Seattle Art Fair with Lv De’an 吕德安

Lv De'an at Seattle Art Fair

At Seattle Art Fair in front of work “No. 16193” by Wei Jia (韦佳).

A few days ago with Lv De’an at Seattle Art Fair. I find it great to visit such events with artists as they tend to have a different approach to looking at things. Firstly — and this is a bit of a generalization — they move either very quickly, or very slowly. In one case, a 1956 Sam Francis canvas “Composition,” we had to pass by a number of times:

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In other cases, he just walks right by, as in the following rather (I thought) intriguing work by Lin Yan (林延) entitled “Brighter Clouds #1 (2008):

 

 

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All in all, it seems Lv felt the Fair was overly commercialized, which is to say targeted at people who don’t want to be too challenged by what they purchase (even if, or is that particularly if, they put a few hundred thousand towards the purchase). This apparently was strategic on the part of gallerists represented at the event, as this year has been reported to be Seattle Art Fair’s most successful iteration–its third year running. And this is not to say that some of the more decorative works did not also serve to capture our full attention, as in Jaume Plensa’s well-known “Chloe in Barcelona” (2014), a pleasing but powerful work:

 

On my side, and following mostly the Chinese artists represented in the show, I was most impressed by works by Wang Tiande (王天德), Houshan Revolve, 2016. Though this kind of xuan paper, palimpsest is certainly nothing new, his texture is so rich I found myself flat out captivated:

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Now really looking forward to next year, by which time I expect the event will only be stronger, if perhaps no less commercially oriented. Hope I can drag Lv along again.

 

 

 

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Two more recent poems by Yan Li

56 cm x 78 cm

Patching Stars with Me 从我开始修补

Yan Li is in the Seattle area for the summer. He usually spends such time in New York, but is trying this side of the US mainland for a change of pace. Its slower than he used to, I believe, and this seems to have led to a more contemplative tone in some of his work, as is in evidence from these two poems, graciously translated by Denis Mair, below. I’ve added a few of Yan Li’s more subdued, though also contrasting images to fill out the picture:

严力  21:11

2 New Poems by Yan Li, Tr.by Denis Mair
严力最新诗歌一组(2首)英文翻译:梅丹理

请安静

在一个请安静到
针也不敢掉下来的地方
我把几声质疑声扔了出去
结果连我也被安静吞了进去

如初的安静
假设我重新站在那里
不再乱扔东西
同时向卧在道德里的针学习
可我还是怀疑自己
能否成为一个被安静所邀请的人

2015.6.

PLEASE QUIET DOWN

In a place so quiet
Not even a needle dares to drop
I throw around skeptical remarks
Yet in the end I get swallowed by the quiet

Ah, quietness as if at the origin!
If I could stand there once again
I would stop throwing things recklessly
And learn from the needle hidden in my conscience
But I still doubt whether I could be
Someone whom quietness would invite

一天

我拥有
先天与后天纠缠成一天的日子
每拦下自己的一次笑脸
就会吞下一片后悔药
每删除一个动作
必源于排练过的修养
这一天的每一秒早都写入了
文学经典
每分钟有三十秒的温差一如冬夏
每小时有几场分针追击时针的战争
每半天要发生几次上下午颠倒的错觉
这一天有几百种对太阳的称呼
这一天的半夜
醒来与睡去的人一样多

2015.7.

All in a Day [1]

Within the days I have been given
Innate heaven and latter heaven are entangled
Each time I hold back a grin
I have to swallow a pill of regret
Each deletion of an impulsive act
Derives from rehearsals of self-improvement
The classics of literature have already written
About each second of this day
Each minute has a thirty-degree temperature difference
Just like summer and winter…
Each hour the minute hand chases down the hour hand
Each evening up and down get upturned again and again
This day the sun will be addressed in a few hundred ways
This day in the middle of the night
People will wake and fall asleep in equal numbers

[1] This poem is untranslatable because the word “day” and the word “heaven” are the same word in Chinese.

 

80cm x 100cm

Chinese Dream 中国梦