The Sculpture Park Waldfrieden lies above the Wupper valley in the Christbusch woodland between the town centers of Elberfeld and Barmen. It rises steadily over an area of twelve hectares (ca. 30 acres) up to one of the many wooded hills that surround the city of Wuppertal. Old leafy trees line the long serpentine road that leads to the park. Already here individual sculptures by Tony Cragg can be seen along the path’s embankments. The café comes into view at the last sharp bend in the road, located on the ground floor of a house built in rough masonry in 1914. From here via an outdoor staircase, you enter the bungalow built in 2007 that is the entrance to the sculpture park. The visitors’ ascent runs along one of the mighty retaining walls of sandstone that bolster the garden estate of the Villa Waldfrieden, which looks out on the valley below.
Landscaping the grounds and its garden was part of the whole Waldfrieden concept that the architect Franz Krause developed shortly after the end of World War II for the entrepreneur Kurt Herberts. At the center of this project was the two-story villa that was built 1947 to 1950 on the foundations of a previous building destroyed in the war. Its design plan for the interior was dynamically attuned to the inhabitant’s movement through the house, while the exterior was allowed to merge organically with the landscape and its natural surroundings.
On the periphery of the lawn that surrounds the house and abuts on the park and woods, a six-metre high glassed-in exhibition pavilion was built in 2007 on an area nineteen times fourteen metres. This purist room of glass was conceived as a presentation site for sculptures that could not be shown outdoors. However, its transparency allows the pieces on display to relate to the environing nature and its moods of color and light.
In the Park, the perception of art is bound up with, and inseparable from, an experience of nature. The special character of the Waldfrieden estate is marked by its situation on a slope. The steep ascent above the narrow V-shaped Wupper valley and a stony ground that discourages residential housing resulted in the preservation of much inner-city forest. One step at a time, the Cragg Foundation is expanding its collection of notable sculpture. The focus is on the modern and the contemporary; however the collection means to evolve beyond this.
An encounter with three dozen sculptures in nature stimulates our perceptions. Even now the tour of the grounds brings together very different and quite complex forms of sculptural praxis. The sculptures by Anthony Cragg, Richard Deacon, Thomas Schütte, Wilhelm Mundt, Norbert Kricke and others show a whole range of major positions on modernism and the present-day.
Different from a closed exhibition room, the Park confronts the work and the viewer with the fleeting phenomena of the day and the season. The mighty leafy umbrella of old trees combines with the park setting to a living, breathing terrain, which allows warmth and cold, wet and dry, leaf coloring and light reflections of the seasonal position of the sun to interact with the sculptures and impact their formal appearance.
Old deciduous trees are the striking feature of the parkland, among which are chestnut, linden, locust, maple, larch, oak and beech. The reddish leaves of the copper beech and flowering plum provide contrast. A sequoia stands near the entrance, while the weeping beech, Japanese maple and ginkgo encircle the villa. In spring, the star and tulip magnolias unfold their magnificent petals, followed by the blossoms of the cherry, lilac, wisteria and rhododendron. The range of woody plants in the park corresponds to the diversity of woods used inside the villa. The compatibility between the house and garden, as Franz Krause staged it, is still very much alive today, as in the sweep of the villa’s flanking walls that snake into the planted borders. The existing network of paths was extended over the whole area and today guides the visitor to the many placements of the sculptures and past thickets, lawns and the tall trees of the mixed forest. The Park’s characteristic topography and proximity to the town have favoured its development, where the sculpture, in the fullness of all its shapes and forms, is meant to settle into a home and be made accessible to the public.
It was thanks to the private initiative of Tony Cragg, a British sculptor living in Wuppertal, that the Sculpture Park was founded and established. Thirty years after Cragg took up his exhibition activity, he began looking for a permanent site for presenting sculpture outdoors and discovered the abandoned Waldfrieden property, which he bought in 2006. That very same year he began redesigning the park grounds and the buildings that, after long years of vacancy, needed to be thoroughly renovated and modernized. In appreciation of the historical estate, its former structures and material substance were preserved to the greatest extent possible, thus keeping its historical dimension intact despite the conversion of the park and buildings to accommodate their new use. In 2008, the Sculpture Park was opened under the auspices of the Cragg family’s nonprofit foundation. It houses a steadily growing collection of sculpture, including examples from Tony Cragg’s own large oeuvre. All is accompanied by changing exhibitions of internationally known artists, lectures on culture and the humanities, as well as concerts. Beyond this, the Cragg Foundation is also dedicated to research on, and the publication of, the subject of the fine arts.
For more information: www.skulpturenpark-waldfrieden.de
Seattle Art Museum has been the center for world-class visual arts in the Pacific Northwest since 1933. Visit SAM to see a museum carved into the city, as much a part of Seattle's landscape and personality as the coffee, rain, mountains, Pike Place Market, and the Space Needle.
Our three distinct locations celebrate the region's position as a crossroads where east meets west, urban meets natural, local meets global. Our collections, installations, special exhibitions, and programs feature art from around the world and build bridges between cultures and centuries.
The Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are located on the ancestral land of the Coast Salish people.
SEATTLE ART MUSEUM
Located downtown, one block from Pike Place Market, global art collections, temporary installations, and special exhibitions from around the world bridge cultures and centuries.
The Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are located on the ancestral land of the Coast Salish people.
ASIAN ART MUSEUM
This 1933 Art Deco building in lush Volunteer Park is SAM’s original home and the location of our extensive Asian art collection, making it one of the most beloved treasures in our creative, cultured, and curious city. The Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are located on the ancestral land of the Coast Salish people.
OLYMPIC SCULPTURE PARK
Covered in monumental artworks, this award-winning nine-acre sculpture park on the waterfront is Seattle's largest downtown green space and is just one mile north of the Seattle Art Museum. The Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are located on the ancestral land of the Coast Salish people.
DEC 22 2018 – ONGOING
SEATTLE ART MUSEUM
FOURTH FLOOR GALLERIES
Inspired by a single historical event, in this gallery we consider the notion that actions speak louder than words.
In 1970, Chancellor Willy Brandt became the first German ruler to visit the country of Poland since Nazi Germany invaded in 1939. Rather than make a speech, Brandt laid a wreath on a monument to the thousands of Poles killed in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943. Then he knelt down and silently bowed his head. Photographs of this gesture circulated around the world. Over 40 years later, Seattle sculptor Akio Takamori memorialized Brandt’s mute apology as a moving expression of deference and humility rarely practiced by today’s leaders.
Brandt’s kneeling position recalls the submissive posture of a donor shown in a European religious painting by Bernardo Daddi that is also in this gallery—look for the small figure gazing up in adoration in the painting Virgin and Child. Kneeling also reflects the attitude of a penitent saint humbled by his own sinfulness. But gestures can also be uplifting—a raised hand encourages elevated thoughts. And sometimes, collective love—whether joyful or grief-stricken—generates a flow of gestures and responses that unite the whole community.
Image: Willy B, 2016, Akio Takamori.
PURE AMUSEMENTS: WEALTH, LEISURE, AND CULTURE IN LATE IMPERIAL CHINA
DEC 24 2016 – ONGOING
SEATTLE ART MUSEUM
THIRD FLOOR GALLERIES
A new installation, Pure Amusements: Wealth, Leisure, and Culture in Late Imperial China features Chinese works ranging from prints to sculpture and furnishings to ceramics drawn from SAM's collection and focused on objects created for, and enjoyed during, the intentional practice of leisure.
From the late Ming dynasty (1368–1644) onward, leisure had many rules. Gentlemanly pastimes, like drinking tea, viewing paintings, and planting bamboo in the garden, were pursuits of an elegant lifestyle.
Such “pure amusements” (qingwan) were not frivolous—they helped establish one’s standing in society. Aspiring men thus collected objects like chessboards, books, paintings, calligraphy, ancient bronze vessels, and ink rubbings of antiquities. With greater social mobility, and broader literacy in the late-16th to early-17th century, knowledge and culture were accessible not only to scholars and aristocrats but also to the newly affluent.
REGINA SILVEIRA: OCTOPUS WRAP
MAY 11 2019 – MAR 8 2020
OLYMPIC SCULPTURE PARK
Brazilian artist Regina Silveira (b. 1939) creates mind-bending temporary interventions that have an almost surreal flare that alter our perceptions of our physical environment. Ranging from shadows cast on a wall to footprints or large-scale insects taking over buildings, city streets, and public parks around the world, Silveira has become known for her installations of “magnetized space” which examine the ways superimposed images change the meaning of an existing architecture or space. Some of her installations have the appearance of occupations, infestations, or supernatural visitations; others seem to be fantastical apparitions that suspend the laws of nature and perception.
