art installation

nuit blanche toronto: interactive light art + a modern design giveaway

This weekend, Toronto will be up all night for the annual Nuit Blanche celebrating the city's contemporary art (among other things!). I am most excited about Dashing Collective's interactive art installation in Fort York. A DLYT project called SMILE (aka Socially Motivated Interactive Light Environment). It is a highly interactive arrangement of cubes of light that react to individual users as they move through the space. Part art installation, part social experiement. It'll be interesting how the crowd reacts and how the installation reacts to the crowd. It's a MUST SEE.

Featured in the installation are over three dozen of these lightboxes by Gus* Design Group. It's going to be so beautiful! The photo below is a preview of the installation. Dashing Collective also just announced that they are doing an on-site giveaway of one of these lamps! I know I will want one. Details and map link are below the jump. 

To enter the giveaway: Visit the DLYT art installation in Fort York on Oct 1st BEFORE midnight – precise location here. Enter to win, fill in a numbered ballot on site (only). One winner will be chosen randomly to win one Gus Lightbox (photos below) after the giveaway closes. Contact producer extraordinaire, Mary Anne Ledesma for more info. Come early! See you at Nuit Blanche :) 


xiaojing yan

The work of artist Xiaojing Yan was part of Gladstone Hotel's 5th Birthday open house exhibit last weekend. I'm assuming that these paintings are portraits of various Asian women with their mother's or grandmother's portraits on the other side of the transparent, hanging 'discs.' (photos taken with my iPhone) 

The painting technique reminded me of colour-by-numbers paintings from childhood. These double portraits were beautifully presented, lit and suspended from the ceiling in such a way that allowed the viewer to walk around them. I like the idea that a 'front' or 'back' doesn't exist, both sides of each portrait have equal visual weight. It brings to mind my own thoughts and experiences on bicultural identity and personal history. 

first love : rivane neuenschwander

Of all the works by Brazilian artist Rivane Neuenschwander (currently at the New Museum), I loved this installation the most. It's entitled 'First Love.' It is a collection of forensic sketches made for visitors of the museum when asked to describe the faces of their first love. The artist wasn't there when I came through the museum today. But I was so struck by it nonetheless. There is something so universal about the memory of that significant figure (whomever it may be). It's that much more interesting for a forensic artist to render a sketch of this person – a process only used to find accused criminals. I love the parallels drawn between love and crime in this piece. The viewer is also contributing to the work. It's brilliant. Stop by the museum or write a description of your first love here. It may end up becoming part of the never know. 

trainset ghetto : peter feigenbaum

I discovered the work of artist Peter Feigenbaum via the Like The Spice Gallery in Williamsburg. I don't know that I've ever seen
anything so meticulously done. According to the artist that this New York urban landscape, entitled Trainset Ghetto is an imagined
one and therefore not modeled after any specific landscapes. It is an "examination of urban architectural vernacular... it is more
than a simple replication; it is an attempt to understand the metaphysics of place within an urban context." Everything in this piece
is based on both vague personal memory and cinematic ones that never existed in reality. I personally can't get past the care and
detail that went into creating this piece. Amazing. 

All images from 


a light experience : vaga lume

My newest (and most excellent) iPhone app, NY ArtBeat lead me to this gorgeous art installation last week while strolling through the Lower East Side. It's entitled "Vaga Lume" by artist Valeska Soares. It's a large grid of thousands of light bulbs installed onto the ceiling, each one with it's own chain switch that can be turned on and off by the viewer. In Portuguese, the title means light that is subtle/vague or transient. Visually, it's quite stunning (even during the day) and the thousands of chains hanging down look like a waterfall or even rain. It's an art piece that begs to be experienced in person. The viewer is forced to walk through the veil of chains very slowly and carefully. I could have stayed there for hours. The interactive element of the piece makes the viewer as much a part of the work as the work itself. Beautiful and brilliant. :)

Hurry, the show closes in 3 days.

Vaga Lume

Vaga Lume
all photos by myturtleneck

salty barricades : artist siyeon kim

Another artist at the Satori Gallery that caught my attention on Sunday was Siyeon Kim. This up and coming Korean artist's work is about conveying a sense of anxiety (I can relate) as well as humor as it pertains to psychological conflicts within the home environment. There's tension in the precarious placement of household objects. I loved the sharp forms (made of salt, apparently). I enjoy these as visual compositions too — monochromatic interior landscapes.

Go see it, including the window installation (bottom photo) at the Gallery Satori in the LES.

relational abstraction : megan prince

I came across Megan Prince's work at the EFA Studios last weekend. This wall installation was quite stunning in person (made of string and nails). Her work seems to mostly be about personal relationships – she specifically refers to it as "relational abstraction." I'm fascinated by the use of materials like fiber and thread and her soft sculptures. I love all the weaving and interlocking. It reminds me of numerous woven materials I grew up around in the Philippines (though those are typically made of plant materials). These soft sculptures really beg to be touched and beautiful to look at.

inspired manuscripts : artist cui fei

Another amazing artist from EFA Studios that I had a chance to meet briefly this past weekend is Cui Fei. She's of Chinese descent, living here in the US. Her work explores the interconnectedness of all beings in nature and the unique perspective of being of two cultural points of view (which is something I really relate to). Her pieces are a kind of a "manuscript symbolizing voiceless messages in nature that are waiting to be discovered and heard." They function almost like journals, marking the passing of time.

I think her work is so incredibly beautiful. I am totally in awe.

All images from