Kara Chin, Manutcher Milani, Anna Perach and Ilaria Vinci
11 February - May 2021
'The Sun and the Moon' is a group show with international artists Kara Chin, Manutcher Milani, Anna Perach and Ilaria Vinci. Their works explore folktales or folk methodologies that have derived from a variety of cultures or sources and realised through carpets, sculptures and performance.
The Sun and the Moon are universal commonalities on Earth as each person experiences their risings and settings. As they have always had a significant influence on our lives, their existence has been narrativised throughout history into fables that have been passed down through generations and now form folklores; traditional beliefs, legends and customs of a variety of cultures and peoples. Each artist presented in the show refers to either specific regional folklores, fictional folk aesthetics, or personal and familial histories, haunting our present by folktales and stories from the past and future.
Chin’s work ‘A Couple of Haunted Backwash Units’, while foreboding the evolution of smart devices, refers to the Japanese folklore tale ’Tsukumogami’; once inanimate household objects gain sentience after 100 years of service. Within ’Tsukumogami’, an object's character and personality is determined by how well it was treated in its years of use. Chin’s practice engages with fast evolving technologies that we increasingly do not understand in the present and investigates how this will have lasting effects into the future. Much like the origin and reason of many folktales, Chin’s works are lessons and warnings that have been narrativised.
The symbols, shapes and colours apparent in Milani’s work are drawn from the artist's psyche, presenting an ethereal, and possibly spiritual, visual language. His Grandfather owned the first carpet shop in Zürich, leading the artist to create his own series of tufted carpets. Through this personal link, Milani is sharing a familial history and labour, and blending in an exploration of the unconscious will and our psychological inhibition to want to understand. The want to understand and know is inextricably linked to storytelling throughout human history; we fabricate stories to simplify events so that they are more easily experienced.
Similarly, Perach uses tufting to create her life-sized wearable works, combining performance and sculpture to explore Slavic folklore and how ancient storytelling has become part of our present story. She considers these personal and cultural myths to be associated with domestic and gender roles, so she uses predominantly female mythic characters to synthesise and expose these narratives of self. The tufting technique references this domestic sphere, inspired by old craft techniques and the imperfections of manual labor. Her work ‘Mother of Egg’ is a fictional character that embodies the idea of the archaic mother; a mythical entity that has birthed the world, but holds the ability to destroy it. Her objective is to safeguard a fragile egg shape form which she carries in her front lower body.
Vinci explores folktales through para-fiction or exaggerations of the real. Influenced by concepts related to hyperrealities, her work exists in what she has termed as “The Zone of Fantasy”, “the area in the human psyche where self-awareness and world-awareness meet and blur.” Within this Zone, Vinci has drawn on various cinematic and entertainment fantasy worlds that are folk in nature, as well as illusionary spaces such as theme parks, to produce objects seemingly from another more fantastical world.
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