Octopus Wrap entangles the Olympic Sculpture Park’s PACCAR Pavilion in an elaborate pattern of tire tracks, taking off from five toy motorcycles positioned on the interior mural wall. Silveira’s latest architectural installation draws inspiration from the park’s location at the intersection of several busy thoroughfares. As you approach and enter the building, you are observing their progress via their intersecting tire tracks. When seen from a distance, the undulating tracks create another, larger image, one that ensnares the architecture as if within the arms of an octopus. The installation will be temporary, but the new images and sensations it creates will enter our memory and form a lasting imprint of a different kind.
For the artist, a political element of these ruptures resides in their assault on our perception or, in her words, “in the level of transformation that can be brought about by grafting something into a given space in a way that magically changes its relationship to the real.” Her aim is estrangement from the familiar, and her preferred tactic is surprise. Beyond a heightened sensory experience within a newly defined space, Silveira’s mode of intervention can also be understood in social and political terms.
Image: Installation view of Regina Silveira: Octopus Wrap, 2019, Seattle Art Museum, site-specific installation, photo: Mark Woods.
AUG 22 2018 – FEB 23 2020
SEATTLE ART MUSEUM
THIRD FLOOR GALLERIES
In the first decade of the 20th century, American photographer and gallerist Alfred Stieglitz offered a rousing alternative to the European artists then dominating the art world.
He showcased the homegrown talents of four bold young painters: Georgia O’Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, Arthur Dove, and John Marin. Despite unmistakable individual styles, these artists shared a daring approach to color and created forms that evoked rather than described nature. Important examples of their work can be viewed in SAM’s new permanent collection installation American Modernism.
Georgia O’Keeffe’s Music—Pink and Blue No. 1 and Marsden Hartley’s Painting No. 49, Berlin are centerpieces of the installation. These two paintings were milestone gifts to the collection by renowned collector, philanthropist, and former SAM trustee, Barney A. Ebsworth, who passed away in April 2018.
Image: Music—Pink and Blue No. 1, 1918, Georgia O'Keeffe.
ART AND LIFE ON THE NORTHWEST COAST
NOV 26 2014 – ONGOING
SEATTLE ART MUSEUM
THIRD FLOOR GALLERIES
Over their long habitation of the Pacific Northwest, First Peoples have shaped their lifeways around the resources of the water, forests, valleys, and mountains. In tandem, they have developed rich oral traditions and ceremonies that link inextricably to this region.
With this installation of SAM’s collection of Northwest Coast art, visitors will encounter the creative expressions of generations of artists who created forms for daily life, for potlatch ceremonies, and for spiritual balance. The presence of contemporary arts, shown alongside historical forms, highlight the vitality of traditions that are being re-envisioned for present times.
For images and a location map of public artworks in King County by Coast Salish artists, please visit, Visible on Ancestral Lands, a living archive compiled by Dr. Crisca Bierwert, Affiliate Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Washington.
For more Coast Salish works in SAM's collection, click here.
CLAIRE PARTINGTON: TAKING TEA
DEC 7 2018 – DEC 6 2020
SEATTLE ART MUSEUM
FOURTH FLOOR GALLERIES
Get a new perspective on SAM’s popular Porcelain Room through the site-specific work of contemporary British ceramic artist Claire Partington. Taking Tea features an installation referencing Baroque painting and European porcelain factories, as well as a panel mounted with fragments from 17th- and 18th-century shipwrecks. The Porcelain Room is a SAM favorite for visitors with more than 1,000 European and Asian porcelain pieces from SAM's collection grouped to evoke porcelain as a treasured commodity between the East and the West.
Claire Partington reappraises the narrative histories of the porcelain objects. Her figures engaged in the act of “taking tea” give a human face to the European craze for Chinese porcelain on display in the Porcelain Room. Partington’s installation suggests the often unintentional consequences of the porcelain trade during the expansion of international shipping routes. The figures in the installation are steeped in the rarified luxury and high-end fashion these items once conveyed, but they also expose the degrading aspects of trade—the reality of precarious ocean voyages and human exploitation.
NOV 13 2019 – ONGOING
SEATTLE ART MUSEUM
THIRD FLOOR GALLERIES
Suggested narratives—some personal, others historical, some biblical—permeate the works in this exhibition. Implicit in many pieces are histories of Black lives and experiences in America. Instead of telling overt tales, the artists rely on our powers of association to communicate narrative possibilities.
Titles can provide a clue: Betye Saar’s Cage (In the Beginning) points to a history of slavery and captivity—physical and psychological—but the towering enclosure also alludes to earlier beginnings, evoking ancestral figures of power and strength that rise to the top.
Martin Puryear’s sculpture Thicket conjures a hiding place as much as a tangle of histories.
Denzil Hurley’s cluster of signs is rooted in legacies of abstraction, but it also grounds us in the street with suggestions of demonstrations and protests.
In contrast, the stone sculptures of small animals and a human skull by James Washington Jr. seem deeply personal, emphasizing the vulnerability of living beings.
Image: Cage (In the Beginning), 2006, Betye Saar.
APR 27 2019 – FEB 2 2020
SEATTLE ART MUSEUM
THIRD FLOOR GALLERIES
Music and sound offer a path for artists exploring personal and cultural histories and real and imagined spaces. The works here range from the documentary and deadpan to the lyrical, contrasting and harmonizing in unexpected ways.
Robert Morris’s influential 1963 object and recording, Box with the Sound of Its Own Making, created a new consideration of artistic process as the artist recorded himself while he made this work. Decades later we are still in the room with the artist, listening to him hammering, sawing, sanding, and taking breaks. The work’s importance is evident in Jonathan Monk’s homage, a vinyl audio record with the misleading title “The Sound of Music.” If you expect songs by the Trapp family, you will be disappointed. Monk’s record plays the sounds made when the record was manufactured.
Isaac Layman’s photograph of a furniture-sized stereo provides a physical connection to the music experience even though the speakers are turned away from us. Alyssa Phebus Mumtaz gives Leonard Cohen’s song lyrics a sensuous presence. Victoria Haven monumentalizes a mixed tape of personal significance. We can also contemplate the primordial personification of a scream, the suggestion of birdsong, and a range of topographies—from the suggestion of backyard aesthetics to more abstract ventures.
The photographs of a Nirvana performance take us back to a historic event, just as Ed Ruscha’s little book of records charts seismic shifts in the music scenes of the 1960s, from Otis Redding and Carla Thomas to Frank Zappa and the Velvet Underground.
Image: Nirvana, Rajis, Los Angeles 2/15/90, 1990
DANNY LYON: DISSENTER IN HIS OWN COUNTRY
NOV 13 2019 – JUN 28 2020
SEATTLE ART MUSEUM
THIRD FLOOR GALLERIES
Since the 1960s, photographer Danny Lyon’s work has been characterized by his full immersion within the lives of his subjects. Lyon began his career as the first staff photographer for the civil rights group the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, an experience that sparked his lifelong commitment to social justice. He describes himself as “a dissenter in my own country,” and this spirit of rebellion has led him to turn his camera toward those who are outside the mainstream. But far from acting as a voyeur, Lyon invests himself fully with his subjects, often living with them for years at a time and becoming deeply and personally familiar with their lives. The resulting images offer a uniquely intimate vision—an empathetic and emotive insider’s view.
The photographs are drawn from three bodies of work created from 1963 to 1980, with subjects ranging from bikeriders on a race track, to prisoners in a cotton field, to children in the streets of Colombia. For each image, Lyon presents this challenge to us as viewers: “The pictures do not ask you to ‘help’ these people, but something much more difficult; to be briefly and intensely aware of their existence, an existence as real and significant as your own.”
Image: Crossing the Ohio, Louisville, 1966, Danny Lyon
YOU ARE ON INDIGENOUS LAND
APR 6 2019 – JUN 28 2020
SEATTLE ART MUSEUM
THIRD FLOOR GALLERIES
Everywhere you walk, you are on Indigenous land. Whether spoken in reverence or shouted in protest, whether considering the past, present, or future, even when dislocated from homelands, the central issue for Indigenous people will always be the land and sovereignty.
Indigenous territories describe the ancestral and contemporary connections of Indigenous peoples to a geographical area defined by kinship ties, occupation, seasonal travel routes, trade networks, resources, spiritual beliefs, and cultural and linguistic connections to place. Politically, the “land question” between First Peoples and governments is rooted in competing ideas of authority and clashing conceptions of identity and ownership.
