Illusions and Hues

Laser-cut flashspun nonwoven HDPE garden, LED lighting component

Three on the Bund
Shanghai, China

On the historical colonial Shanghai Bund, a garden grows in the lobby of an upscale Italian restaurant. The cut-paper foliage climbs a wall onto the ceiling, creating a heavy canopy over the entrance, greeting its guests. A departure from the artist's known practice fof using a stark black and white palette, this garden is primarily in silver and gold, featuring breaths of multicolored pigments. Small lights are dotted throughout the foliage, vibrating in a subtle frequency that is almost imperceptible to the naked eye. Different color temperature lights are used, so while to the human eye the garden appears to be one color scheme, through a camera lens, an array of colors is observed, creating a mysterious and alluring appeal. This seductive work viewed within the context of a location that has experienced dramatic rises and falls of a nation, cautions that our material world is all but an illusion.

The honeycomb structure of the laser-cut paper garden is a unique form invented by the artist that allows for a wide variety of configurations; via expansion and contraction, sculpting, and application of color.

This work is exhibited in Pal(ate)/ette/, an nrm curatorial project for the reopening of Shanghai Gallery of Art


Special thanks to Lea Xiao Light Art Studio for lighting design.

© 2019 Jennifer Wen Ma

Jennifer Wen Ma

Littlemeat Productions

New York, NY

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