Andrew Liang

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Monday, February 27, 2012

artNOW: Baltimore

I could still smell and taste all them green chillies from the New Mexico trip.  Not a day goes by without at least the thought of it.  When I was asked to close my eyes and think of heaven, New Mexico trip is where I want to go.

In mid December, 2011, Alex Castro and Cara Ober visited and proposed a show called artNOW, featuring 5 artists from Baltimore, the show will take place at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland.  I was really honored to be included in this show.  Two ideas right off the bat, that I would like to take advantage of this opportunity to see it happen.  One of them is the expansion of an existing idea.  That is, bunch of mice driving race cars zooming out of a race track which is a cat’s tongue.  This idea was inspired by a classic Chinese literature, “The Journey To The West”.  In the story, Wu-Kong, the monkey king, arrogantly challenged Buddha, a race out of Buddha’s palm (Buddha’s own hand).  At the end of universe, Wu-Kong rests at the five columns that resembled the pillars supporting the structure integrity of the world.   Without Buddha in sight, Wu-Kong burst into laughter, and declared himself “the shit”.  Wu-Kong decided to graffiti his title on one of the columns.  He went back to Buddha, and bragged.  Buddha laughed and said, “someone wrote on my finger, “the shit”, you have any idea who this might be?”  Afterall, Wu-Kong did not escape the palm of Buddha!  I expanded the idea from single cat tongue race track, to two cat tongue race tracks.  Then, making them into the eyes of one giant cat.  Meanwhile, keeping the mice race car still running around everywhere.  Just like the story, and like that of the Russian-Dolls, one inside another, inside another.  The second idea is to make all the things that are relative to one another while the thoughts of New Mexico and southwest is running through my brain.  For example, while traveling, we listened to Miss Tony and some classic tracks of the Baltimore club music, this spurred the basketball announcer’s voice of that NBA championship game between Larry Bird’s Boston Celtics and Magic Johnson’s L.A. Lakers in 1987.  And the way Magic handles the basketball, always reminds me of the magic golden lamp from Aladdin.  Rub three times and you will get it!  The Petroglyphs in the desert, have visions documented from ancient human beings and perhaps intelligence of higher beings?  They are there, yet no one is paying them any attention, except retired folks on walkers and weirdos like us.  Maybe, we rub them, and Red Cloud will pop out and give you directions more precise than an Iphone.  The complicated relationship between a cactus and balloons.  There are humanoid cactus in the desert, and they might like a balloon or two.   Train tracks carved through a vast land, over the mountains, through towns, transporting unknown materials.  Cowboys herding cattle down from the plains into towns.  At train stations, load them up.  Off to the East coast.  A once major economy of this country, now exist in fantasy.  When the animals arrive in the big cities, will they see Godzilla?  and running buildings?

There are a few thank yous I would like to mention.  James, Dan, and Annie Gray of Arts and Crafts for helping me out with paint.  Devin and Margret for helping me call around town on their Iphone 4G to hunt down one last can of glaze.  Plaza on Cathedral street, the man took his time and checked the back for one last can of glaze.  Maude Kasperzak and Miranda Pfeiffer for hung out and helping me paint.  Michael Benevento for buying panels from Lowes for me.  Eamon Espey, stev santallian and Emmanuel Nickolaidis for having tremendous amount of patience with me, helped me load, unload and install the show.  Cara Ober for being an awesome person.  And Alex Castro for a really pleasant, stress free experience from the beginning to the end, patient, and I am speechless because I was never treated this well for going anywhere putting up art.  This has been the best experience in making the work and setting up the show.

Here are some studio shots.

The photos below are of the place where Alex arranged for Eamon, Emmanuel, stev and I to stay over the installation weekend.

And these photos below are the installation shots.

posted by Andrew Liang at 3:26 am  

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