The artists in this exhibition use traditional and contemporary visual expressions that acknowledge the inter-connectedness of humans and the land and the critical need to protect the earth against degradation. Traditional art forms like basketry, wood carving, and weaving are storehouses of memory, marking ancestral origins and movements across the landscape. New forms of storytelling in painting, printmaking, and video create new spaces for justice and understanding.
Image: Trial of Tears, 1991, David Neel, Canadian, Kwagu'l, b.1960, silkscreen, 28 x 22 in.
MICHAEL NICOLL YAHGULANAAS: CARPE FIN
NOV 1 2019 – NOV 1 2020
SEATTLE ART MUSEUM
THIRD FLOOR GALLERIES
Carpe Fin is a major commission for SAM’s collection by Haida artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas. This monumental work has been created as a “Haida manga,” a unique approach developed by Yahgulanaas that blends several artistic and cultural traditions, including Haida formline art, Japanese manga, Pop Art, and graphic novels.
The artist populates this 6 x 19–foot watercolor mural with figures, landscapes, and action scenes inspired by a traditional Haida oral story: a sea mammal hunter goes in pursuit of food to feed his starving community and is taken underwater to the realm of a powerful spirit. The story is also linked to a 19th-century headdress in SAM’s collection carved by Yahgulanaas’s relative, Albert Edward Edenshaw. Carpe Fin calls attention to issues of environmental degradation and the rupture of the values that honor human-nature interdependence.
This new installation also includes the artist’s drawings and sketches for Carpe Fin, a naaxin (Chilkat Robe) and pattern board, and the Sakíi.id headdress.
FLESH & BLOOD - ITALIAN MASTERPIECES FROM THE CAPODIMONTE MUSEUM
OCT 17 2019 – JAN 26 2020
SEATTLE ART MUSEUM
lesh and Blood: Italian Masterpieces from the Capodimonte Museum offers a rare opportunity to experience the fierce beauty of art from the 16th and 17th centuries. Renowned Renaissance artists such as Titian and Raphael join Baroque masters including Artemisia Gentileschi, Jusepe de Ribera, Guido Reni, and Bernardo Cavallino to reveal the aspirations and limitations of the human body and the many ways it can express love and devotion, physical labor, and tragic suffering.
A long period of creativity, inspiration, and striving for knowledge, the Renaissance peaked in Italy as artists turned their attention to the classical world and made the human body the center of artistic representation. Renaissance art is interested in the naturalistic depiction of the human form and its emotional life; it seeks a balance between the spiritual and material. Flesh and Blood draws from the illustrious Farnese collection begun by Pope Paul III, who oversaw Michelangelo’s The Last Judgment, to present notions of beauty and power in the 16th century. A commissioned portrait of the future pope as a cardinal by the young master Raphael opens the exhibition with ambition and poise.
Titian’s stunning Danae, which illustrates the Greek myth of a goddess impregnated by Zeus in the form of a shower of gold, illustrates how artists were compelled to explore erotic subjects through the veil of mythology. Antiquity also influenced El Greco, whose Boy Blowing on an Ember evokes a classical painting famous for its mastery of light. El Greco’s painting anticipates the chiaroscuro (light and dark) style that dominates the 17th-century works on view in the second part of the exhibition.
Founded by Greek settlers about 600 BCE, Naples successively became part of the Roman and Byzantine Empires. In the medieval period it was incorporated into the Kingdom of Sicily before entering the Spanish Empire, which ruled the city until the 19th century. In the 17th century Naples was the second-largest city in Europe after Paris. Despite being a large and densely populated city in which many cultures and political regimes took root, Naples did not foster steady artistic patronage until the second half of the 16th century under a decree for the redevelopment of the hundreds of neglected churches in the city. Baroque art in Naples sprang out of this mandate and led to the grandeur and glory of the period.
Jusepe de Ribera’s provocative Drunken Silenus parodies the idealized beauty of the female form cast as reclining Venuses in many Renaissance paintings, including Titian’s Danae. Here the rotund body of this Greek companion to Dionysus, which denotes his unbridled appetites, is rendered with loaded and vital brushstrokes as it emerges from its dark, earthy surroundings. A more dramatic use of chiaroscuro is made in Artemisia Gentileschi’s visceral Judith and Holofernes. Here the Jewish heroine beheads the Assyrian general who was threatening to destroy her village. The choice to portray the violent climax of the story perhaps relates to the artist’s own traumatic experience in 1611, when she was raped by the painter Agostino Tassi. This image shows how flesh and blood are wrapped up with our humanity at a time when Western painting began to be infused with personal experiences of agony and ecstasy, delight and despair.
FRANCE: INSIDE AND OUT
MAR 15 2014 – ONGOING
SEATTLE ART MUSEUM
FOURTH FLOOR GALLERIES
This installation of landscapes, domestic interiors, and decorative arts from the museum’s collection showcases stylistic developments in 19th-century French painting and design.
It also invites us to think about the different worlds of men and women at that time.
Beginning in the middle of the century, male artists began to paint outside, capturing intimate landscape views near Paris, scenes of laborers in the fields, and dramatic coastline vistas. The sense of immediacy that permeates those landscapes can also be found when artists turned their attention indoors. Like Vermeer before them, they were fascinated by the unremarkable moments of daily life at home.
Images of women, somewhere between formal portrait and genre scene, give a limited picture of female lives toward the end of the century. The two women artists featured in this installation represent the beginning of broader opportunities for women, but even as they developed professional careers their subject matter was limited to family scenes, still lifes, and portraits.
Image: Dining Room, Rue de Naples, Paris, 1935, Edouard Vuillard.
PAINTINGS AND DRAWINGS OF THE EUROPEAN AVANT-GARDE:
THE RUBINSTEIN BEQUEST
APR 23 2014 – ONGOING
SEATTLE ART MUSEUM
THIRD FLOOR GALLERIES
Gladys (1921–2014) and Sam Rubinstein (1917–2007) were driven by a desire “to make things better for Seattle,” as Gladys put it. Their passion for music and art led to generous support of the Seattle Art Museum, the Seattle Symphony, the Seattle Opera, and many other arts organizations in our region.
On their travels, they became interested in artists who lived and worked in Paris in the early 20th century. Exquisite examples of paintings and drawings from their collection, including works by Orphist painters Robert and Sonia Delaunay and Surrealists Joan Miró and Max Ernst, are on view in the third floor gallery dedicated to the Rubinstein’s memory. The Rubinsteins’ bequest, which also includes American and Japanese paintings not currently on view, will transform the Seattle Art Museum’s collection and inspire audiences now and in the future.
Mondlicht, 1925, Alexei von Jawlensky, Russian, 1864–1941.
MATERIAL DIFFERENCE: GERMAN PERSPECTIVES
MAR 1 2019 – APR 26 2020
SEATTLE ART MUSEUM
THIRD FLOOR GALLERIES
In Europe, the physical and psychological devastation of World War II had a profound effect on artists’ subjects, methods, and use of materials far beyond the immediate post-war years. Photographs taken along the Russian front lines by the Soviet photojournalist Dmitry Baltermants show the tremendous suffering and loss of human life during the war. Presented alongside Anselm Kiefer’s large-scale allegorical and heavily layered works created in the 1980s and 90s and Katharina Fritsch’s surreal sculpture, Mann und Maus (1991–92), Material Difference offers perspectives across time as German artists, writers, and scholars contended with the trauma of the Jewish genocide and the failure of an entire generation.
As Germany divided into East and West, the country’s history remained front and central to artists well into the new millennium and these artists ask questions about the role and responsibility of the artist, questions that reverberate long past the immediate phase of reconstruction and into the present.
Photo: Mark Woods
JOHN GRADE: MIDDLE FORK
FEB 10 2017 – ONGOING
SEATTLE ART MUSEUM
John Grade’s large-scale sculpture, Middle Fork, echoes the contours of a 140-year-old western hemlock tree located in the Cascade Mountains east of Seattle.
Beginning by making a full plaster cast of the living tree, the artist and a cadre of volunteers used this mold to recreate the tree’s form out of thousands of pieces of reclaimed old-growth cedar. Middle Fork was conceived and fabricated at MadArt Studio and made its Seattle debut there in January 2015. The original work was 40-feet long and will more than double in length for its installation in the Brotman Forum.
Grade’s work is exhibited internationally in museums, galleries, and outdoors in urban spaces and nature. His projects are designed to change over time and often involve collaboration with large groups of people. He lives and works in Seattle.
MAY 29 2014 – ONGOING
OLYMPIC SCULPTURE PARK
GROUNDS AND PAVILION
Jaume Plensa is renowned for his monumental and psychologically engaging public art.
