The Wild and The Tame
The relationship between humans and nature becomes increasingly poignant as we find ourselves entrenched in the age of extreme human impact on the Earth. Whilst the negative connotations of this period are apparent through climate change and the widespread impacts of human intervention, we rely on the magic and connection to the wild for restorative energy much in the same way we look to art. The Wild and the Tame at Denny Dimin Hong Kong is a group exhibition with six artists who, through their work, observe nature, creating new lines of inquiry into human interaction with the natural world.
Dana Sherwood, born 1977 in New York, is a multimedia artist, whose ink and watercolor piece Pavilion of the Wild and the Tame, 2016 lends its title to the exhibition. As part of the exhibition, we will also be showing her video piece Sight Equus Mongolia, 2019. As an artist Sherwood is known for her diverse practice in exploring the relationship between humans and the natural world in order to understand culture and behavior in a changing environment. In her work, nature, often in the form of non-human animals, plays a complex role as both subject and collaborator. Sherwood relies upon her own style of magical realism to portray contact between human and non-human animals as a tool to understand culture and behavior and more importantly to recognize the interconnectedness of our ecosystem.
Paula Wilson, born 1975 in Chicago, had work featured in Denny Dimin, Hong Kong’s inaugural exhibition, Lunarian. Throughout her practice, insects, flora and fauna, drawn from the surrounding environment of her studio in New Mexico, interact with her human subjects. Inspired by actual and imagined histories, she creates her own brand of folklore and mysticism where the wild and the tame collide. In her piece Catching the Night, 2021, featured in the exhibition, a female figure holds up a large blanket which acts as a backdrop to the moths and insects which come alive at night. The detailed close-up of one of the moths captured in the far right corner through the perceived lens of a mobile phone, throws into light a new era of human interaction with nature where technology allows for even more inquisitive and arguably intrusive exchange.
The artist L, born 1984 in Salt Lake City, Utah, is known for inserting alchemy and witchcraft into their practice. Their “spells” are collated “ingredients” taken from nature, such as earth and crystals married with various tokens of contemporary life which are imbued with a talisman quality: lightbulbs, beads or lighters, to name a few. They are interested in the metaphysical connection of objects which moves into the interconnectedness of humans and nature. The wild and the tame taken as the natural and manmade materials are encapsulated together in glass vessels becoming alchemic creations such as, Spell to dissolve the singularity and enlighten all humans, 2021.
Jessie Edelman, born 1986 in Milwaukee, uses the natural world as a source of inspiration to be observed and revered rather than an immersive environment. Her works include nature in the traditional mores of art history – as a place of beauty and iconography. Edelman uses her canvas as a place to create imagined spaces which pull from human ideals of a blue sky, full, leafy trees and plants as well as rich blooming flowers intense with color and saturation. In this context the natural wild is tamed and manipulated by the artist to manifest these desirable spaces.
Natalie Lo Lai Lai, born 1983 in Hong Kong, has a distinct practice, using video and installation as a means to interact with nature. Her video piece Voices from Nowhere, 2018, captures the unique magic of traditional farming practices where humans intersect with nature with the intent to control it and protect their livelihood. In this piece Lo Lai Lai was inspired by a coincidental encounter with a farmed fishpond in Yuen Long in Hong Kong. She looks at the impact of human intervention with the landscape for farming yet how in its own way this results in magical transformations from farm to plate. She writes, “The ecological system is a chain of desires, tied to the individual’s sensibilities wandering about in the depth of mysterious valleys”. Both the human intervention and consequential shifts in that area have an arcane quality where the fishing community and nature hold on to the secrets of the fishpond.
Greer Howland Smith, born 1981 in Chicago, has two artworks featured in the exhibition, Satellite, 2019 mixed media on paper, and Homeostasis, 2019 acrylic on canvas. These works highlight how the artist studies the ecosystems of plants and the cycles they go through. She uses this as a reference to a globalized sociopolitical status moving through decline and renewal paying attention to how technology has started to interfere with the natural world. By manipulating her visualizations of botanical life, Howland Smith looks to this outward interference on the natural world. She does this with layers of paint and graphic lines made from spray paint, oil pastel and ink. They alter, dissect and skew the botanical portraits which range from plant cells to actual plants. The artist finds beauty in these processes as she seeks to celebrate flora even through death and regeneration and alteration.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Denny Dimin Gallery will be launching the first issue of Thick Cut, a new zine formed as a collaboration with Ruby Weatherall, who works with Asia Art Archive and Joanna Fu who works for Vogue, Hong Kong. The zine is born from conversations throughout the pandemic centering on the importance of food and nature. For the founders, “eating is as much a daily necessity as a performative act. It is associated with the seasons, the harvests, the land and our cultural and religious customs”. The first issue of Thick Cut will exclusively be on sale throughout the exhibition at Denny Dimin Gallery, Hong Kong.
Denny Dimin Gallery, Hong Kong is located at No. 612 Remex Center. No. 42 Wong Chuk Hang Road. Hong Kong. The exhibition will be open Wednesday to Saturday, 12 to 6 pm.
