Wow! Yesterday, I needed an inspirational break, so I treated myself to a surf around the Art-Installation category on Vimeo. Que suerte! as they say here in Spain – as luck would have it, Antonio Glessi had recently uploaded this film of Bejiing-based artist, Wang YuYang installing his Artificial Moon in the new Palazzo Strozzi Centre for Contemporary Art in Florence. The exhibition it was a part of was called “Cina, Cina, Cina!! Chinese Contemporary Art Beyond the Global Market”.
I love the scene in this video where the basic shell of the piece is already assembled and everyone sets to work fitting 3,000 lightbulbs in their respective places – what a great role to play in the installation of an artwork.
It’s a spectacular piece once it’s hung in place too – it reminds me fondly of the BBC children’s series The Clangers (1960s). The Clangers lived on a small planet out in space and they collected space debris and ‘rubbish’ as it floated past, often transforming it by finding a new practical use for it. YuYang has transformed this collection of various bulbs and satellite-shaped lights beautifully – each one seems perfectly positioned to take its place in the sparkling performance once the electricity is switched on.
Sadly, the exhibition is over, so I won’t get to see it sparkling in situ, which I’d have loved to, but Artificial Moon has also been exhibited in other venues, in both Europe and Asia, so there’s maybe there’ll a chance to in the future. I hope so.
Meanwhile, the Palazzo Strozzi looks like it has a great program of exhibitions lined up – the next one, which opens on 20th February through until April 25th is “Gerhard Richter and the Disappearance of the Image in Contemporary Art” – hmm, I feel a trip to Italy coming on…