His sculpture Echo is named for the mountain nymph of Greek mythology who offended the goddess Hera—she kept her engaged in conversation and prevented her from spying on one of Zeus’ amours. To punish Echo, Hera deprived the nymph of speech, except for the ability to repeat the last words spoken by another.
Plensa created this monumental head of Echo with her eyes closed, seemingly listening or in a state of meditation. The work is situated on the shoreline of the park, where Echo looks out over Puget Sound in the direction of Mount Olympus.
LESSONS FROM THE INSTITUTE OF EMPATHY
MAR 31 2018 – ONGOING
SEATTLE ART MUSEUM
FOURTH FLOOR GALLERIES
Three Empathics have moved into Seattle Art Museum and are a central feature to the latest installation imagined in our African art galleries. The popular and immersive ChimaTEK: Virtual Chimeric Space by contemporary artist Saya Woolfalk was first shown in Disguise: Masks and Global African Art (2015). Now part of SAM’s permanent collection and installed in Lessons from the Institute of Empathy, the Empathics have surrounded themselves with works from our African art collection as a way to help visitors awaken their own empathy.
Upon entering you will experience a virtual space where you can step outside your normal, routine self and improve your ability to understand others. If you wonder about your empathic abilities, you are not alone. Empathy—the ability to understand the experiences of others—is a skill that’s said to have eroded in the modern world. The result is Empathy Deficit Disorder (EDD).
The Empathics display their trademarked process for transformation and ask you to consider the other artwork around you.
EMBLEMS OF ENCOUNTER: EUROPE AND AFRICA OVER 500 YEARS
JAN 23 2016 – ONGOING
SEATTLE ART MUSEUM
FOURTH FLOOR GALLERIES
Looking back 500 years, one can see the late 15th century as a major turning point in history. When Portuguese navigators first arrived on the shores of West Africa, the two continents of Europe and Africa began interacting in new ways.
After a very brief period of mutual respect and commercial exchange, European traders quickly moved to exploit the region’s natural resources—including human labor—which became the basis for the massive slave trade that eventually affected twenty million Africans.
The ten works of European and African art in this gallery, dating from the end of the 15th century to the end of the 20th, have been selected from SAM’s collection as examples of these interactions over time. Bringing them together in this context reminds us that works of art contain multiple meanings and associations that can be viewed through different perspectives. Even small works connect us with a long and complex history that has shaped many aspects of our world today.
Image: The Head of an African, ca. 1830, Paul-Jean Flandrin
BIG PICTURE: ART AFTER 1945
JUL 23 2016 – ONGOING
SEATTLE ART MUSEUM
In the decades following World War II, New York emerged as a new center of contemporary art in the Western hemisphere, eclipsing Paris in importance. It was a moment of bold beginnings.
The gestural painting styles that developed in the United States in the late 1940s and ‘50s had unprecedented explosive energy and grew out of an experimentation with painting as an expression of the subconscious. These were the landmark beginnings of abstract expressionism and its concurrent artistic movements—from intense fields of color, to minimal manipulation of surface and texture, to artists learning from dance and movement and examining the everyday.
Big Picture presents these vibrant developments in painting and sculpture as an ongoing and evolving exhibition. As the galleries change, new connections and points of departure will be uncovered.
This exhibition draws from the transformative gift of over 100 works given to SAM by Seattle collectors Virginia and Bagley Wright. Big Picture also features key loans from other local collections, reflecting the depth and commitment of private collectors in Seattle.
Image: No Title, 1964, Eva Hesse
Mumbai-based Artists 'Hari & Deepti' Revealed as the next Four Seasons Envoys: Paper and Light Tell Their Story
What does a once-in-a-lifetime journey to Costa Rica with Four Seasons look like? Artist duo 'Hari & Deepti' provide a window into the captivating playground that is Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo with an intricately crafted paper and light sculpture – revealed here - that brings to life their expedition around the 1,400 acre Peninsula. The delicately assembled work of art tells the story of their extraordinary journey discovering the vibrant destination, its culture, and its people.
Hari & Deepti are the latest artists to collaborate with the world's leading hospitality company as part of Envoy by Four Seasons. The trailblazing program was introduced in 2018 to challenge the perception of influence, forgoing relationships based on social media statistics and focusing instead on building deeper, more meaningful connections with storytellers across all mediums. The result is truly differentiated content that showcases an authentic passion for travel and craftsmanship. Since its launch, more than one thousand applications from artists across the globe have flooded in, all with hopes of being the next Four Seasons Envoy.
"Storytelling and travel are intrinsically linked, and what better way to tell Four Seasons stories than through the eyes of pioneering artists and creators," says Peter Nowlan, Chief Marketing Officer, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. "With Envoy, our focus is on content, not follower count. And so by engaging passionate storytellers across mediums, we are challenging what it truly means to influence, elevating our social media creativity, tapping into new perspectives and ultimately facilitating deeper connections to the people, places and experiences that set Four Seasons apart."
About Hari and Deepti
Hailing from Mumbai, husband and wife Harikrishnan Panicker and Deepti Nair were invited to Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo to experience true 'Pura Vida', the uniquely Costa Rican approach to life: a laid-back, warm, friendly attitude that pervades everyday interactions. Hari & Deepti's unique Envoy by Four Seasons experience drove the inspiration behind their original work of art titled "A World within a World". In the days that followed a carefully curated itinerary, the pair spent hours onsite tracing, hand-cutting and intricately layering paper to detail the lush landscapes, starry skies, and cascading mountains of Costa Rica, truly capturing what it means to be in the moment.
"Our creative journey as artists began with a simple paper and light experiment, which evolved over years of perfecting the art into our signature style," says Deepti Nair. "We were drawn to Envoy by Four Seasons because it presented us with the incredible opportunity to step outside of our everyday and capture the magic of a new destination with paper and light, and share our Four Seasons experience through our creative medium of expression."
Experiencing Costa Rica with Four Seasons
As part of their destination immersion, Hari & Deepti enjoyed a "Higher Ground" helicopter tour, an exclusive seaside ceviche cooking class, an ecological water bike tour through the mangrove forest, a blending experience featuring premium Latin rums followed by a tasting of Costa Rican inspired cocktails created by head mixologist Karen Arceyuth, and time spent with a Naturalist from the resort's Papagayo Explorer's Club. Other experiences available at Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Papagayo Peninsula include "Taste the Stars", an exclusive evening of dining and stargazing with a former astronaut, and an immersive two-day expedition accompanying environmental scientists on a land and sea adventure, lending hands-on help in the study and protection of local and endangered wildlife.
"Envoys are traditionally defined as messengers," continues Nowlan. "We chose this name deliberately, as the artists we collaborate with essentially become the messengers of our brand; those who embark on a journey inspired by Four Seasons and who share their experience through their unique point of view."
Hari & Deepti's original work, "A World within a World" will be displayed at Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo, so guests can experience while on property.
Online audiences can also see how painter and illustrator Missy Dunaway, and spoken word artist Marshall Davis Jones created original works as a result of their Envoy by Four Seasons journeys, and are invited to spread the word to curious storytellers who are interested in applying to be the next Four Seasons Envoy. Applications are being considered on an ongoing basis via the Envoy application form.
About Envoy by Four Seasons
Launched in November 2018, Envoy by Four Seasons is a pioneering program reimagining the influencer space through a creative and distinctive approach to storytelling. World-class storytellers, content creators and artists across all mediums are invited to collaborate and share what it means to be in the moment, and to connect to diverse cultures, places and experiences as facilitated by Four Seasons.
More About Hari & Deepti
Harikrishnan Panicker and Deepti Nair are a Mumbai-based husband-wife artist duo, internationally renowned for creating intricate backlit papercut dioramas. Their collaboration with paper and light started as an experiment in 2010, and has since taken them on a global adventure collecting inspiration for their art. Their curated works have been showcased at prestigious art fairs including Context Art Fair, Select Art Fair, and, for 3 years running, Scope Art Fair, part of the ART Basel show in Miami and New York. They have also shown at galleries in the United States and Paris, and recently held their first solo shows in Norway and Taiwan.
The 7th edition of 1-54 African Contemporary Art Fair London took place at Somerset House, London from 3 to 6 October 2019. Mashrabia Gallery presented works from the following leading contemporary artists:
Adel El Siwi
One of the most famous and influential contemporary Egyptian artists, Adel El Siwi has been exploring the subject of faces, which have become his trademark, since the 1990s. As a continuum of his reflection on the human body, which tends to be imperceptible in the local public conscience and discourse in Egypt, he brings back to the limelight the most expressive part of the body against the backdrop of inhibited and guilt-ridden precepts.
