhibition organizer Dr Karin G. Oen, principal investigator at the Center. for Asian Art and Design at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and former associate curator of contemporary art at the Asian Art Museum. “It’s a subtle but powerful reminder that the art and experiences we value most can also be groundbreaking.”
“After Hope: Videos of Resistance” and “TeamLab: Continuity”, Asian art museum, Thursday 1 to 8 p.m. and Friday to Monday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., $ 15 and $ 20, 200 Larkin Street, 415-581-3500, asianart.org
Sharon Anderson is an artist and writer from Southern California. She can be contacted at mindtheimage.com.