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16.05.2018 INTERVIEW
Liu Wa, Glimpse: A Passing Look, Sabsay

Liu Wa: Glimpse: A Passing Look (installation view), 2018. Foto: David Stjernholm.

The state of mind - Liu Wa @ Sabsay

Right now and until June 30. you can experience Liu Wa’s first solo show and her debut in Europe. The show Glimpse: A Passing Look comprises an immersive installation of color-coded paintings, experienced in a way triggered by the viewer wearing an electroencephalogram (EEG) headband, controlling the color of light in the room. The paintings, installed all over 3 walls, shows some kind of ecological catastrophe done in what looks like traditional Chinese style.

The real appearance of the paintings remains unknown, alluding to one’s perceptions of the external world, both subjective and fluid, because of the changings of the color of the light. Indeed a very sophisticated fusing of technology and art.

“The development of contemporary technology has marked a new era of completely different media within the arts. It is interesting to see how young artists so fervently immerse into the technological opportunities. Liu Wa’s exhibition at Sabsay is a bright example of graceful overlaying of the traditional and the cutting edge”, says Masha Faurschou, founder of Sabsay - and we agree.
We where lucky enough to meet Liu Wa at Sabsay and have her talk further about her work.

Liu Wa (Beijing 1994), have a B.A. in Anthropology & B.A. in Art from Yale University, USA. She now lives and work in New York and Beijing.
Recent exhibitions include: Art Nova 100, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China, 2017; Heart of the Tin Man, M Woods Museum, Beijing, China, 2017; All happens after sunset, Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai, Shanghai, China, 2017; Art Utopia, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China, 2016, and Arts First Festival, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA, 2015.

OBS: May 24. there will be a talk in Sabsay. Director of The National Gallery SMK Mikkel Bogh and brain researcher Martin Skov will talk about neuro science and art. Sabsay 17.30-18.30

AF Patricia Stokholm, Torben Zenth

SABSAY
Glimpse: A Passing Look
Liu Wa

04.05.2018 - 30.06.2018 

The technology is called EEG, ElectroEncephaloGram, and it basically measures the different kinds of brainwaves that will occur during brain activities. The way it works is that it senses the fluctuations of voltage from the bioelectrical activity in the brain and how it is reflected on the skin. It measures just the skin, but the minor fluctuations of activity is already enough to measure the attention level of the wearer of the device and when the wearer has concentration in a higher level it will affect the colour of the light. So in different states of mind people will see different colors and different parts of the painting will emerge from the darkness and some parts will fade away.

I have been exploring how this kind of technology can be combined with a more traditional medium like painting. It was my last project. Because the last project incorporated some light as well, but this time I just wanted to use the color of the light. So I was interested in the color and then I just remembered that red, green and blue are the primary colors of light. Then I would try to play around with it and did a lot of experiments just to see the effects and I thought it was really amazing. And then I just had the idea of creating a painting, composed of just red, green and blue.

The colors are not connected to the mood, this device only measures the intensity of the attention level, so it’s like a spectrum of attention levels, of concentration. I don’t want there to be an answer or a goal that the audience want to head to. It’s more like you are trying to explore and feel your own self throughout the process, and try to figure out what you are thinking, like being really self aware in a way that is similar to meditation or mindfulness.

It really depends on the person and also the mental state of the person at that point. That’s also the part I find really interesting; the subjectivity of the viewer. The painting can be read as a projection of one's subjective feelings. So you’re projecting your own filter onto the paintings and then you will see different impressions in different states of mind. Just like people can see different colours in different states of mind there is also this kind of momentary glimpses of the painting. The perceptions of the external world it can be really subjective and it can be really fluent and people can have completely different views facing different kinds of situations and this can be irreconcilable and give rise to conflicts between different groups, like religious groups or social classes. It describes how people see the world differently through their own lenses.

My next project will probably still deal with this red, green and blue colour, but it will extend. Right now the painting is two-dimensional but then I’m trying to do something that extends from the two dimensional to the space, so some of the objects of the painting will extend, become real objects in the space. I haven't finalised my idea yet but i really do want to play with the space more.

The painting shows an ecological apocalypse and how people are trying to employ different kinds of means to survive. And when people are facing these kinds of situations, people in a safer spot will be more relaxed whereas people in the water will be struggling to survive. People act differently to the same situation depending on their own position. So it gets really dramatic when it is a really extreme and dangerous situation.

I guess I’ve always been interested in tragical and sad moments in life. In general I use these themes a lot. The ecological apocalypse is something not happening right now, but we’ve been discussing how global warming and flood and refugee crises can come into play, but I don’t want to emphasise only one theme. In the project I wanted to create an open discussion. You can refer to the refugee crisis, because there are people struggling in the flood not necessarily. But you can also see it in another way.

Thank you

Liu Wa at Sabsay

Liu Wa at Sabsay, May 2018 Foto: Torben Zenth.

Liu Wa, Glimpse: A Passing Look, Sabsay

Liu Wa: Glimpse: A Passing Look (installation view), 2018. Foto: David Stjernholm.

Liu Wa, Glimpse: A Passing Look, Sabsay

Liu Wa: Glimpse: A Passing Look (installation view), 2018. Foto: David Stjernholm.

Liu Wa, Glimpse: A Passing Look, Sabsay

Liu Wa: Glimpse: A Passing Look (installation view), 2018. Foto: David Stjernholm.

Liu Wa, Glimpse: A Passing Look, Sabsay

Liu Wa: Glimpse: A Passing Look (installation view), 2018. Foto: David Stjernholm.

Liu Wa, Glimpse: A Passing Look, Sabsay

Liu Wa: Glimpse: A Passing Look (installation view), 2018. Foto: David Stjernholm.

Liu Wa, Glimpse: A Passing Look, Sabsay

Liu Wa: Glimpse: A Passing Look, Composition 04, 2018, Acrylic on canvas. Foto: David Stjernholm.

Liu Wa, Glimpse: A Passing Look, Sabsay

Liu Wa: Glimpse: A Passing Look, Composition 05, 2018, Acrylic on canvas. Foto: David Stjernholm.

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