Puzzling (a) Space begins with the concept of site-specific art, the notion that an artwork comes to life within the exhibition space and an audience’s participation is similarly an essential component to the artworks’ realization. The place is not just a backdrop or a simple space to contain the artwork. Rather, the place conveys the purpose and acts as a vehicle for the art, just as the audience’s interaction acts as a catalyst. Thus the artwork will only be complete in the context of three contributing elements: the artist, the place, and the audience.
Puzzling (a) Space is a dynamic exhibition of paintings, videos, installations and performance that not only reflects the site-specificity of Hillyer Art Space and a multi-cultural aesthetic, it also creates an atmosphere for people to see themselves as an integral feature in the emergence of an artistic event.
The Korean artists, Soun Hong, presents Sidescape, a painting-installation series depicting devastating images of wars and calamities found on the Internet. As the title suggests, Sidescape portrays parts and margins of the media images that absurdly represent tranquil scenery. This new series exhibits the severe snowstorm that struck Washington, DC, early this year. By breaking down the images and randomly displaying them in the gallery space, Hong invites the audience to review the happening from different angles.
Thai artist Chakraphan Rangaratna creates artworks based on his travel experiences. In this exhibition, Rangaratna introduces full-color geometric shapes inspired by a trip to Mexico and transforms them into a mural installation, My Ship Is Not Pretty. The sense of joy originated from formal elements helps the audience participate in the exotic and festive atmosphere.
Chinese-American artist Ding Ren’s work resonates with the simplicity and nothingness in everyday life. Ren presents two videos titled Reflected Light Series. She documented the images of shadows and light that shed on the walls on a specific date and time and projects them on the corners in the gallery. The notion of corner also implies the artist’s blurred identity between Asian and American.
Having relocated from the Philippines to the United States in 2005, Eric De Leon Zamuco has dealt with a sense of unfamiliarity to a new environment and an issue of identity as a new Filipino immigrant. For this exhibition, Zamuco makes a mixed-media installation titled A Tale of Common Things that breaks down the gallery space to reflect his paradoxical sense of the surroundings.