Taoist Contemporary Art

Yoo Juhee (pronounced “j’ouïe ou jouis”, as you want, in French) is a well-known artist of the contemporary art movement “Le Monochrome Coréen”. After brilliant studies at the University of Yeugnam, she exhibited throughout the world, notably in New York, Russia and Japan. Today, with this exhibition at the Galerie Iconoclastes in Paris, Yoo Juhee seems to have reached what the famous Taoist master Lie tzu (2nd century AD) refers to as “the true passage to the perfect vacuum”.

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It is because the void in Taoist thought does not have the negative meaning that it has always inflicted on the ontology of Western thought (although modern thought and quantum physics in this century require it to change d ‘opinion). The emptiness here, for this thought that comes from the depths of the ages and which, under another statute, finds the “dark matter” of astrophysicists and our technological revolutions, is what would produce all things. The jouissance of the void precedes the enjoyment of the body and that of the spirit, and articulates them.

Taoist Contemporary Art

From the aesthetic point of view, this gives a painting that must be approached as that of the Real, or the void, as opposed to the ordinary realities of appearances. This is the same emotional experience as that of the “Carré Noir” by Malevich (Moscow 1915) or the monochromes “Klein Blue” by Yves Klein, who realized the first, famous and scandalous “exhibition of the void” in Paris ( 1958). Except that here, black and monochrome squares can not be reduced to nothing, even as satisfactory as can be conceived. Because Yoo Juhee relies on a tradition more than two thousand years the Tao te King. “Trace of meditation”. The first poem of this immense work of world literature affirms that the origin of things “is the obscure,” and that “this obscure, more obscure than all obscure, is the door of all prodigies,” or, 35: “The big picture is without a picture”. And this is what describes the paintings of Yoo Juhee, “Image without image” and “door of all prodigies”: Emptiness as jouissance, richness and abundance.

In fact, these works generate psychosomatic effects of calm, and of creative serenity that they know how to exploit in particular the interior architects of today. Here, nature is the vacuum which becomes the subtle, even invisible forms of bifurcation, knotting, weaving, and combination of the original tetralmme “Earth, Water, Air and Fire” (square, round, crescent and triangle) Still adorns, but in the form of four trigrams around the Tai Ji (emblem of transmutations) the Korean flag. Yoo Juhee realizes by his art an extraordinary and subtle encounter between the most distant past, present and future always renewed. Space becomes time, forms emptiness and emptiness color.

Guy Massat, Psychoanalyst

Posted in Art

Vietnamese-American prodigies on the assault of contemporary art

The Propeller Group is a collective of contemporary artists from Ho Chi Minh City, which has quickly gained a place in the world, both in Vietnam and abroad. They perfectly combine aesthetics, imagination and a taste for reflection.

It is a real consecration for Tuan Andrew Nguyen, Phunam and Matt Lucero. The prestigious Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art in the United States invited The Propeller Group (TPG) on June 4 to present their works. The exhibition consists of several video montages on Vietnam, filmed in all its diversity: from street artists to bonzes, not to mention the sellers of old objects … A new portrait of the country, mixing both an aesthetic Modern, while preserving the trait and the purely local colors. An exhibition of the most unprecedented, reflecting Vietnam’s ever-increasing presence on the world stage of contemporary art.

“The fact that such artists, also known in the field, live in a country like Vietnam is rather unusual,” shares Naomi Beckwith, their agent. “But in fact, through their works, they are using art as a means to create very complex and subtle conversations about global art and communication in a country that is currently going through Great changes “.

A group attached to Vietnam

Who is hiding behind TPG? The collective consists of three artists, two Vietnamese and one American. All of them grew up in the United States, but they have developed close ties with Vietnam.

Tuan Andrew Nguyen and Phunam were born in Vietnam in the 1970s and left the country to go to the United States and Europe. A few decades later, they returned to the country and formed a small group with the American Matt Lucero, the third member. The latter was born in California, and he was one of Tuan Andrew’s classmates when they both studied art on the benches of the California Institute of the Arts in the suburbs of Los Angeles. For the record, Matt’s father is a veteran of the Vietnam War.

Their artistic adventures began when they first worked as cameramen in the advertising field in Ho Chi Minh City. With such a title, it was easier for them to apply for permits to film in the city, with the competent services being more flexible for such requests. A small “privilege” that promoted their artistic activities in the margins of advertisements, and this in discretion.

But TPG officially saw the light of day in 2006. He quickly appeared in the circle of the most prominent artists in Vietnam, alongside Tiffany Chung, known for his embroideries made from maps damaged by wars and natural disasters, or Still Dinh Q. Lê (Lê Quang Dinh), famous for his paintings created by assembling many small photos.

