Art-in-Storefront, a project taking art to the public domain to reclaim and revitalize San Francisco’s forgotten city spaces, is back!
Stretching from 704 to 710 Kearny Street, the 2011 storefronts include original work from acclaimed Bay Area artists Stella Zhang and Feng Jin. Unique to this installment is the artists’ use of the spaces as an extension of the concurrent Daily Lives exhibition at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, which opened on February 29 as a partnership between the CCC and YBCA.
In the words of curator Kwai Mei Manor, this exhibition takes “art out of the gallery and into the streets, [making it] public and on view for everyone.” The project brings visibility to economic implications of stores without merchants, and to the innovative work of artists from the community to revitalize these empty spaces.
Re-imagining the public and private, Stella Zhang creates a fluid display of shape and form, only to discover the secrets that lay behind closed doors. Feng Jin creates a false storefront filled with Chinese character-like forms, as an examination of art transmitted through language. This exhibition challenges the viewer to interact with art and concept on their daily comings and goings on the street. Art-In-Storefront looks at the empty storefront, or vacant city space, as a venue for dialogue and esthetic appreciation.
I’m always interested in exploring an object’s soul and expressing its essence. I also relate to what is happening in daily life. Displaying objects from daily life could be insipid, but I attempt to create multiple layers of impressions by paying special attention to details, multiplicity, and space. The space created realms between counterfeit and reality; public and private. Consequently, the discovery of this space by those who pass the store front will be as individual as the beholder’s imagination and private associations with the objects.
As a sculptor, I would like to use my art form to describe a different type of art form that has a strong attachment with language and writing. People are familiar with an idea that most philosophical thoughts are delivered through out words and language. Maybe one day a certain art form can alternate the language and do the same job as a major communication tool.
I want my audiences to purely enjoy these “character-like sculpture” aesthetically, not to be limited to figuring out what do these pieces look like whatsoever or the actual meaning behind. I also intend to give native Chinese audiences to re-think the stereotypical meanings of our language, the language that we use everyday even if we come to a foreign country. Can art deliver messages to people from all around the world without translation (or a statement)? Can people see art without ideology behind?
I am still seeking the Tao of art. I know it should be something for you to sense, something that is just unspeakable.
我希望我的觀眾，純粹享受這些“字狀雕塑”的美感，而不是受限於想弄清楚這些作品代表著什麼樣的文字形體或任何實質上的意義。我也希望、能透過作品 讓懂得中文的觀眾重新思考我們母語，一個即使我們到了外國、也在日常中使用的語言，它在中西方人眼中有著什麼樣的刻板形象？藝術是否能在不提供語言文字 “翻譯”（或陳述，就像您現在在看的這一篇文章這樣）情況下仍能與來自世界各地的人溝通？人們是否能夠用沒有意識形態的眼睛去看藝術？