Large scale sculptures and light installations

Made in 2019, October, November 2019, Changsha China

About the collection

Author of the text: Irina Ideas, originally published in Chinese

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts” by William Shakespeare

 

A famous quote Shakespeare gave to the humanity, it continues further describing the seven stages a human being goes through from the rise to the demise. The full circle, as we always somehow arrive to the beginning but different, some arrive to the beginning wiser, richer, more insightful, perfecting the skill of wondering about the beyond, becoming experienced and uplifted. In this process “the beyond” is not only observed in the internal but also external sense, the gravity it creates, the imprint one has left upon the society is about “the point beyond” and here we go into the historical but also the futuristic. The two worlds meeting each other and becoming one, the world of Tian Han, whose intellectual language and learning is heavily influenced by the theatre, opera and ancient tales, never for a second losing or compromising the ideology of “the point beyond”, and the world of contemporary sculpture and light installation that looks into the future and is influenced by the conglomerate of abstract thinking and human idealism. Art is probably one of the most powerful mechanism through which we can look into “the point beyond” sense it, touch it but never own it. It exists in it’s eternal circles, just like life that plays on the stage, revealing many mysterious, sometimes highly symbolical meanings and then it goes off the stage, but today we live in the world of digitization, which means all the world’s stage is kept eternal. It shines the light upon those who call upon it, just like the ancient tale of the Aladdin lamp but this time around, it is illuminated by the light. Every thought takes the shape, every shape is the part of the sculpture, every sculpture is a part of a whole, humanity, future.

 

In this spirit Tian Han Sculpture and light installation park represents the communication between the time past, a look back into the dramatic life of a strong intellectual man that revived the Chinese opera, theatre, in his script writing and poetry, exploring the ancient lore, the stories, as it often happens of that all too mighty element called Integrity. For example the Legend of the White Snake portrays all too current theme of social conformity, the trends that make us judge the reality on the bases of the surface in the process ignoring the essence that leads away from the core, the truth, and towards the road of a missed opportunity. The interplay of cause and effect, sometimes paved with good intentions but out of the context often lead astray. Alas, the circle of life that unstoppable force, it recognizes neither good or evil, just being and transforming of “the point beyond” so let’s explore those points in the forms of sculpture and light installations.

 

The story Part 2 November

This is a story in several parts, and the first part is exploring the life of the sculptures in Tian Han’s park, as they are being born, the process of them starting to inhale the life inspired by the intellectual thinking, historical and futuristic consequences. An inquiry into the flame that made the changes historically through different artistic languages such as theatre, poetry, music and films, and then transported us to the world of today when we face the dilemma about the flame and where does it stand in relation to the human beings. How do we proceed forward as technology seems to be taking over. To the untrained eye, unequipped with the glasses of perception/knowledge, it all seems very grim but in reality technology can nurture the very same flame that escalated the awareness of different civilizations through different time periods. The complexity over and over again, comprised of idealism and perseverance brought life and dominance to the seemingly inanimate matter/thoughts. The impact that Tian Han made somehow connects to these very same concepts and while the problematic of his times is very different to our own, in essence it is very much the same, a pursuit for human essence, the quest to animating the inanimate.

The border between the animate and inanimate matter was greatly inspiring within the artistic world and probably presents one of the great challenges of our technological society as well. Where is the line between the living and the non living? Something so perplexing now that we have gone into the realms of quantum mechanics, where all the molecular elements seem to interact with each other, some kind of a mysterious order, still fragmented in the scientific understanding and yet so primordial. It brings us back through the history, to the concept of Golem, an ancient story originating in the realms of Jewish folklore, Golem is an animated being created entirely by the inanimate matter such as clay or mud, and through intention, the power of human thought, it is capable to becoming anything imaginable, a villain, a victim, a man, a woman, both, a monster, an angel, a representation of more abstract constructs such as war, community, hope, despair,….and it is in this spirit that the sculptures took forms, from past to present, from present to past, let’s explore in more details:

 

This is a collection of art pieces made my several international artists in Tian Han Cultural Park in Changsha, China. The collection presented on this page is the work in progress during October and November 2019, please see part 2 for the progression of these pieces as well as the corresponding impression written about them.  

 A flame

Metal and Light installation 4m by 3m

Artist: Irina Ideas

A tool of awakening in the myth of Prometheus, a titan in Greek mythology credited with the giving the fire to the mundane humanity, letting them awaken from the static existence, eventually he is even credited with the concept of creation of humanity from the clay. In effect a story about a Golem transposes into the context of Prometheus with slightly different format, but very similar core. A flame of humanity, what is truly human and yet aspires beyond, searches and seeks, doesn’t get satisfied with the now and here, but needs to transcends. This is the core idea behind the piece in front of our eyes. The flame in it’s initial form is just the tip of the tongue, something small and insignificant, but placed in the right moment it can build so many other branches. In this piece we go into the ideology of the Cubism, the time and space start to lose it’s significance, they are losing the forming quality and become the subject of the form itself, because now the idea is capable of twisting both sides of the reality, eventually the structure culminates, aspiring up into the flame, because it is through fire that we get purified, we burn all the imperfections that the mundane existence brings and can focus on the uplifting thoughts that transform the civilization ahead of us.