ُEl Siwi’s elongated faces, which seem to be growing out from the surfaces, are the amalgamation of a three-pronged influence: the Pharaonic face, the African mask, and the Fayum mummy portraits. This gives form to an array of different personalities: amongst pensive moods and suggestive looks, some faces emanate allure and charisma, others intimidate, others reveal a subtle capacity of seduction. El Siwi’s ancient faces can be distinguished by his monochromatic expressions and the use of warm colours obtained through elegantally and gracefully wrought brushstrokes of oils and acrylics, which intensify the expression of anonymous figures without resorting to too many details. His ready-to-explode static figures are containers of memory and history, while the symbols -interspersed throughout the paintings- introduce the viewer to the non-visible dimension, yet preserving its mysterious core.
Both a fulfillment of different cultures and an icon of African-Oriental regality, Adel El Siwi’s zoomed-in totemic visages, bearing mysterious expressions, together with the abstract indirect symbols and signs make up a narrative that lies between the physical/sensual reality and abstraction, and navigates the depths of the human psyche and subconscious.
Adel El Siwi was born in 1952 in Beheira, Egypt. He studied medicine at Cairo University between 1970 and 1976 and in the same years he studied art at the Faculty of Fine Arts. In 1980 he moved to Milan, Italy, where he lived and worked for a decade before moving back to Cairo, where he currently lives and works. The prominent artist, doctor, and translator Adel El Siwi has taken part in several solo and group exhibitions In Egypt and abroad. Starting from 2000, his work was exhibited many times in Mashrabia gallery of Contemporary art, Cairo, Egypt (2017, 2006, 95, 93, 92, 90) and at Artspace, Dubai, UAE (2015, 2012, 2009, 2007) and in several galleries in Egypt, Germany, Lebanon, Italy, France, Tunisia, Bahrain, Syria, Kuwait, UAE, USA, Algeria, China, and the UK. He has represented Egypt at the Sharjah Biennale, UAE (1997) and the Venice Biennale, Italy (2009). Several private collections and museums hold his acquisitions, such as: British Museum, London, UK; The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, UAE; IMA, Paris, France, and Mathaf, Doha, Qatar.
Carmine Cartolano aka Qarm Qart was born in 1972 in Buonabitacolo (Salerno). He studied Arabic and Persian at Istituto Universitario Orientale in Naples.
Qarm is a Cairo-based versatile artist, translator, writer, and teacher who has been living in Cairo for twenty years now, Qarm Qart (Carmine Cartolano) is proud to consider himself a Cairene. Over the years, his artwork has addressed, by means of unconventional collages, digital pictures, consumer objects, toys, household items and Egyptian popular icons, issues that impact daily on the lives of all Egyptians, as well as inner mental and emotional mazes that people carry within them. In his last body of work, Qarm Qart enacts a profound reading of Naguib Mahfouz. The Cairo trilogy is the starting points for the images Qart stitches onto the tarboush, which serves as the canvas for his imagined world. Qart’s Qarboush - creative works on the tarboush - offers multiple layers of meaning in the interpretation of Egyptian past and presents. The tarboush as male headgear is now an historical relic. But what about its symbolic force of national and patriarchal privilege? The artist makes us ponder whether this privilege has gone with the tarboush itself as he ushers us into disquieting yet intriguing spaces.
Mustafa El Husseiny
Mustafa Ali Saad (AKA El Husseiny) is a Cairo-based visual artist. El-Husseiny graduated from Faculty of Art Education, Helwan University in 2014.
He’ s work is magical, symbolic, ironic and macabre. One of the most imaginative emerging artists of the contemporary Egyptian art scene, in his last body of work, El Husseiny boldly employs media such as paper paste, acrylic, and collage to show what he came across during his walks through the cemetery in search of a way to reconnect with his late father. Dozens of small papers hidden in the cracks in the walls surrounding the tombstones, which he initially thought to be supplications or Koranic verses dedicated by visitors to their loved ones, turned out to be containing magical and allegorical symbols.
By carving blunt symbols of death, such as skulls and dissections of cadavres, as well as intelligible codes, formulae and numbers into paper paste, El Husseiny emulates the digging up of a past made of mysterious signs and re-conceptualises his personal research into an all-pervasive memento mori. Half-human and half-animal mythological beasts and deities-like creatures impose a fierce and bitter tone to his works, alluding to an uncommon form of sacrality. In a gloomy and restless atmosphere of death, feelings of uncertainty, nostalgia, grief and loss mingle, offering ample space for universal reflection on individual, historical, and collective memory.
Heba Abu El Ella
Heba Abu El Ella is a very promising emerging Egyptian visual artist and light designer. Despite Ella's young age, the artist has held many group exhibitions inside Egypt and proved extraordinary talent and outstanding artistic creativity. The boat is part of an ongoing project, which makes up an installation, with which artist Heba Abu El Ella carries out a very personal research to investigate her roots and the environment in which she has developed. Her work is vitally bonded to the African and Pharaonic history and heritage. The boat recalls the traditions of trade and transportation on the Nile, the hearth of ancient civilization, which has been held up to the ancient people as the source of all life in Egypt. The vessel also reflects the Ancient Egyptians' afterlife beliefs, having been the means for shipping the dead for burial, and thus becoming the symbolic means of transition to a different realm and state of being. By intertwining copper wires and using ammonia and vinegar, Abu El Ella reinvents in a very contemporary flair the techniques of metalworking present in the Fertile Crescent since a very early date. The volume, made of lots of lines with different thicknesses, gives shape to different spaces. The thick lines agglomerate into dark spots, while the thin ones resemble neurons or spider webs. Heba Abu El Ella’s evocative boat represents at the same time a place inside oneself, where lots of forgotten memories, worries, fears and wishes lie, and a place where the thread of history develops and recreates places that can't be found in everyday life anymore. A whole new reality, made of tangible and intangible spaces, intermingling pasts and presents, unfolds.
Heba Abu El Ella was born in 1993, and has since lived and worked in her birthplace Cairo, Egypt. She graduated in 2017 from Faculty of Fine Arts, Helwan University, Egypt. She took part in many group exhibitions in Egypt. In addition to sculpture, since 2015, she started to be considered a theater light designer as she attended and practiced light designing workshops at the French Institute and Falaki Theater.
About Mashrabia Gallery
Mashrabia Gallery is a contemporary art gallery established in Cairo in the mid 70’s. Since the 1990’s and under the new management of the director Stefania Angarano, the gallery has played a pioneering role in the diffusion of Plastic Arts through the presentation of non-Egyptian artists in Egypt and the promotion of young Egyptian talents on both the local and the foreign scene.
Breaking with the dominant artistic tradition, the preference for innovative languages free from any decorative components as well as originality and power of the art pieces have always been the criteria for the rigorous selection of the artists and their works. The continuous promotion of established artists and the search for new talents has enabled the creation of a rich and diversified permanent collection. This includes a service of art advising both for private clients and companies.
Mashrabia Gallery organizes temporary exhibitions on a monthly basis, both at the gallery and in other venues in Egypt and abroad.
Acting as a vibrant cultural incubator, the gallery also regularly hosts various artistic performances, lectures and discussions.
Amongst the founding members of El Nitaq Downtown Art Festival, the gallery collaborates in an intensive activity of exchanges with private galleries and centers in Switzerland, Italy, Turkey, Tunisia and other countries.
The gallery’s exhibitions and artists have been featured in Mada Masr, Al Ahram Online, Al Ahram Hebdo, Contemporary Practices Magazine and Cairo Art Blog, among others.
Mashrabia Gallery is located in the vibrant neighborhoods of Downtown Cairo.
- For the first time ever, tourist visas made available via Saudi embassies and consulates across the world.
- Citizens of 49 countries will be able to get e-Visa online and Visa on arrival.
At a historic event in Ad-Diriyah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Riyadh, His Excellency Ahmad Al-Khateeb, Chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Heritage, is announcing the launch of a tourist visa to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Applications for the visa can now be made at Saudi Embassies and Consulates across the world. Citizens from 49 countries will also be able to apply for an e-Visa online or get a Visa on arrival into Saudi Arabia. A dedicated online portal at visitsaudi.com has been launched and electronic kiosks are available at airports.
