My shots with rain in Brighton Beach.
My shots with rain in Brighton Beach.
For the last 2 months I have been thinking about leaving. Thinking one month from today, 3 weeks from today, one week, 3 days, and now tomorrow! Not ready. That I am going away has colored every thing I look at here. I already look with a foreigners eyes.
I really like the rainy weather in New York City.
In Times Square, you can see a lot of people in costumes of famous movies characters such as Superman, Spiderman, etc.
And even real cops in Times Square, look like characters from police comedy.
My gentle introduction to the Staten Island Museum.
One of the random images in NY.
Greenwood Cemetery - the biggest cemetery I’ve seen.
Spacious, beautiful, almost a paradise place, if that can be said about a cemetery.
It is a city with its own architecture.
Many tombstones are associated with the powerful skyscrapers of New York.
Perhaps the same marble used for the construction of skyscrapers and tombstones.
The Bull from Wall Street is very popular for tourists. People posing and taking pictures with the bull’s head and tail - or more accurately, with the bull’s polished eggs, which we definitely need to hold on to for financial well-being.
In many countries, there are sculptures, objects to which you want to touch it, to be happy, etc.
What is this form of sex? Sex with animals or a sculpture, or sex with money, more sex with the dream of enrichment? Some tourists are shy. But people need to make a little erotic violence for a large financial future.
In New York, you can see quite a lot of crazy people. Or maybe it just seems like a lot, because they are very individual.
For example, one guy with a broom in his hand in the subway passing shouted something like, “Show me a smile! What?! You do not know how to smile? Yes, yes, yes, I see - you know! “
Another sat motionless with a blank look in the park all plastered with pigeons.
Next crazy in the subway train tore newspapers and slipped them into his clothing, thus changing the shape of his body.
It’s all very similar to performance art. Almost.
I started to dream about New York two years ago.
Those dreams were pretty clear in their atmosphere, which is similar to the real New York.
And now I flew to New York. I took a taxi to the residence. The driver was funny and howled at high frequencies all the way in.
In Manhattan, we stopped at an intersection. And I saw a small house with a red sign. It looked like a house of one of my dreams.
I do not have time to take a picture, and not sure that I can now easily find it.
Dream and reality for a moment joined, and again departed.
In New York I met a sweet moist air mixed with fast food, ripe yellow taxis, and monumental skyscrapers.
Many times I’ve seen New York in the movies, the pictures, etc. But it was a fake. Any media - a fake. And my idea of New York was a fake. Of course, here I see and feel the other New York.
Fascinated by the city, I began to take photographs in a tourist style. These photos – a fake and fraud too. What do I do with them?
After one week in New York, I realized that in America, everyone loves things big (houses, cars, boxes of popcorn, elevators, and even toilet seats). The atmosphere of New York is that of a huge city, after the huge city of Moscow, was suddenly quite relaxed.
Sally Gil was born in Bennington, Vermont and grew up running around her family’s pottery factory. She studied painting, sculpture, conceptual art, and anthropology at University of California, San Diego and holds a Master of Fine Arts in Painting from Hunter College. She has worked for 20 years as a shoe designer. Gil has exhibited at The Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Rotunda Gallery, White Columns Gallery, and at 571 Projects, in New York City. She has also shown work at University of North Carolina, Charlotte; Auburn University in Alabama; State University of New York at Potsdam and Illinois State College; among others. She is primarily interested in the history behind how things, places, objects, and people came to be, and in discovering the how and the why of that. Her work is a search for surprise meaning and linkages between things. In essence, looking for magic and spirituality behind the everyday. Her elaborated collages and painted landscapes are documents of that search.
Sally participates in apexart’s Outbound Residency to Sao Paulo, Brazil, from June 19 - July 19, 2013. She was recommended by Julie Reiss, Associate Professor, Christie’s Education. Visit her Resident Page for more information.
May 23- May 26
MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORAY ART
I finally made my way to the Museum of Contemporary Art this week. The museum building is impressive but I wouldn’t say that about the artwork. Apparently a very wealthy businessman funds this museum and the artwork is from his private collection. I am not surprised. It happens everywhere.
