this is the first installation from trash i did in 2011. i was camping with my family on a secluded beach on south lantau when i noticed the trash that's been washed up and caught up in the undergrowth. coming from a background of a painter i started sorting the trash by colours and putting it into the shape of a colour wheel.
and this is how big the installation gets in 2013!
in anticipation of earth day 2013 environmental activist tracey read (www.plasticfreeseas.org) and me join forces to do the biggest installation ever. i call these outdoor installations "chinese landscape" or "垃圾山水" (trash mountain water): the reality of chinese nature as it is at this point in time. the landscape is still as beautiful as on any ancient ink drawing, but there is a new element: 垃圾 = trash.
for earth day 2013 my concept is to cover the whole beach with trash, sort it by colour and lay it out like a rainbow. in 6 hours tracey, me and around 50 volunteers bring to light the volume of 85 big rubbish bags full of trash, not including two refrigerators, half a boat, a government rubbish bin, construction pipes and ropes for shipping... and sadly that's only a fraction of the garbage on this beach.
when people look at my photographs they usually perceive them as being beautiful and pleasing. only later comes the recognition that the colours are actually made up from lots of different pieces of trash.and that's hopefully the moment we start thinking about our consumerist habits, our life styles, our relationship to nature.
apple daily tv has done a report: please watch if you got two minutes (and understand chinese:)
thank you. thanks to everyone who came yesterday and shared this special moment with me: it was the first time that i filled an entire gallery with my soul, and the first time in hongkong to actually say: hello here i am!
this is a short video for all those who couldn't make it to my exhibition.
thanks especially to kate and abid who are running the beautiful timeandspace.hk gallery. a big thank you also to lillian and betsy from winenthingshk.com for the sparkly and the perfect service. and thanks without words to my husband who gives me the inner and outer space to persue the art that is in my heart. and to my chilrden who try their best to do the same.
Time & Space presents Time Being, the first solo exhibition of German artist Liina Klauss opening on April 17 and running through to April 24.
Concerned with the visualization of time and inﬂuenced by Berlin street art, Klauss uses derelict paper and yellowing book pages as a canvas for her mixed media pieces. Through layers of slowly fading colours and ink on paper she creates a direct experience of the transience and impermanence of life.
For Klauss, the medium is as important as the painting itself: yellowed pages of an art encyclopedia make up the historical context with drawings and hues of colour representing the vibrant present. The artist combines water colours and ink with natural hand mixed paints and pigments such as clay or vegetable dyes.
Klauss intuitively uses shades of colours that are sensitively stacked into imaginary columns and correlations. This constructed network of colours and tones fade into the colour of the paper itself, leaving nothing but the subtlest trace.
As Klauss puts it: 'I'm expecting a certain sensitivity from the viewer. Even though I'm making the artwork, I'm doing nothing but pointing towards a reality that the viewer has to see and feel and experience within him or herself. Art is happening as much on the paper as it is happening through and within the viewer.'
can you see these colours? they are brilliant in their differing hues and saturations. the closer you look the more shades are revealing. now i want you to imagine the original as this is nothing but a reproduction on your computer. this is a very reduced version of the colours on the page i got in front of me. it is 1/1000th of the original. even less.
how can you measure infinity? we expose ourselves to this very narrow colour spectrum that computer screens and print media produce. we get used to it. we start to take this as the benchmark. but it is not and can never be. colours are infinite! there are a million shades of blues. of greens. look at a tree. look at a single leaf. i mean: really look look - your eyes will get showered with countless hues and blends and fades and shades of colours. because it's you who makes these colours. literally. in the retina of your eye. art is happening as much on the paper as it is happening through and within the viewer. so even though i may be the one to make the artwork, i'm nothing but pointing towards a reality which you have to see and feel and experience within yourself.
the water colour i'm using is called 'burnt sienna'. it comes from england. the pigment comes from italy. the binder comes from goddess knows. i bought the little tube in a shop in hong kong. from a person i've never seen before. so little to relate to. i'm going to the pebble beach. the sun is warming my face. i'm finding smooth stones washed up by hundreds and hundreds of waves. some are round bricks: a deep red colour like 'burnt sienna'. i scrape them to dust the same way my children do. i pour and filter the dust and mix it with water into a paste. a warm red tone that includes my sweat, the sound of the waves and the warmth of the sun. so beautiful and intimate and part of my life. i name the colour 'burnt pebble beach red'.
on my last visit to berlin i pick up a book that is published in 1968. the shop keeper wants to sell me a newer, less yellowed copy but i want exactly that book: that book has already existed six years before i was born. and now i am holding it in my very own hands. how can that be? where was i during those six years? this book is like a gap in perception to me. the cat bites her tail: what is time? i want to make time visible, tangeable. not in a symbolic way but in a direct physical way. that's why i use yellowing disintegrating paper and fading colours. i'm pointing towards that reality of death and birth ...