Curator’s Review

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The Practice of Oneness

Radka Salcmannova

While much of the September issue speaks to ideas about infidelity, and therein especially about the abandonment of the self, the featured gallery artists are all deeply engaged in the process of investigating the true nature of themselves and the world in which they live. Their work often seems to respond to questions about life, its dilemmas and paradoxes, with answers that mix truth and fiction. Consider  the pieces of Naormi Meiija Wang, in which she replays unconscious dreams and fantasies or the hauntingly peaceful landscapes of Ling Pin Tsao that seem to unite extreme emotions as a solution to his own bipolar travails.

Mikel Durlam is an American artist based in New York City. Through painting, sculpture, installation and artifacts, Durlam begins a work when he feels emotionally driven to make something though he never knows for certain what form it will take. Unlike many artists he doesn’t begin with a concept. He sets out to capture and express the emotional impact of an experience or memory, which may have confused him or of which he cannot make sense. He often creates a performance combining different mediums – objects, paintings, installation and music, which reflect aspects of the objects of his struggles. Durlam examines his relationship to life and death in his personal search to understand its meaning and purpose.

Perhaps more philosophical, but no less psychological, Javier Barrios is deeply interested in the evolution of the Universe – what we do and do not know about it and what our place is in it as human beings. Across art mediums – painting, sculpture and installation – and using advanced technology and science, he creates exquisitely beautiful visual fiction based on the true story. Javier uses a logical system to structure his work, similar to the way the inner mind organizes lines and shapes into thoughts and images to arrive at a coherent narrative which is part fantasy, part reality.

Naormi Meiija Wang, a Chinese-born, artist based in New York, is deeply interested in Freudian psychology and human nature. She works in various mediums, most often, the human body which she distorts, overlaps and ultimately reveals in dream-like states. When we view an image or watch a video installation created by Naormi, we are transported to deep, mysterious realms and, as in psychoanalysis, left to construct an interpretation of what we see and feel based on all the experiences we bring to that moment. Freud might argue with Jung about her work, Jung describing her pieces as “divine” in there interconnection of past present and future. “Are they holy or mad aberrations? Evil or innocent in the origin?” are questions Freud might ask.

Artist Ling Pin Tsao was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. In his remarkable landscape images he seems to have found a way to unite emotional extremes into a single powerful image that makes us feel we are balanced on the center of a ball.

We hope viewing these artists offers another step in your investigation of your self, one that transcends the usual use of words and inspires you to dream, fantasize and find something meaningful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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