Monday, December 8, 2008

East and West Interface

As the temperature plummets to zero and weekdays rush headlong into holidays, I find myself totally oblivious to this ritualized preparation for celebration and it is a bit disconcerting.

For I find myself absorbed instead with visas and flight plans and packing for a surprise trip to Shanghai and rushing to finish an art piece that will be presented at the Zendai Museum of Modern Art there.

Over the summer, three other artists and myself collaborated on an interactive project called “Eye to Eye” and submitted the proposal to the Zendai’s Intrude 366: Art and Life call for artists.

This year long art event ambitiously features “one cultural headline a day” from 100 Chinese artists and 266 Western artists who “intrude” upon the everyday lives of the people of Shanghai and introduce new ways of looking at, thinking about, and perceiving art.We were delighted to be invited and our proposal will be presented on December 20, 2008.

For those who may have interest, a blog is being created about this and our time in Shanghai.If you want to see some of the images please go to .

We have been so busy fabricating the 732 images of Western and Eastern “art eyes” needed to produce the strand of interfacing symbols, that only a rough sketch is up at this time. These small paintings on standard shipping tags will be cut and taken away by passersby on the city sidewalks bringing two artists, one Eastern and one Western,together as the strand shortens. Following is the essence of what will be handed out to explain this Western concept to the Shanghainese.

"Seeing “eye to eye” is a North American expression that implies that two individuals (or groups) can come together on a level playing field to express their own perspective while also acknowledging the other’s viewpoint.

It is a courageous act to see “eye to eye”. It causes one to open oneself to the possibility of new thinking. It is a step towards standing on common ground and arriving at mutual understanding.

In this time of expanding globalization, it is more important than ever that this concept of attempting to see “eye to eye” be promoted to open dialogue and insure meaningful cross-cultural exchange between nations.

“Eye to Eye” underscores the commonality between East and West via the human eyes that look out at us from Eastern and Western art.

The “Eye to Eye” project collapses the past with the future. It places us in the present to combine art images that may be obscure with images that have saturated contemporary culture.

Using the simplest of means, “Eye to Eye” offers profound possibility for forging a rich collaborative cultural vision for the future.

You are invited to take away a piece of this artwork as a symbol of a mutual exchange of ideas. Your participation shortens the distance between East and West and permits us to see each other in a positive way."

What a delightful adventure awaits in a few short days, as I leave these silent woods and meld into a sea of 20 million souls!

May each of you find delight in the winter celebrations to come, as we bring 2008 to a close and prepare for a brand new year!All best wishes to you....

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