A lot of National Artists are on display and most of them seem to paint fantastical images that depict spiritual beliefs and folktales that clash with traditional and modern ideas and imagery, here and there. Most seem to allude to Religion (Buddhism, Hinduism and Animism..), Consumerism, Capitalism, and other isms you have to write in Capital letters. Some pieces aren’t my style but there were a few (some I’ve posted). I was able to appreciate the technical and formal elements as well as cultural references in most of the paintings and perhaps one or two sculptures (there weren’t that many). Overall, I thought the work a bit too literal, too flat, too pretty, too fantastical for me. Naked women, orgies, landscapes and animals? Nah. But why isn’t Montien here? Hmnnn. Funny enough, I could use the same language to describe some work I’ve seem back home…
CHUTACHAK PARK AND BUTTERFLY GARDEN
The trip up to Chatuchak Park and the nearby Butterfly and Insect Garden was a very relaxing experience. I always seem to enjoy myself in these pockets of green space that seem are kept tucked in various parts of the city.
I saw several butterflies here although I didn’t take pictures of them all. Fortunately, I found panels with pictures of butterflies that helped me identify the following: Grey Pansy, Common Mormom, Leopard Lacewing, Golden Birdwing, Plain Tiger, Orange Oakleaf, Great Eggfly.
CHUTACHAK WEEKEND MARKET Revisited
Last day at Chatuchak Market and trip to Wat Wamphut with Logan. I realized I wasn’t in the mood to shop so just wandered around and finally gave I and bought a pair of fisherman’s pants. Bought fresh fruit, mango being my favorite, and some chicken pieces on a stick. Decided to see a movie and relax and found myself at Century One movie theater. I watched Star Trek! For some reason, I missed my family and friends
THIEVES NIGHT MARKET (Flashlight Market)
The Thieves Market on Saturday night is quite the scene. Although it’s called the Thieves Market, it doesn’t really have that vibe anymore. You can find just about anything- old remote controls, spare car parts, tools, hair accessories, old bubble TVs, shoes, lots of tasty food, watches, books, clothing, hardware, old phones, etc. It was nice just walking around and checking out things that I would never buy but I wonder who will?
PARK- The Pink Shirt Ladies
On one of my recent runs in the park, I saw one of the Pink Shirt ladies (older women who walk in the park, usually wearing pink shirts). One of them came up to me while I was working out near the exercise machines. She told me she likes my sneakers (Nike free run sneakers) and how much did I pay for them. This conversation took place with smiles, hands gestures and some Thai and English words…
THIS AND THAT
I met Fon for coffee, an arts administrator from Bangkok who Logan knows through the art scene here. She is a really amazing woman who who is very supportive or artists and their projects. We talked about our work as arts administrators, my art practice, past projects and my impressions of Thailand so far. She will be in NY for a conference and we plan on getting together when she is in town the following weekend. (I will be leaving soon! And so much more to do….)
Although Fon recommended some great beaches to visit, I decided not to go. I will save this activity for my next trip when I do a rock climbing trip in Chiang Mai and a beach excursion to Krabi. A beach trip should be at least a week and I don’t have time for it. Until next time!
WAT WAMPHUT OUTING
What a weird, surreal, bizarre and amazing temple! The gates of heaven and hell temples are only hour out of the city. Monks made these scenes depcting heaven (going up) and hell (going down).Check this out! Thank you Logan…
And the crazy fish out by the river…
Konstantin Adjer (b.1970, Moscow) continually deals with music in his artworks. It is no accident, since he is a professional musician as well as an artist. Adjer majored in conducting and woodwind instruments at the Gnesin Musical College, and only years later did his artistic career begin with a course from the legendary artist Yuri Sobolev at the International Workshop of Synthesis Theatre and Animation Interstudio. From 1996- 2000 Adjer was a member of “Emergency Exit,” an art-group based in St. Petersburg, and since 2007 has been a member of the Moscow-based artist group “Escape.” Since 1996 he has exhibited in international exhibitions including the International Videoart Biennial, Barcelona; MMOMA, Moscow; 4th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art; and the International Festival for Creative Music “Perspectives,” Sweden.