Works that shake contemporary art

Their influence does not stop only at the national level. The band’s name is on everyone’s lips, and is well-known on the international contemporary scene.


Their short film “The living need light, the dead need music”, is one of their most remarkable works. It was broadcast on the sidelines of the Prospect.3 international art exhibition in New Orleans in 2014, which depicts a Vietnamese funeral ceremony filmed at the seaside. The authors satirize the funerals, which today become more a ” Disguised party “, with copper groups or people engaged to scream and cry.

The three companions inspire the spectators to make an analogy with New Orleans, a city where jazz is omnipresent in everyday life, even at funerals. “No one can assert exclusivity in cultural development because traditions develop freely and they encroach on each other,” said Naomi Beckwith, their agent.

Or for the recent exhibition in Chicago, the TPG traces the Vietnam War from an artistic point of view. And in a most impressive way. For example, the artists shot two shots in a transparent gel using two guns used during the war, an American M16 and a Russian AK-47. Their projectiles left traces in the gel, the latter resembling the tail of a comet. A romantic beauty, but so deadly.

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Contemporary art or the sign of a society in crisis

This is one of the most remarkable contemporary paradoxes: advertising, magazines, commercial marketing strive to present to us as a model the myth of eternal youth, faces and smooth bodies, without wrinkles or unsightly ribbons, Radiant with health and without expression, while art constantly confronts us with repulsive, grotesque figures, at once terrifying and promised to degradation and decay.

“Never,” observes Jean Clair in his new essay Hubris, “the monster factory in modern art,” the gap between the human figure and its representation has, it seems, been deeper. The harmony, balance, regularity, serenity, and right proportions that defined the ideal of beauty bequeathed by antiquity were discredited by contemporary artists who, in their desire to surprise and shock, Promoted ugliness and fright to the rank of supreme artistic canon.

It is as if modernity, tired of the peaceful Apollonian values, privileged the Dionysian outburst as the most capable of reflecting the noise and fury, the excess and the horror of our time of disasters. Expression of barbarism, the monstrous fascinates and worried but also warns, in that it brings to life the ancestral fears, the fantasies of the most remote times, and brings to light what must be hidden. This fascination for the deformed, the abnormal, is certainly not new – the end of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance did not ignore it – but it did not pretend to hegemony over artistic forms.

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Among the emblems of the monstrosity, three creatures have attracted the attention of Jean Clair, who retraces their career from the Revolution and then romanticism to the present day, passing through the apogee of the years 1880-1914: the homunculus, Alchemical fantasies and now taken up by modern neurology; The giant or colossus, an ancient prodigy revisited by the era of technique and total war; The headless man, the headless man, an old idol promoted as a symbol of “radical and bloody” modernity.

At the crossroads of the history of art, the history of science and the history of ideas, the author mobilizes his vast culture and the acuteness of his critical judgment to engage in an anthropological interpretation of the ” Contemporary aesthetics. Through the works of Marcel Duchamp, Edvard Munch, Salvador Dalí, George Grosz, Alfred Kubin, Rudolf Schlichter, André Masson, Victor Brauner, Max Ernst, Wilder G. Penfield and Ron Mueck, The ugly, the history of the advent of a new artistic paradigm, an expression of the crisis of European humanism and the disarray of rational thought. Contrary to Dostoyevsky’s prophecy, “Beauty will save the world,” ugliness and deformity, the grotesque and the monstrous have become the royal way of an art that makes deviance normality and betrays the formidable power Of the resentment of modern man.

In conclusion of his exciting and disquieting essay, Jean Clair reminds us that the hubris, the haughty abandonment to excesses and discrepancies, constituted for the Greeks the supreme fault, punished by nemesis. Is it wrong to see in the manifestations of the hubris of modernity “the symptoms of a society in crisis, on the verge of its disappearance”?

By Bruno de Cessole

Posted in Art

On the roads of contemporary art in Africa

The United Nations projections estimate the African population to 1.5 billion inhabitants in 2025, 60% of them urban (DESA 2015 report). This young, pluralist continent, entrepreneur and consumer, even if it is marked by great disparities, is disengaging itself from its qualification as a “rentier continent”, fossilized in the postcolonial period. These economic and geocultural dynamics of globalization, conveyed, among others, by South Africa, Nigeria and Morocco, are now creating the framework for a contemporary art market in Africa.

On the roads of contemporary art in Africa

Mapping private collections in Africa

South Africa enjoys first- and second-market structures and a cultural dynamic that relies heavily on the involvement of collectors: the financier Paul Harris, the entrepreneur Bruce Campbell-Smith, the banker Gordon Schachat or the Ruper family. These personalities, indissociable from the contemporary South African artistic scene, invest and invest in foundations or museums. German collector Jochen Zeitz, former CEO of Puma, completes the cultural coverage of the country with the Zeitz Mocaa (Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa), a museum occupying 9,500 m2 of the Cape Silk Grain Silo Artists from Africa and its diaspora. In Nigeria, Prince Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon, a major supporter of the Nigerian scene, donates through his Omooba Foundation Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation 1,200 works to Pan Atlantic University for his Yemisi Shyllon Museum.

