【獵戶座的腰帶 – 巴梅莉個展】 | Orion’s Belt – Maria BARBAN Solo Exhibition | 2023.10.25-11.15
2023 年 10 月 29 日
在2013年我上一次來到日本東京時，非常幸運的在六本木的新美術館參觀了「貴婦人與獨角獸展」，此展展出了全長22公尺的六面連作大幅掛毯。The Lady and the Unicorn中文翻譯為「淑女與獨角獸」，是文藝復興歐洲掛毯中最為著名一個系列，此系列掛毯主題涵義並不易顯，被解釋為通過感官寓言表達對塵世享樂和宮廷文化的沉思。能在一趟原本以為只是普通旅行裡意料之外地一覽了憧憬許久的神秘掛毯原作是非常大的驚喜，巨大尺幅原作給予的靈光（aura）是複製品無可比擬的。出自於對古典藝術的眷戀，我將古典藝術的作品放入AI圖像生成軟體工具，與其他由我拍攝的照片或網際網路搜索的圖像合成出一些看起來像是古典再進化的「混血兒」，作為創作圖像參考，繼緬懷古典藝術，也稱頌ai人工智慧新時代。
Neptune Gallery is honored to collaborate for the first time with the Shihodo Gallery in Japan to present the solo exhibition “Orion’s Belt” by the artist, Maria BARBAN, at its Ginza branch in Tokyo. This marks the artist’s first solo exhibition overseas, showcasing new works that combine techniques such as foil application and silk printing. The exhibition expands classical and even Renaissance historical texts into the intellectual currents of artificial intelligence, using contemporary art as a medium to reflect on the existential significance of our current time and space. The exhibition is held from October 25 (Wednesday) to November 15 (Wednesday), with an opening tea party scheduled for October 28 (Saturday) at 4:00 PM Japan time. The artist will be present at the Shihodo Gallery, and we sincerely invite you to attend.
The exhibition’s title, “Orion’s Belt,” is inspired by the brightest and most well-known stars in the Orion constellation, particularly the three stars of Alnitak. Although these stars carry diverse stories and meanings across different cultures and eras, they are often regarded as guiding lights, resembling the gateway to heaven. For the artist, the flash of inspiration is the most crucial aspect of creation. In line with the artist’s narrative for the exhibition, the pivotal moment occurred several years ago during an unexpected visit to the “Lady and the Unicorn Exhibition” in Roppongi, where the memory and awe of the 22-meter-long Renaissance tapestry “Lady and the Unicorn” became the illuminating spark for this current body of work.
The eight new pieces on display pay homage to classical art forms such as totems, symbols, carvings, and decorations. They incorporate the artist’s iconic cross-cultural ‘mixed’ visual style. When combined with AI-generated ‘post-classical’ imagery, the exhibition employs technology to reproduce the artist’s affection and admiration for classical art and the Renaissance. The works further integrate techniques such as silk printing and black foil to create a composite texture, disassembling and reconstructing images in a collage style that is both profound and elegant, carefully sculpting the artist’s contemplation of the imagery of our present time and space.
The constellation Orion, one of the best known constellations, shines brightly in the winter sky of the Northern Hemisphere. Its pattern, often thought to represent the human form, is distinguished by its most prominent feature: the Orion Belt, which consists of three stars aligned in a straight line, marking Orion’s “waist” According to celestial observations dating back to about 1050 B.C., the ancient Egyptians aligned the construction of the Pyramids of Giza with the Orion Belt, using the Nile River as their Milky Way. They believed that the gods resided in Orion and that the gateway to heaven led through Orion’s belt.
During my visit to Tokyo, Japan, in 2013, I was fortunate to visit “The Lady and the Unicorn Exhibition” at the Mori Art Museum in Roppongi. This exhibition featured a series of six monumental tapestries with a total length of 22 meters. “The Lady and the Unicorn” is one of the most famous series of European tapestries of the Renaissance. Its thematic meaning is not easily discernible and has been interpreted as an allegorical reflection on earthly pleasures and courtly culture through the use of the senses. It was a great surprise to see the original and eagerly awaited mysterious tapestries during what I initially thought was an ordinary trip. The aura that emanated from the colossal originals was incomparable to reproductions.
Driven by my love of classical art, I integrated classical artworks into AI image generation tools and combined them with other photographs I took or images I found on the internet to create seemingly “mixed” classical artworks that serve as references for my artistic compositions. This endeavor is both a tribute to classical art and a tribute to the new era of artificial intelligence. In my latest works for this exhibition, I have combined oil painting and silkscreen techniques, using carefully selected black foil. This black foil is made from pure silver foil and is extremely brittle and fragile due to its complete charring. Its unique qualities include delicate, magnetic patterns, unique colors and textures that exude a discreet and noble mystique. In my creative process, I paid tribute to the “mille-fleurs” style of early Renaissance European tapestries, which consists of various small flowers and plants forming the background, without overlap, perspective or depth. The core of my work and technique is simple, but carries a hint of religious spirituality and philosophical reflection, speaking directly to the meaning behind the title of the exhibition.