The following 49 countries will be eligible to apply for e-Visas and Visas on arrival:
USA, Canada, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Brunei, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Spain, Belgium, Malaysia, Austria, Cyprus, UK, Croatia, Estonia, Andorra, Denmark, Germany, Bulgaria, France, Hungary, Czech Republic, Holland, Italy, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania, Greece,
Liechtenstein, Monaco, Iceland, Malta, Poland, Latvia, Norway, Russia, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovenia, Montenegro, Slovakia, Switzerland, Portugal, Sweden, Australia, San Marino, Ukraine, China (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan).
The tourist visa allows for a stay in of up to 3 months per entry, with visitors able to spend up to 90 days a year in Saudi Arabia. The visa is valid for one year, with multiple entries.
The cost of applying for an e-Visa or a Visa on arrival is SAR 440 plus VAT. Saudi Arabia intends to extend the e-Visa scheme to other countries in due course. A detailed information sheet on the new tourist visa is available here.
Opening Saudi Arabia to tourism is a key milestone in the implementation of Vision 2030, which seeks to diversify the country's economy and reduce its dependence on oil. Saudi Arabia expects to achieve 100 million international and domestic overnight visits a year by 2030, attracting significant foreign and domestic investment and creating up to a million jobs.
By 2030, the aim is for tourism to contribute up to 10% of the country's GDP, compared to just 3% today.
Visitors seeking unexplored heritage sites, an authentic cultural experience and breathtaking natural beauty will be surprised and delighted to discover Saudi Arabia's many treasures.
Saudi's places of interest include:
Sector development strategy
A robust sector development strategy underpins the launch of the new tourist visa.
In the first phase of the program, from 2019 to 2022, the focus will be on attracting first-time visitors to "discover Saudi". The second phase of the program, from 2022 onwards, will focus on enticing visitors to "experience Saudi". As part of phase one, over 20 new tourist sites will be developed, dramatically expanding choice and opportunity for visitors to discover the country's hidden treasures. As part of phase two, the full development of Saudi's giga projects will come on stream, including NEOM, Amaala, the Red Sea Project, Al-Ula, Qiddiyah and Ad-Diriyah.
Underpinning Saudi's approach are a range of enabling initiatives including:
Speaking at the launch of the new tourism visa, His Excellency Ahmad Al-Khateeb said:
"Tonight, we make history. For the first time, we are opening our country to tourists from all over the world. To those thinking of visiting Saudi Arabia, you won't find a warmer welcome anywhere in the world. And you won't find a people prouder to share the riches of their land with you. Make no mistake, this is Vision 2030 in action. Under the leadership of his Majesty the King and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, we are delivering – supercharging a non-oil sector that will drive growth and diversify our economy for decades to come. Saudi Arabia is opening. We are opening our economy. We are opening our society. Now we open our home and open our hearts to guests from around the world. Come, visit Saudi. And let us welcome you to Arabia."
Diriyah, the Jewel of the Saudi Kingdom, Proudly Looks Toward the Future as a Global Gathering Place
The Birthplace and Capital of the First Saudi State Rises Again to Educate, Entertain, Engage, and Inspire a Nation and its Visitors.
Diriyah Gate, a sweeping 19th century adobe city that is the birthplace of the Saudi nation, will be soon unveiled to world leaders and notable guests as a major educational, cultural, recreational, and hospitality hub on the banks of the Hanifa valley in Diriyah, in the heart of the modern capital city of Riyadh.
Established in July 2017, Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) is tasked with preserving Diriyah's history, celebrating its community and developing the historic site into one of the world's greatest gathering places and a hub for Saudi culture and heritage, and tourism. To that end, Diriyah Gate Development Authority signed landmark deals with Aman, a luxury resort developer, and the Greg Norman Golf Course Design (GNGCD) Company at the Open Hearts, Open Doors event on September 27 that introduced the splendors of Diriyah to the world.
The boutique Aman hotel will be built in Bujairi, the lifestyle and culture hub of the Diriyah Gate megaproject. Aman resorts are among the world's most exclusive and renowned for their luxury, personalized service; with no lobbies, bellboys, or reception desks, Aman has upended the typical model of the hospitality industry. Its Diriyah Gate property will have spectacular views over the At-Turaif UNESCO World Heritage Site. Meanwhile, the 27-hole Wadi Safar Golf Course will be designed by the GNGCD, one of the world's leading golf course developers, in an exclusive residential district being developed by DGDA in a verdant valley west of Riyadh.
The Diriyah announcement comes as the Kingdom releases details of its new eVisa system, which also came into effect September 27. A key step in realizing Saudi Arabia's ambitious tourism strategy, the eVisa, currently available to citizens of 49 countries, will open the Kingdom's wonders to tourists, and especially those visiting for non-religious reasons, for the very first time.
"The Diriyah Gate development will serve as a gathering place and pillar of Saudi Arabia's new era of openness. We are incredibly excited about our partnerships with Greg Norman and the resort developer Aman, unveiled just this week, as they offer a taste of the type of unprecedented collaborations we are seeking in our mission to make Diriyah a global icon and the Arabian peninsula's must-visit destination," said Gerard 'Jerry' Inzerillo, CEO of Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA).
While Saudi Arabia is the Middle East's second biggest market for tourism, until recently this has been almost exclusively religious tourism. Under the Kingdom's ambitious Vision 2030 strategic plan, tourism has been identified as a major growth sector, with Saudi Arabia making huge strides in opening up in recent years with the introduction of tourism visas and a wide range of cultural festivals, concerts and sporting events.
DGDA's role in this remarkable cultural expansion includes hosting the Formula E auto racing events; the upcoming Diriyah Seasons series of concerts, and the much-anticipated heavyweight title boxing match between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. in December.
Wuxi's most famous product is one that bears a stark contrast to its sweet cuisine－a traditional Chinese music instrument that is loved for its sorrowful, melancholic sound. Alywin Chew reports in Wuxi, Jiangsu province.
It is one of the art and cultural centers in China's Jiangnan region (the area south of the Yangtze River). So, it comes as little surprise that Wuxi's most famous product－the Erhu (a two-stringed bowed instrument)－is related to the field music.
Such is the city's reputation for crafting the instruments that it was officially recognized as the "Land of the Erhu in China" by the Chinese Musicians Association in October 2011.
Also known as the Chinese violin in the West, the erhu comprises a long neck with two tuning pegs located at the top and a sound box partially covered with snake skin at the bottom.
Typically made with either redwood, rosewood or black sandalwood, the erhu produces a hauntingly beautiful sound that typically evokes a sense of melancholy among listeners.
Indeed, some of the most famous tunes played on the erhu, such as Moon Reflected in the Second Spring by China's most famous erhu player, Hua Yanjun, depict this mood.
Hua, more commonly known as A Bing, was born in Wuxi in 1893, and learned how to play a variety of Chinese instruments, including the erhu, when he was a child. He would then play these instruments as his father, who was a Taoist priest, performed religious rites. Hua's life took a downward spiral following his father's death, and he fell prey to an opium addiction and lost sight in both his eyes after contracting syphilis. Homeless and penniless, he took to the streets as an itinerant erhu performer, and this was ironically how he eventually came into fame.
But the erhu is more than just a local product－it is the way of life in Wuxi, at least among older folks. Since 2013, famous erhu players from around the country have been invited to perform at the city's New Year concerts at the Wuxi Grand Theater as well as on other occasions at the Meicun Erhu Cultural Park. One can also spot statues of A Bing and hear erhu tunes at various tourist destinations in Wuxi.
But Zhou Sujiang, a music teacher at the Wuxi Arts and Culture Institute, says that while many Chinese are captivated by the heart-wrenching and poignant sounds of the erhu, children and young adults are slow to warm to the instrument.
"There is no other instrument that can produce as melancholic and bittersweet a sound as the erhu. But young people today don't like such music. They prefer more upbeat and edgy tunes. Interest in erhu classes at the institute is dwindling," says Zhou.
Most erhu makers in Wuxi are based in Meicun, a quiet town northeast of the city center that is said to have more than 3,200 years of history as a vibrant arts-and-culture hub.
According to officials, the town's links with the erhu date back to 1965 when the first folk-music workshop was founded there.
Chen Shasha, a prominent young erhu player from Meicun, says there are now about 20 erhu makers in the town who produce a combined total of about 50,000 instruments every year, accounting for between 25 and 30 percent of the market share in China.
In December 2010, the town was given the title of "Land of Erhu Craft in Jiangsu Province" by the Jiangsu Folk Literature and Art Association. The next year, Meicun's erhu-making process was included on Jiangsu province's list of intangible cultural heritage.
Gu Yue is one of the best-known companies making the instrument in China. And the company－founded by Wan Qixing more than 60 years ago－has a factory in Meicun, which is home to dozens of middle-aged artisans who painstakingly assemble each erhu by hand.