In several African countries, economically less developed or with high growth GDP, this same presence of influential collectors is observed: in Benin, the former prime minister Lionel Zinsou initiates in 2013 the first museum of contemporary art of Africa of The West in Ouidah, which accompanies the eponymous foundation run by his daughter Marie-Cécile Zinsou in Cotonou since 2005. This museum features works from its pan-African collection of artists such as Samuel Fosso, Kifouli Dossou, Cyprien Tokoudagba, Goerges Lilanga and Mickael Bethe-Selassie or Romuald Hazoumé, the latter exhibited at the Gagosian Gallery at Le Bourget in 2016. In Angola, collector Sindika Dokolo holds one of the most important contemporary art collections on the continent, collecting pieces from the collection The German Hans Bogatzke acquired in 2003 and the photographic collection of the emblematic Revue Noire. In addition to the Sindika Dokolo foundation he created in 2005 in Luanda, he is the patron of the Triennale of Luanda in 2006 and the creation of the African pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale. Estimated to more than 3,000 pieces, his collection includes works by African artists as well as pieces by Andy Warhol, Miquel Barceló or Nick Cave. In Morocco, the Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden (MACAAL) inaugurated in 2016 by the collector Mohamed Alami Lazraq, CEO of Moroccan real estate group Alliances, is exhibiting artists from the African continent.

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The action of these collectors fits in a global perspective as well as the pioneer collection of Jean Pigozzi or that of the Frenchman Jean-Paul Blachère; A panel still open with Ghanaian collectors Seth Dei, Senegalese Sylvain Sankalé and Bassam Chaitou, French Gervanne and Matthias Leridon and British Robert Devereux.

The dynamics of biennials in Africa

Of the dozens of biennials surveyed by the Biennial Foundation in 2017, many are confronted with a government commitment almost non-existent, since the Johannesburg Biennale founded in 1995 by the Ministry of Culture, arrested after only two editions, To that of Benin active in 2010 and 2012.

Each edition of Dak’Art – the oldest African biennial created in Dakar in 1989 – is carried out on the wire because of too little funding. In 2016, the Senegalese Press Agency reported a cost of 630 million CFA francs (about 1 million dollars) however amputated to each edition to settle the debts of the previous ones. The Bamako Meetings – the biennial organized by the Ministry of Culture of Mali and the French Institute – dedicated to photography and video since 1994 resurface in 2015 after three years of interruption following the political crisis From 2012 to 2013. The Marrakech Biennale, founded in 2004 under the name Art in Marrakech, despite the support of the King and several sponsors, including Morocco Telecom and Holmarcom, encounters every difficulty in raising the promised funds. It should be noted, however, that it enjoys a significantly higher budget than its sisters, about $ 1.5 million for the 6th edition

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Time Action Painting

 

We would do first to say what is not. It is not artistic conceit , nor attempt to create a new current or innovative orientation. E ‘, simply, pure creative expression, irrational flow linked to the time, the brief instants in which the unconscious operates, it shows almost in its entirety and energy. The result is, in fact, the result of graphic and pictorial applications of instants, of minutes, of moments which, unfortunately, are then blocked and forged from rationality, from the “left thinking”, from the constraints and by the passing of the normal flow of time. In addition to acrylic, as the basic material, it is used sporadically, without any fundamental method of “material fact” (dust, debris, cigar ashes, …) following an ecological approach like. The same has been enhanced pragmatically to give shape, flair, motion, direction. A common denominator: the value of subjective experience of time!

Mirco Turco Works

It is always easier to define what we are not and we do not do … I’m not an artist professional, I am and do the psychologist with the presumption convinced that each of us should, at least once in your life, or maybe more than one, demonstrate and reveal the other parts of their thoughts, their emotions, their own personality, of its role and of his being … Only the belief makes the difference! … At the end of time, hopes, illusions, we will ask not because we did not become Kings, Queens, Princes, Ladies, Knights, … but simply because we have not become ourselves … Do what you are and you will be happy!

Time Action Painting
Time Action Painting

 

the-mind-mind
mind mind

 

 

Me-Now-You-Without-End
Me you now endless

 

 

Washing-of-thoughts
washing of the soul

 

 

Spirit of Time. Acrylic on canvas. 60 × 80.2014
Spirit of Time

 

Fracture-space-time
Fracture Space Time

 

 

meeting-Daltri-time
Meeting of yesteryear