Jenny Holzer: Light Stream (Hong Kong)

Jenny Holzer: Light Stream (Hong Kong)

inclined by jenny holzer

Jenny Holzer

Inclined, 2013

light stream (installation view: light stream, pearl lam galleries, hong kong 2013) by jenny holzer

Jenny Holzer

Light Stream (Installation view: Light Stream, Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong 2013)

Thursday, September 19, 2013Saturday, November 2, 2013

Principal Gallery

Shanghai, China

Jenny Holzer: Light Stream
Exhibition Dates: 19 September–2 November, 2013
Press Preview on Tuesday, 17 September, 3-5pm
Opening reception on Wednesday, 18 September 6-8pm

HONG KONG—American artist Jenny Holzer will present Light Stream, a major exhibition of new and vintage work in her first solo exhibition in Hong Kong, at Pearl Lam Galleries, which will open on 18 September, 2013. For this exhibition, Holzer draws upon her text series Truisms (1977–79), Living (1980–82), and Survival (1983– 85), presenting Truisms and Survival for the first time in Chinese.

Jenny Holzer is one of the most respected contemporary artists working today, best known for large-scale public projections of text. Influenced by literature, society, and politics, her work explores notions of transparency, sexuality, morality, and power. Her texts take the form of declarations, quotes, and statements from many points of view, often inhabiting complex and controversial subject matter.

For Light Stream, Holzer selected phrases from Truisms, Living, and Survival to present on electronic signs and on stone benches. Truisms comprises over 250 single sentence declarations written by Holzer at the beginning of her career and crafted to resemble existing aphorisms. Originally printed on posters and anonymously pasted on buildings and walls across New York City in the 1970s,Truisms was Holzer's first body of text. Living references everyday, visceral topics, such as the body and personal relationships, to evoke notions of vulnerability within a fast-paced modern environment and the individual grappling with life-altering decisions. Survival, the first text series written specifically for electronic signs, is a cautionary series where each sentence instructs, informs, or questions in a more urgent tone.

The centrepiece of the exhibition is Holzer’s largest LED gallery work to date, which comprises over 25 LED elements. Light Stream (2013), also the title of the exhibition, was born of Holzer’s long-time desire to produce a swarming mass of texts in one work, and is realised for the first time with Pearl Lam Galleries. Using selections from all three series, the result is a pulsating, flashing heap of text with statements layered and wrapped around one another in frenetic light and colour. Chinese and English texts appear alongside each other, reflecting and encouraging dialogue within the exhibition.

Describing the work, Jenny Holzer explains, 'Though I rely on minimalist configurations, for decades I have wanted to offer a massive, irrational, unpredictable heap of glittering displays. I am happy about the paradox—what appears wild, chaotic, and spontaneous is a greater technical puzzle and a more difficult challenge to realise. Pearl Lam Galleries and years of building precisely configured LED signs have made this new electronic wilderness possible.'

Holzer’s LED works are individually programmed to pulse at specific rates. By throwing light and colour, the LED pieces map the darkened gallery space.

Alongside the LED works, Holzer will present a selection of white marble benches, which are the first works she has produced in Chinese. With their connotations of monuments or Classical sculpture, the solid and memorial form of the marble works offers a dramatic contrast to the LEDs. Short statements such as 'MONEY CREATES TASTE' and 'DON’T PLACE TOO MUCH TRUST IN EXPERTS,' chosen for their particular resonance and impact, are carved in Chinese into the bench seats. Althea Viafora-Kress, International Gallery Director of Pearl Lam Galleries, said, 'Jenny Holzer is recognised worldwide for her contribution to public and text-based contemporary art. We’re delighted to present this influential artist’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong, and to help realise Holzer’s first mass LED installation. Presenting seminal texts from Holzer’s oeuvre in the Chinese language for the first time is highly symbolic and embodies the Galleries’ mission to stimulate cultural dialogue and exchange.'

Jenny Holzer
For more than thirty years, Jenny Holzer has presented her astringent ideas, arguments, and sorrows in public places and international exhibitions, including 7 World Trade Center, the Reichstag, the Venice Biennale, the Guggenheim Museums in New York and Bilbao, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Her medium, whether formulated as a T-shirt, a plaque, or an LED sign, is writing, and the public dimension is integral to the delivery of her work. Starting in the 1970s with the New York City posters, and up to her recent light projections on landscape and architecture, her practice has rivaled ignorance and violence with humour, kindness, and moral courage. Holzer received the Leone d'Oro at the Venice Biennale in 1990 and the Crystal Award from the World Economic Forum in 1996. She holds honorary degrees from Ohio University, Williams College, the Rhode Island School of Design, The New School, and Smith College. She received the Barnard Medal of Distinction in 2011. Holzer lives and works in New York.

About Pearl Lam Galleries
Founded by Pearl Lam, the Galleries' mission is to stimulate cross-cultural dialogue and cultural exchange between East and West by establishing distinct and rigorous programming in each of its gallery spaces in Hong Kong, Shanghai and the forthcoming Singapore gallery, opening in November 2013.

Pearl Lam Galleries is dedicated to championing Chinese artists who re-evaluate the philosophy and perception of Chinese contemporary art, whilst also committed to presenting major exhibitions by international artists. Jim Lambie, Yinka Shonibare MBE, and Zhu Jinshi are among the line-up of artists who will have solo exhibitions at the Galleries in 2013.

Pearl Lam Design shows works by established and emerging international designers including André Dubreuil, Maarten Baas, Mattia Bonetti, and Studio Makkink & Bey. They are invited to push the boundaries of traditional Chinese art and craft techniques and create new works that reflect their experiences in China.