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Transcending Boundaries (Of An Art Dealer)

Watch out the hottest exhibition and the rising art star on the rise. Jonny, as a young twenty-something art world star (on the rise), he has the faith to rise up together with his clients one day. But be careful Jonny, you may want to set the boundary well in advance whilst taking your client to transcending boundaries at Pace London.

Watch out for the hottest show in town-Pace London presents Transcending Boundaries, an exhibition of works by Japanese digital art collective teamLab! It explores the role of digital technology in transcending the physical and conceptual boundaries that exist between different artworks. It also dissolves the boundaries between art, exhibition space and the viewers through interactivity.

teamLab, Courtesy Pace Gallery

teamLab is an interdisciplinary group of ultratechnologists whose collaborative practice seeks to navigate the confluence of art, technology, design and the natural world. It operates from a distinctly Japanese sense of spatial recognition, investigating human behavior in the information era and proposing innovative models for societal development.

teamLab, Flowers Boom on People, Courtesy Pace Gallery

“Transcending Boundaries” will be showing at Pace London, Burlington Gardens until the 11th March. Booking is needed, and according to trusted source, all the tickets were sold out well in advance.

teamLab, Courtesy Pace Gallery

For those who want to see the exhibition, you can follow Jonny’s experience on how the boundaries of art, space and viewers were broken and transcended at the exhibition.

WHO IS JONNY? He is an Asian Art specialist who once smashed auction records for his Canadian auction house, who has recently relocated to London. The guy you probably read about in the previous posts on this blog: the Asian version pre-weight loss Karl Lagerfeld, and the one who smashed Miami last December with his “glitzy bitches”, known as “Jonny’s Angels”. http://picassoandthesinglegirl.com/art-basel-miami-beach/

Two weeks ago, Jonny landed the rainy London, taking on a career transition, from Asian antique specialist to Contemporary Art dealer. Why he has such change?

The contemporary art world has bigger personalities, offers a bigger stage and he, as a young twenty-something art world star (on the rise), he has the faith to rise up together with his clients one day.

Well, as you see, he rose up early today to take one of his potential clients, not to auction, but to the “Transcending Boundaries” exhibition at Pace, Mayfair.

This middle-aged Japanese guy’s name is Kimura, who works in higher management at the Japanese bank, Nomura, in London. Jonny said Kimura must have been very a handsome guy when he was younger.

But, as life cycles go, every flower has to face the day of decaying. Kimura is now a forty-something depressed banker who cannot hold on to his former days’ glory and once-handsome looks. Jonny said he really wanted to sell Kimura a new Japanese contemporary calligraphy painting, but he sensed that Kimura wasn’t entirely convinced by the issues that piece of art dealt with boundaries and spatial recognition. Jonny thought it was worth taking Kimura to see the works by TeamLab because this Japanese interdisciplinary group of ultra technologists seeks to navigate the confluence of art, technology, design and the natural world. This show, “Transcending Boundaries” explore the role of digital technology in transcending the physical and conceptual boundaries that exist between different artworks. Plus, based on Jonny’s gaydar, Kimura would be the sort of guy really into digital technology enabled art experience or any sort of experience. Jonny thought Kimura probably had visited those after-work hour bars where you can pay to have a hypothetical girlfriend, oh well, boyfriend, when he was in Japan. He hoped that this exhibition experience would handle Kimura’s objection towards the work that Jonny aimed to sell to him.

teamLab, Courtesy Pace Gallery

The two men were wowed by the interactive digital immersion created by Japanese creative teamLab when they walked into the gallery space. Jonny said this exhibition dealt a lot with teamLab’s advancement of digital art. The largest room had six works.

Flowers and People, Transcending Boundaries-A Whole Year Per Hour.This artwork is in continuous change, over a period of one hour a seasonal year of flowers blossoms and scatters.

Flowers are born, grow, bloom, and eventually, scatter and die.The cycle of birth and death repeats itself in perpetuity. If people stay still more flowers are born, if people touch the flowers and walk around the flowers scatter all at once.

This artwork is in continuous change, neither a prerecorded animation nor on loop. The work is rendered in real time by a computer program. The interaction between the viewer and the installation causes a continuous change in the artwork; previous visual states can never be replicated, and will never reoccur.

“This is my favourite flower!“ Kimura said shyly to Jonny. Jonny thought the little girl-ish shy look was Kimura deliberately presented to him by Kimura and found it disgusting. “A middle-aged man’s favourite flower is a daisy! My goodness! “ A confident, rich and egoist guy like Jonny, would think himself to be in a most dangerous position if a not-so-good looking mid-aged man expressed slight interests in him. “If it’s not for selling that painting, I don’t want to get up so early to see such a romantic exhibition with you!” Jonny thought and smiled to Kimura, “I heard that a guy who loves daisy would always be a young boy at heart.”

Kimura said his favourite is Universe of Water Particles, Transcending Boundaries.

TeamLab, Courtesy Pace Gallery

Water is represented by calculating the interactions between a continuous flow of hundreds of thousands of water particles. Then, lines are drawn in space in relation to the behavior of the water particles. The accumulation of these lines expresses the waterfall.