Konstantin Adjer is visiting from Moscow, Russia from May 29 - June 28, 2013. He was recommended by Valeriy Ayzenberg, an artist based in Moscow, NYC, and Tel Aviv. See his resident page for more information.
Week 3- Bangkok
May 15- May 22
GRAND PALACE / QUEEN SIRIKIT TEXTILE MUSEUM
Finally, I decided to visit the Grand Palace, a complex established in 1782. It consists of the royal residence and throne halls, government buildings, and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat PHra Kaew). This place is one the biggest tourist attractions and it almost felt like Disneyland! Yes, it was a mob scene that day and HOT. Having seen so many resplendent temples and buildings, I was still quite amazed. So much gold, so much color, so much of everything. I did start to recognize familiar architectural elements in the buildings, mythical creatures and forms that I’ve seen before. The wall murals were impressive and it offered a great place to sit and keep away from the sun and drink water! I followed the crowd and enjoyed myself despite the craziness around me.
The Emerald Buddha shines through (zoomed in photo).
A real plant!
The Emerald Budd is the temple’s primary attraction and it sits atop an elevated alter, barely visible. The figure is always cloaked in royal robes. The king changes the robes in a ceremony three times a year, one for each season. Recently restored Buddhist murals line the interior walls of the boht, and murals of the Ramakian (Thai version of the Indian epic the Ramayana) line the inside walls of the temple compound. These are really impressive, colorful and gilded.
When I discovered the Queen Sirikit Textile Museum near the exit of the Grand Palace, I was finally able to chill out and walk around at my own pace. This museum was a gift from the queen and her SUPPORT Foundation. Queen Sirikit founded SUPPORT in 1976 to encourage the production of traditional Thai handicrafts. The museum’s mission is to collect, display, and preserve textiles from the region with special emphasis on textiles of and related to the Royal Court. I was impressed by the high standards in conservation, excellently translated English text, and exhibition display and interactives throughout the galleries. This was the first museum that seemed cohesive and very well maintained….and I assume because related to the royals. On view were8 different styles of clothing that the Queen wore on her American and European Tour several years after her marriage to the King. For her, clothing revealed one’s cultural identity. After much research by her staff, she worked with a designer to create various styles that combined traditional and contemporary patterns, materials, and techniques to create clothes that emphasized Thailand’ past and present. The materials exhibited are exquisite. I wish I could have touched them but alas they were safely displayed behind temperature controlled light sensitive glass cases.
NATIONAL MUSEUM, BANGKOK
My visit to the National Museum was interesting… although some, if not most of galleries were in need of repair and upkeep, it was interesting to walk through the space and piece together Thailand’s history although I noticed it was told through one voice, an older perspective (a very different experience from the visit to the Museum of Siam). The translations of text panels were challenging to read but I was able to understand most of the descriptions and enjoyed the dioramas and some objects on view (that sometimes were oddly paired with other objects) for their visual beauty. A couple of things stood out for me: dioramas depicting battle scenes in earlier times; maps describing strategic political decisions; tools of war/politics; religious/spiritual references; importance of the arts in society (music, dance, visual art); the tenuous relationship of the monarchy and democratic government; intricate craftsmanship in wood; and traditional musical instruments. After my visits to Ayutthaya, the Grand Palace, many temples and cultural institutions, I left with a better understanding of the rapid changes that Thailand encountered in the past 200 years. There are still certain traditions and beliefs vying with contemporary and modern concerns and issues, and the influence of Western culture in education, politics, gender roles, etc. has been tremendous. It’s interesting to see some of these uncertainties and struggles reflected in the exhibition of the nation’s cultural material….who are we? What is our story?
King Chulalongkorn (King Rama iV) is considered one of the greatest kings of Siam. His reign was characterized by the modernization of Siam, immense government and social reforms and as the nation was threatened by Western expansionism, King Chulalongkorn, through his policies and acts, managed to save Siam from being colonized.
I wonder what US President gave this gun to the King? Was it Teddy? Ha.
Princess performing with a traditional musical instrument.
I decided to end my day with a movie night so I went to the Scala, an old Art Deco movie theater and saw The Great Gatsby. It was raining in Bangkok and the night sparkled like the extravagant lights in the movie….and I missed New York.