A new exhibition opening October 23 at the Spencer Museum of Art
assembles recent work by video artists working in China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Afghanistanall of whom share a common interest in the meaning of ordinary, day-to-day lives, especially within the context of Asia, where an immense reevaluation of historical consciousness and cultural practices is occurring under the guise of development.
Extra/Ordinary: Video Art from Asia , investigates new ways of transforming familiar experiences and daily routines into moments of expanded meaning, contemplation, and humorous reflection. By repositioning constructed notions of the everyday as cinematic recreations, comical interventions, or meditative actions, this exhibition explores the imaginative potential embedded in the ordinary stuff of life.
Organized by SMA curator of Asian art Kris Imants Ercums, Extra/Ordinary features recent video work by artists from across Asia: The Xijing Mens CollectiveChen Shaoxiong (China), Gimhongsok (Korea), and Ozawa Tsuyoshi (Japan) bring new meaning to play in their alternate world of Olympic competition; in Invisible Cities (2005-2008) Taiwanese artist Tsui Kuang-yu creates action videos that blur correct behavior in urban environments; three short videos by Tokyo-based Izumi Taro offer an odd realm of comical daydreams; Lida Abdul seeks healing in the spatial realities of war-torn Afghanistan; and Koreas cine-magician, Mr. Wonderful himself, Jung Yeondoo, produces sweeping vignettes at the confluence of remembrance and imagination in Handmade Memories (2008).
Together, these artists uncover the potential of daily experience and explore the material stuff of the world as mutable and laden with potential, Ercums says. The use of moving images in this exhibition to restore a lost memory, capture the present, or remake life through cinematic effect, further reflects the fleeting qualities that make the everyday so extraordinary. In the process, ordinary moments are uprooted, transformed into wondrous encounters and, through the poetics of noticing, restored as artifacts of memory and meaning.