There is no high-tech production line here, just rudimentary tools such as sewing machines, drills, saws and disc sanders. But the rustic environment is hardly indicative of the quality of the product. While the company sells basic erhu instruments for a few hundred yuan, it is better known for its exquisite masterpieces that fetch small fortunes. Bu Guangjun, Wan's son-in-law, has been working as a supervisor in the factory for the past few decades. He says that one of Gu Yue's erhu sold for 180,000 yuan ($28,112) at an auction a few years ago.
According to Bu, about 40 percent of the company's instruments are sold abroad in Asian countries such as Japan, Malaysia and Singapore, while the rest are sold to domestic customers.
Asked why Gu Yue's erhu are considered to be in a league of their own, Bu cited his father-in-law's passion and dedication to the craft. "He's been doing this for more than 60 years. When you've been doing the same thing for so long, you naturally become a master in the craft. He is also a perfectionist and someone who has a keen ear for music," says the 44-year-old.
"To craft a good erhu, you need more than just technical knowledge－you must also have a feel for the sound."
This "feel" that Bu mentions also extends to certain processes in the workshop. For example, the manner in which the snake skin is treated and attached to the sound box is crucial in determining the sound quality, and this step of the crafting process can only be handled by an expert. "I can determine what type of erhu I can make just by holding a piece of snake skin. It's all down to the feel. Every piece of snake skin is different. Some are tauter than others. The weather also plays a big role in determining how each piece should be treated. It's hard to program a machine to identify all these factors," he says.
"Because of instances such as this, it is almost impossible to completely automate the manufacturing process."
Gu Yue currently produces about 10,000 instruments per year. Bu notes that production volume peaked in 2012 but has plateaued since. However, he expects domestic demand to pick up again in the coming years. "The government is now pushing for schools to focus more on arts and culture. The erhu is one of the most famous traditional Chinese musical instruments. So there is bound to be increased interest in it when schools align their curriculums with the government directives," he says.
For more information on Wuxi, Jiangsu and China please visit: www.cnto.org
Designed by noted architecture firm WOHA, the 27-storey 314-room Oasia Hotel Downtown is a breath of fresh air and welcomed greenery in Singapore’s Central Business District. A true respite in the city, the tropical skyscraper is refreshingly sleek inside, thanks to the modern functionalist style of architect and renowned designer, Patricia Urquiola.
The living, breathing vertical garden is a remarkable combination of lush foliage, copper, wood and stone. Filled with picturesque sky gardens, terraces and green screens, the hotel is as inviting to the flora and fauna as it is to visiting guests.
With welcoming breezes everywhere you go inside the property, and thoughtful spaces for you to relax, Oasia Hotel Downtown makes it easy to Refresh, Refuel and Recharge in the city.
Find out more: Website
Wine Institute's Wine Country Back Roads series focuses on California's southern Central Coast, extending from Paso Robles in the north to Santa Barbara in the south. Hidden among California's world-famous wine regions are wine roads less traveled featuring stunning scenery, delicious wines and, often, fewer visitors.
For all wine regions in this series, go to the discovercaliforniawines.com interactive map to search wineries and events statewide.
TASTE: Located halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, grapes were first planted in San Luis Obispo County more than two centuries ago by Spanish missionaries. Today the region is home to over 230 wineries, including 13 American Viticultural Areas: 11 in Paso Robles and two in San Luis Obispo.
The cool San Luis Obispo coast, known for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, has six wine trails including Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande.
Paso Robles is celebrated for Rhône varieties such as Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Italian and Spanish varieties thrive there as well. Explore Paso's west side via the 46 West Wine Trail. Discover wineries just east of town on the Pleasant Valley Wine Trail or take in ocean views along the Pacific Coast Wine Trail.
Santa Barbara County, located halfway between San Luis Obispo and Los Angeles, is defined by the east-west traverse valley, open to the inland flow of fog and marine breezes. The region has over 50 grape varieties—from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling in the west to Bordeaux and Rhône grapes in the east.
Santa Barbara County has about 200 wineries and nine wine tasting routes, including the Santa Ynez, Los Olivos, Solvang and Buellton wine trails. Taste Chardonnay and Pinot Noir on the Sta. Rita Hills or Lompoc wine trails. The Foxen Canyon Wine Trail offers a taste of Santa Maria Valley, including the area's famous tri-tip barbecue.
TOUR: With its Old West, cowboy vibe, Paso Robles—named 2016 Best Wine Country Town by Sunset magazine—features wine and olive oil tasting rooms, sophisticated eateries and fun boutiques. On Sept. 27, SLO County wineries offer Sip 'n Saunter with wine and food tastings. Fifteen miles south, find Hearst Castle, built in 1919. Old Mission Santa Barbara is a grand California mission where Franciscan monks made wine 200 years ago. Stearns Wharf offers seaside restaurants, beaches and wine tasting.
About Wine Institute
Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group for California wineries, which produce 80 percent of U.S. wine. As the nation's number one state for wine and food tourism, California's 3,900 wineries attract 24 million visitors annually.
Moxy East Village Embraces The Spirit Of The Historic, Vibrant district Where American Counterculture Was Born
With Stylish and Affordable Design-Driven Bedrooms, Co-Working Spaces, And Four Brand-New Restaurants, Lounges, and Bars by Tao Group Hospitality.
Moxy NYC East Village has opened in the heart of the iconic East Village where rock 'n' roll, renegade art, LGBTQ+ activism, and generations of immigrants all merged to give birth to American counterculture.
Located on East 11th Street between Third and Fourth Avenues, directly across from the legendary concert venue Webster Hall, the hotel features 286 design-driven bedrooms, co-working spaces, and tech-savvy amenities, as well as lively restaurants, bars, and cultural programming – all at an affordable price. Part of Marriott International's experiential Moxy Hotels brand, Moxy East Village marks the third Moxy property developed by Lightstone, following the successful openings of Moxy Times Square and Moxy Chelsea.
Design: A Vertical Timeline
With interior design by Rockwell Group and architecture by Stonehill Taylor, Moxy East Village is conceived as a vertical timeline, drawing inspiration from various eras in East Village history, from the earliest settlers to the punk era to today. Interior design is inspired by urban archaeology, with the hotel's 13 floors loosely conceived as homages to different eras in the East Village's past and present, as well as its future. Three check-in kiosks just inside the entrance are assemblages by local artist Michael Sanzone, made from found objects and materials. Behind the kiosks, striped tapestries hang on the walls and bleed onto the floors. Their alternating bands of graffiti and graphics recall shredded layers of wheat-pasted posters—the kind you might see peeling off a downtown building façade.
Like all Moxy Hotels, the 286 rooms are cleverly designed to maximize space and allow guests the flexibility to adapt the room to their needs. Queen Rooms, some with an optional daybed; Double/Doubles; and Quad Bunk Rooms all include oversized industrial-style windows for abundant natural light with some south-facing rooms boasting views of the Freedom Tower and other downtown skyscrapers. Suite Jane, an entertainment suite features modular seating, a boardroom / dining table, wet bar, multi-media lounging area - and in case sleeping is on the agenda, an adjoining Queen Room with a unique round bed. Each room contains a specially commissioned piece by New York artist Xan Padrón featuring time-lapse photographs of New York City dwellers walking past specific locations in the East Village.
Food & Beverage: The Spirit of Underground
Lightstone has once again teamed up with Tao Group Hospitality who oversees the four brand-new dining and drinking venues at Moxy East Village that offer a multitude of scenes all under one roof. Alphabet Bar & Café opens today, Cathédrale and Little Sister will open in mid-September, and the rooftop bar will launch Spring 2020. "I don't think there are any places in New York where you can get an outdoor café vibe, a coffeehouse vibe, a dimly lit bar, a backyard rooftop party, and a grand dining room all in one," said Noah Tepperberg, Co-Founder of Tao Group Hospitality.
Alphabet Bar & Café, situated in the lobby, serves as the social heart of Moxy East Village, comprising a bar, terrace, co-working lounge, and meeting studios that seamlessly transition from day to night. The seating includes plush sofas and swinging chairs; a Skee-Ball game provides a hit of nostalgia for the arcade era. An interactive real-time graffiti installation lets guests use a tablet to draw their own tag or sketch a bit of street art, like a latter-day Basquiat or Haring, and see it projected on the wall. The iconic Strand Bookstore will have a cart in Alphabet Bar offering free books, and nearby Academy Records will offer free vinyl LPs and curated collections so guests can listen to the sounds of the East Village's past, present, and future—to play on a retro turntable, provided in-room on request. Alphabet Café serves an all-day menu of custom artisanal brews by Intelligentsia Coffee, freshly baked goods, composed salads, and seasonal panini and tartines.