 

A vision

Metal and light installation 3m by 3m

Artist: Irina Ideas

Where the eagle appears it bestows freedom and courage to look ahead, according to the North American Indian belief system, Eagle is the bird that lives between two worlds, the one is the living and the other is on the other side of the living, it spends only small percentage of time actually hunting for the pray and the rest is dedicated to the mystery of existence and contemplation about the vision ahead. Sometimes the vision reaches ahead, sometimes it is to the sides but in this case the vision of an Eagle is toward the humanity that wants to see the light, to focus on the distance, to see the long term benefits of the high integrity game. It is only through integrity and skillful training that higher achievement is made, and so is this eagle here a testament to the times past that corrected itself only through practice, a rigorous ambition that abides in light and is pure in essence. This piece, like most in this collection is about light as much as the physical form, 50 % of the time it exists in the world bathed in sunlight and the other 50% of time it exists in the night, representing this other world that eagle explores so eagerly.

A human

Metal and light installation 2.5m by 3m

Artist: Lee Yun 

Protagoras of Abdera (c.490-c.420BCE) said “Human is a measure of all things” and this is valid today as it was more than two millenniums ago. We learned how to center everything around the self in order to conquer the survival game, however, now that we have finally found the safe space against most adversities in the physical sense, we are learning the power of giving in, renouncing the ego, and embracing the ever lasting essence. The quality this piece holds is of the most sublime nature.
Homo Sapiens (Latin: wise man) it seems in the formation of this concept the wisdom counts as the most important for survival because it was only Homo Sapiens out of many human species that survived the selection that interaction between external (nature) and internal (nurture) determined. In this sculpture we focus on both elements but placed within historical context dealing with the noble notion, ennobling the place with the flame, passion for betterment of humanity even if it means the dissolving of self, we move towards the world of ascending beyond the need for a physical body.

An imprint

Metal and light installation 8m by 2m

Artist Qiu Tian

Here we have an interaction between the shape and the space that it creates or rather, the sculpture gives meaning to the space around and behind. There are many misconceptions when we look through something because it gives us so many options to think about, at the same time the comforting of the frame gives security. We often think about the space in the context of full or empty but in reality when we look at the space through the frame we have already given it the one of the most primordial forms of intelligence: a pattern. The holy grail of building blocks of the mind, as it sorts and classifies, this piece is greatly inspiring because it not only makes us think about the space it frames and it gives us so many options and associations as we look through it, but also gives us the freedom of angles, diversity, the initial style of the frame is reminiscent of the industrial age that marked the era in which Tina Han lived. The times when the machines finally empowered the humanity in multitude but it was up to the humanity to make this empowerment humane. The message behind this piece that goes high, up and above towards the clouds is that the building blocks of our civilization rely on the human aspects more than anything.

A tree of life

Metal and light installation 7m by 4m

Artists: Qiu Tian and Irina Ideas

Tian Han had a very turbulent circle of events that lead to the height of creative exhilaration and the down of being at the right time at the wrong place that lead to his demise. This tree is symbolizing the branches that never finish in leaves but are strong enough to hold the structure. The structure being circular as opposed to mandelbrotian, exploring and reflecting through metallic elements the life that repeats itself with seemingly random lines that cross from one end to another. This symbolizes the ability of a mind to cross, and hold the opposing ends of the spectrum, because there are only few people that are capable to holding the contrasting elements and still understanding the whole. Our old/traditional dualistically trained minds are often ready to focus on one end of the spectrum, choose the sides rather than understanding the holistic principle and this stylistic tree is teaching us to embrace the counter intuitive, to revive the inventive spirit.

A phoenix

Metal and light installation 2m by 2m 

Artist: Qiu Tian 

Here we arrive at the meeting point between the west and east, a power of transformation, a bird so mysterious and so universal, every single human is touched by it in the eternal swing of the pendulum between life and death. The refusal to accept death as something that concludes, but rather a dramatic transformation point between different types of existences, here a Phoenix is representing the timelessness of the ancient lore, the fact that so many stories were told and retold, the wisdom transferred from one generation to another. Tian Han revived the ancient stories through his theatre and opera work bringing forth the wisdom that dates back to the oral times. The history that relies on the humanity, the genetic nexus of the story telling, to keep going. With each story a new variety is built, just like the genetic code sometimes acts and builds upon itself, infinite possibilities and varieties are explored until the cord strikes just right.

A filter

Metal and light installation 5m by 2m

Artist Qiu Tian 

Now we arrive at the tool of our civilization, one of the increasingly more ubiquitous objects, not only because we are becoming more and more short sighted (which we are becoming, statistically, as a result of all the screens that occupy our vision) but also because we need a filter of knowledge to process all the bombarding information, the attention grabbers, the emotional manipulators. Sometimes we need a clinical power the magnifying lenses of the glasses can give so that we can discern the illusion from reality, the direction towards light and the direction that leads to darkness. Sometimes darkness helps us to sharpen our vision, to make distance from the situation, to feel rather than think through seeing, but our civilization is a visual one and hence we have to learn how to filter towards the light.

The fact that we are all one, the past, the future, the left, the right, the south, the north, the east and the west, every aspect belongs to the same boat, at the moment made of the metallic elements, this collection of sculptures is the echo of our times, because our technological accompaniment is mostly made of metal and it has the power to unite and divide. It is entirely up to us to decide the human value. It is up to us to go back into the history and learn about the noble and uplifting actions that brought humanity forward and try to ennoble the now with actions, deeds, art, thoughts and striving towards the better now because the future can only be made through Now.

Thank you for reading and appreciating art and history that truly made what we are today

Irina Ideas

Do you want to see more art?

If you want to explore how the piece of the puzzle of Art fits into the world of Ideasrex, here is the overview of all art pieces