The flow of water influences other artworks.

“Transcending the boundaries of physical and conceptual, whilst being impressed by teamLab’s approach, Jonny thought about those group of artists he recently befriended with since he moved to London. He sees boundaries in the practices of those young female artists-they are conceptually horny, physically numbed. But no one can understand their language, so no one buys their art. They have intellectual depth but they lack the sense of approachableness and engagement for the audience. Jonny sighed, how to make it there, in today’s art world, to stand out- it needs to be digital, it needs innovation, even need a team to work on it together, and also, very importantly, being Instagram-worthy, just like teamLab!

“I checked Instagram this morning before I came, to see how people pose in front of these works”, Kimura said to Jonny shyly. He unintentionally blinked his eyes at Jonny! Jonny thought about where Kimura would post the pictures – on Grindr(gay’s Tinder)? Perhaps. No, Kimura would be a very discreet guy given his social standing. He would save them in an album, for private contemplation only.

“I would say teamLab is very successful in terms of public engagement for their work. I know so many artists who immerse with the nature of their art and in the world of creative exploration, explosion and even frustration. But they haven’t let the viewer of their works to be immersed in the dream or the world they created. I think that’s the biggest fail in this age”, Jonny said.

“Of course, Jonny my dear boy, you must know we Japanese are very good with virtual reality. We literally live in the VR world and nobody really exists in reality. To be precise, I’d say nobody ever wants themselves to be in the real world.”

“Look! How interesting these lines, and water particles! We are connected to nature!” Jonny said.

“Oh!” Kimura suddenly grabbed Jonny’s arm, just like a helpless little girl in a mid-aged Japanese man’s body. “What happened? You alright?” Jonny asked.

“No! Jonny my boy! I have butterfly phobia! Gosh, just LOOKING AT them is OK, but I thought they just died in my face!”

teamLab, Courtesy Pace Gallery

In the interactive work Flutter of Butterflies Beyond Borders, Ephemeral Life, butterflies are born from where people stand in the exhibition and flutter about the space. As the work progresses, the butterflies fly seamlessly into the nearby installation artworks, eliminating the boundaries between the works. This process ultimately creates an all-encompassing interactive installation.

Jonny dragged Kimura to the next room, here shows Dark Wave.

The movement of waves in water is simulated in a computer-generated three-dimensional space. The water is expressed as a continuous body after calculating the interactions of hundreds of thousands of particles. To visualize the waves, the behavior of the particles on the water was then extracted and lines were drawn in relation to the movement of the particles. The wave created in a 3-D virtual space is then turned into an artwork in accordance with what TeamLab refers to as ultra subjective space.

In premodern Japanese painting, oceans, rivers, and other bodies of waters were represented as series of lines. These lines give the impression of life, as though the water was a living entity.

“Do you know why the premodern Japanese sensed life in oceans and rivers?” Kimura asked Jonny.


“Because they saw fish in the river!”

“Haha…” Jonny reluctantly gave Kimura some affirmation words. He was slightly disturbed by Kimura’s intention to flirt with him. “Boundaries! Boundaries!” The last thing Jonny would want to expect is his relationship with his clients fall into fifty shades of grey, but still not be able to sell him that painting!

He dragged Kimura to see the last part of the exhibition: Flowers BOOM on People.

Without people, this installation is a dark space. When people enter the room the flowers blossom on the people and before long the flowers spread out below their feet. When those flowers come close to another person they spread in that direction and connect.

The flowers bud, grow, and blossom before their petals begin to wither, and eventually fade away. The cycle of growth and decay repeats itself in perpetuity. When the viewer is still, more flowers are born and simultaneously bloom. When the viewer moves the flowers begin to wither, die and fade away.

 Kimura enjoys anything that creates a connection between him and nature. He goes to meditation from time to time. But you don’t escape back to nature; you need to purify your own thoughts-greed, desire, and sex! In a crowded urban space like Tokyo, he couldn’t do that.

“I don’t think there are any boundaries exist between you and I, do they?” Kimura asked Jonny and clutched Jonny’s fat arm.

Jonny felt as if there was a blow of the wind behind his back. “For the sake of selling a piece of art…if Kimura could be younger and firmer, OK…but seriously? FML!”

When the two men left the exhibition, Jonny wanted to suggest Kimura have another look at the painting he wanted to sell him. But Kimura asked Jonny to back to his place for a coffee. “My wife is out for her pilates class and shopping;  there’s no one in my house,” Kimura smirked. “Oh FML…” It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon, he could have been staying in bed and skyping with his boyfriend Sidney, the one he met in Miami at Gagosian’s Desire Exhibition: http://picassoandthesinglegirl.com/an-exhibition-named-desire/


“Well, it’s really not easy being a hot art dealer.” Jonny thought to himself.

-The End-


Images|Provided by Pace Gallery & Shoot by Veela

Photo of Luning Wang

Luning Wang

Luning is a London-based writer and arts & lifestyle journalist. “Picasso and the Single Girl” is dedicated to the stories and species of the art world, cosmopolitan life, modern dilemma and female brilliance. Luning also consults European brands on their Chinese marketing and media strategies.
Photo of Luning Wang

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