'Tides of the Century' exhibition in China features Tony Cragg, Shirazeh Houshiary and Tatsuo Miyajima
5 March 2021
Tides of the Century: 2020 Ocean Flower Island International Art Exhibition opens this March at the Ocean Flower Island Museum in Danzhou City in Hainan Province, China. The exhibition will showcase over 140 works by more than 80 artists from 23 countries around the world, including Tony Cragg, Shirazeh Houshiary and Tatsuo Miyajima. While the world battles the pandemic, this exhibition seeks to unite these global artists in a reflection on coming together during difficult times. The exhibition's title evokes not only an exchange of merchandise but also of art, ideas, emotions and wider culture.
Tony Cragg's Stack (2018), made in bronze and on view at the museum, illustrates the movement, growth, dynamism and sense of wonder at the seemingly unlimited possibilities of sculptural form. This work, part of series of constructive, physical pieces that have also been animated by a range of ideas, references and narratives, drawing from geology, archaeology, biology, chemistry, natural history, psychology and anthropology.
Shirazeh Houshiary's 2019 film, A Cup and A Rose is also included. It is inspired by the small still life painting by Zurbaran (1630) with a similar title, and investigates the harmony and equilibrium that the painting sought to achieve by contrasting it with mankind's ongoing conflict with the natural world. In the film, the cup breaks as the pressure of water intensifies and the rose ages only to pulverize as the cup shatters. The installation echoes the theme of fragmentation and fission.
Tatsuo Miyajima's Time Waterfall-panel #MAM (2019) aims to convey the eternal luminance of human life, expressing an ethos of 'living in the present'. The work, also on view in the exhbition, comprises the natural numbers one to nine, which cascade down the LED screen, never reaching zero. The continuous counting down symbolises life, while the zero implied by the extinction of light acts as a metaphor for death.
The exhibition at Ocean Flower Island Museum is on view through December 2021.
Image: Still from Shirazeh Houshiary's A Cup and A Rose (2019).