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來自紐約的藝術家 Dana Sherwood (1977 – ) 是一位多媒體藝術家，她的藝術作品《Pavilion of the Wild and the Tame》給本次群展命名提供了靈感。一份來自於Sherwood 2019年的視頻作品《Sight Equus Mongolia》也將在本次展覽展覽中為大家呈現。 Sherwood作為藝術家，一直以探索人類與自然世界之間的關係，和理解瞬息萬變的自然環境文化和行為而被大家熟知。在她的作品中，自然通常以非人類動物的形式，扮演著一個複雜多元的主體和合作者。 Sherwood憑藉自己的魔幻現實主義風格描繪了人類和自然界生物之間的聯繫和接觸，她的藝術作品不僅是理解自然文化和自然行為的工具，更重要的是使我們意識到人類與生態系統之間那千絲萬縷的聯繫。
Paula Wilson (1975 – ) 來自於芝加哥，丹尼迪明畫廊與Wilson在香港首展《月球居民》的展覽上就曾經有過合作。她的作品時常包含人類與自然互動的主題，其靈感來源於她在新墨西哥州工作室裡的手工實踐、對昆蟲、植物動物的觀察和研究等。通過體會到真實觸感和想像歷史的啟發，Wilson用她的藝術作品創造了自己那野蠻與馴化相輔相成風格的民間傳說和神秘主義。 Wilson在本次展覽中展出的作品《Catching the Night》創作於2021年，作品中一位女性形象高舉著一個大毯子，以作為夜間活躍飛蛾和昆蟲的背景。作品的右下角，展示了一隻通過手機鏡頭捕捉到詳細特寫的飛蛾，展示了人類與自然互動的新時代。在這個時代，技術幫助人類給自然帶來了更多好奇和具有侵入性的交流。
出生於鹽湖城的藝術家 L (1984 – )由運用神秘力量和嵌入金屬在藝術作品中而聞名。他們的“咒語”是從自然中提取並經過整合的“成分”，比如泥土、水晶與現代生活的各種象徵性的符號結合在一起，比如: 燈泡、珠子或打火機，等等。這些符號被賦予了護身符的特性。藝術家對事物形而上學的聯繫產生了興趣，這種關係延伸到人與自然的互聯性。野蠻與馴化在此凝聚於自然的物質和人造的材料同時密封於玻璃器皿之中，並成為L嵌入金屬的藝術品，比如，創造於2021年的作品《Spell to dissolve the singularity and enlighten all humans。
Jessie Edelman (1986 – ) 來自美國擁有歷史悠久並風景動人的密爾沃基，她將自然世界作觀察和崇敬的靈感來源，而不是一味的沉浸在享受美好的環境中。她的作品將美麗且具有代表性的大自然用藝術的形式納入了藝術史的傳統習俗中。 Edelman將她的畫布打造成了一個盡情發揮想像力和創造力的空間，並從人類的理想中用畫筆描繪出一片片蔚藍的天空，繁茂的樹木、鬱鬱蔥蔥的植物以及妖嬈的花朵。自然的野性被藝術家在這樣的情形下馴服和操縱，從而達到這令人豁然開朗的空間。
香港藝術家 Natalie Lo Lai Lai (1983 – ) 使用視頻和裝置作為與自然互動的方法是她獨特的藝術實踐手法。 2018年，她的視頻作品《piece Voices from Nowhere》不僅捕捉了傳統農耕方式的獨特魔力，也表達了人類與自然互動交融的目的是為了控制自然從而保護自己的生計的觀點。 Lo Lai Lai的這份藝術作品的靈感源自於她與香港元朗一個養殖魚塘的一次偶然相遇。她研究了人類干預農業景觀的影響，以及人類如何用自己的方式做到了將生物從農場到餐盤的神奇轉變。她寫道:“生態系統是一條慾望鏈，與徘徊在神秘山谷深處的個人情感相連。” 人類的干預和由此所產生的變化都隱含了一種神秘的性質，漁業社區和大自然都守護著魚池的秘密。
來自芝加哥的藝術家 Greer Howland Smith (1981 – ) 在本次展覽中展出的兩幅作品分別是創作於2018年的紙上混合媒介作品《Satellite》和帆布丙烯作品《Homeostasis》。這兩幅作品突出了藝術家如何研究植物的生態系統，也展示了植物所經歷的循環。她在此用了一個全球化的社會政治地位在衰落和復興中起伏的參考，並由此展開關注技術是如何開始乾擾自然世界的。通過操縱她對植物生命可視化的觀察，Howland Smith發現了這種對自然世界的外部干擾，並用噴漆、油彩和墨水畫出層層疊疊的顏料、圖形和線條等加以表達。這些物質改變、分解、轉變形態，並最終由植物細胞變成正真的植物。藝術家在這些過程中發現了美，因為她從中窺探到了植物試圖通過走向死亡、再生和改變來迎接植物群的新生。
與此同時，丹尼迪明畫廊將推出第一期《Thick Cut》雜誌，這是與亞洲藝術資料館的Ruby Weatherall 和香港《Vogue》的 Joanna Fu 合作創辦的一本新的雜誌。這本雜誌的創作靈感來源於疫情期間關於食物和自然重要性的討論。對於創始人說，“吃飯是一種日常必需品，也是一種行為。它與季節、收成、土地以及我們的文化和宗教習俗都息息相關。” 第一期《Thick Cut》雜誌將在丹尼迪明香港畫廊獨家發售。
丹尼迪明畫廊地址位於黃竹坑道42號 利美中心 612, 香港。營業時間為禮拜三至禮拜六，中午12:00 至 下午6:00。
Please join us for the opening reception of The Wild and the Tame and the launch of the first issue of Thick Cut.
Thick Cut is a new zine formed as a collaboration with Ruby Weatherall, who works with Asia Art Archive and Joanna Fu who works for Vogue, Hong Kong. The zine is born from conversations throughout the pandemic centering on the importance of food and nature. For the founders, “eating is as much a daily necessity as a performative act. It is associated with the seasons, the harvests, the land and our cultural and religious customs”. The first issue of Thick Cut will exclusively be on sale throughout the exhibition at Denny Dimin Gallery, Hong Kong.