The centerpiece of Moxy East Village is Cathédrale, a French-Mediterranean restaurant conceived by Tao Group Hospitality Chef/Partner Ralph Scamardella, in collaboration with Executive Chef Jason Hall. As diners descend from the lobby—via a staircase that resembles a fire escape between two East Village buildings—they'll feel like they're discovering an abandoned architectural treasure. That's thanks to the show-stopping Rockwell Group-designed main dining room, a triple-height space covered by Italian artist Edoardo Tresoldi's dramatic wire mesh sculpture that looks like the apparition of a grand domed ceiling. Named by Forbes as one of the 30 most influential European artists under 30, Tresoldi is revered for his installations in public spaces, including Etherea at the 2018 Coachella Music Festival. His ethereal sculpture for the ceiling of Cathédrale pays homage to the interior of the Fillmore East, once known as the "Church of Rock 'n' Roll." The delicate yet monumental sculpture, called Fillmore, is made from Tresoldi's signature wire mesh and floats above the main dining room, creating a dramatic dialogue with the restaurant's architecture. Tresoldi describes Fillmore as "an "architectural precious wreck" and a "tribute to the legendary cultural background that influenced not only New York's culture, but several generations worldwide."
Under Cathédrale's soaring, 26-foot ceilings, the space includes a blue-tiled, open-hearth kitchen hung with copper pots and equipped with a rotisserie grill. An outdoor dining terrace, with a retractable roof, also feels like a hidden surprise: channeling the improvised backyard gardens tucked behind many East Village restaurants. The Poster Room, a private dining space that seats up to 26, immerses guests in the psychedelic rock era, its walls and ceiling lined with backlit screen prints of vintage concert posters from the Fillmore East. Cathédrale brings elemental cooking and a poised French-Mediterranean sense of hospitality to its striking setting. The menu is focused on well-prepared but simply arranged dishes that pay quiet deference to the cuisine of Southern France with traces of Italy, Spain, and Greece.
Located on the lower level, adjacent to Moxy East Village, Little Sister is an intimate, seductive, sophisticated lounge - an update from the underground clubs that defined East Village nightlife in the 1990s. Its clandestine, cavern-like feel is enriched by jewel-toned velvet sofas and plush banquettes, embossed leather accents, a glowing copper DJ stand, and a mirrored-copper bar illuminated by an overhead bank of backlit whiskey bottles. Wood-clad, barrel-vaulted ceilings evoke a hidden underground chamber where whiskey might have been stored in the bootlegger era. Legendary doorman Wass Stevens, will conspire to create an exclusive, in-the-know vibe at the ropes.
Opening in Spring 2020, the rooftop bar is designed to resemble a coveted New York City backyard garden, with strung garden lights, abundant foliage, and colorful patio furniture. A retractable roof allows the bar to be used in all seasons. Behind the bar, liquor bottles will be displayed in stacked plastic milk crates—not unlike those you'd spot on an East Village sidewalk. On one wall, interlaced with crawling ivy, will be a mural that overlays a map of the area with images from the neighborhood's musical and artistic history. The venue will be available for private events and hotel programming before its official debut.
Programming: Culture of the Community
Similar to Moxy Hotels around the world, Moxy East Village has a focus on playful cultural programming, allowing the hotel to integrate into the broader community, introducing guests and locals to the neighborhood's creators, tastemakers, and businesses. "We conceived of the hotel as a sort of crossroads: Guests can use it as a starting point for their explorations beyond the four walls, and local creators and businesses can use it as an extension of their community," said Mitchell Hochberg, President of Lightstone.
For instance, Talk@Moxy will be an ongoing series of discussions showcasing local voices and the #SweatatMoxy series will introduce guests and locals to area wellness experts, like MNDFL, who will offer morning rooftop meditation sessions as well as meditation videos on the in-room TVs. The hotel has also produced a series of short videos titled "Off the Beaten Path," featuring neighborhood legends and characters who will talk about the East Village's past, present, and future that guests will be able to enjoy on the in-room TVs, online, and on the @MoxyEastVillage Instagram. In addition, the hotel has forged exclusive partnerships with neighborhood institutions. It will be the preferred hotel partner for Webster Hall, providing VIP concert access to select guests. The prestigious art school Cooper Union will have their student's work shown on a dedicated channel on the in-room TVs and will exhibit select student works and host panels at the hotel while providing guests access to events on campus. Other East Village restaurants, shops, galleries, and nearby businesses will be invited to host pop-ups in the lobby and other public spaces in the hotel.
"Authentic, local, and experiential have all become buzzwords in the hotel business," said Hochberg. "With Moxy Times Square and Moxy Chelsea, we've seen how putting visitors and New Yorkers in the same space can foster a sense of community. The East Village's breadth of experiences and layers of history allow us to take that concept to a whole new level. Moxy East Village is multidimensional—a thrilling mashup that lets people honor the past, experience the present, and dream about the future. We're embracing it all to create a true sense of magic."
"Moxy is a brand that has always boldly broken the rules of a conventional hotel experience, and we're excited to be able to bring our fun and spirited brand to New York's iconic East Village to help evolve the hospitality scene in the neighborhood," said Toni Stoeckl, Global Brand Leader, Moxy Hotels, and Vice President, Distinctive Select Brands, Marriott International.
Moxy currently operates 46 experiential hotels open across North America, Europe and Asia. There are 104 Moxy Hotels in the signed pipeline expected to open in North America, Asia, The Caribbean & Latin America, and Europe.
Moxy East Village is located at 112 East 11 St, New York, NY 10003. For more information or to book, visit moxyeastvillage.com. Rates start at $179 per night.
ABOUT MOXY EAST VILLAGE:
Moxy East Village is located at the heart of New York's iconic East Village, the neighborhood where rock 'n' roll, renegade art, LGBTQ+ activism, and generations of immigrants all merged to give birth to American counterculture. Conceived by Rockwell Group as a vertical timeline, the hotel draws inspiration from various eras in East Village history, from the earliest settlers to the punk era to today. Moxy embraces the neighborhood's rebellious spirit while meeting the demands of today's travelers—all at an affordable price. Its 286 design-driven bedrooms, co-working spaces, and tech-savvy amenities, as well as lively restaurants, bars, and cultural programming, reflect the richly diverse fabric of the neighborhood. Four new eating and drinking venues overseen by Tao Group Hospitality include Cathédrale, a French-Mediterranean restaurant; Little Sister, an underground lounge; the all-day Alphabet Bar & Cafe in the lobby. Moxy East Village is Lightstone's third Moxy hotel opening in New York City, following the successful launches of Moxy Times Square and Moxy Chelsea.
ABOUT MOXY HOTELS:
Moxy Hotels is Marriott International's new millennial-focused brand that debuted in September 2014 with the opening of the Moxy Milan. A boutique-hotel concept for the next-Gen traveler, Moxy is a fresh and innovative brand combining stylish design and approachable service at an affordable price point. With tech-enabled rooms, vibrant lobby spaces and warm, modern service, Moxy aims to surprise travelers with a thoughtful, spirited and fun guest experience. Moxy Hotels is proud to participate in Marriott Bonvoy, the new name of Marriott's travel program replacing Marriott Rewards®, The Ritz- Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest® (SPG). The program offers members an extraordinary portfolio of global brands, experiences on Marriott Bonvoy Moments and unparalleled benefits including earning points toward free hotel stays and nights toward Elite status recognition.
To enroll for free or for more information about the program, visit MarriottBonvoy.com
To learn more about Moxy Hotels, visit www.MoxyHotels.com
Lightstone, founded by David Lichtenstein, is one of the largest and most diversified privately held real estate companies in the United States. Lightstone is active in 28 states across the country, developing, managing and investing in all sectors of the real estate market, including residential, hospitality, commercial, and retail. With over 178 existing properties, Lightstone's over $6.5 billion portfolio currently includes over 4.5 million square feet of office, retail and industrial commercial properties, over 15,000 residential units, and over 4,300 hotel keys.
Headquartered in New York City, Lightstone continues to grow its development portfolio with over $3.5 billion currently under development in the residential and hospitality sectors. Moxy East Village is Lightstone's third Moxy hotel opening in New York City, following the successful launches of Moxy Times Square and Moxy Chelsea. Moxy South Beach Miami, Moxy Downtown Los Angeles, and New York's Moxy Lower East Side and Moxy Williamsburg are also under development.