INFRA | 临时工作室
solo exhibition GCA Chongqing
Galaxy Museum of Contemporary Art, Chongqing, China
‘INFRA’ | 临时工作室
Opening October 22, 2017
solo exhibition at The Galaxy Museum of Contemporary Art
22 October - 3 December 2017
drawings, models, installation, photography, mural
produced by Huang Zhonghua - Yang Shu, art director - Li Li, curator
Especially for this exhibition Frank Havermans has made the futuristic installation ‘TOFUD#GCA-CQ-6FC’. Six black urban models float through the space of GCA. Next to this big universe hangs ‘TOFUD#Chongqing-BB2’, which Havermans created in Chongqing in 2016. It is based on the relationship between Chongqing’s unique type of laborers ‘Bangbang’ (professional porters in Chongqing who use bamboo sticks as tools for their work) and the city Chongqing. The signature bamboo (or wooden) stick held on the bangbang’s shoulder is transformed by Havermans into something with a different look – one with a cross-shaped cross section. While the city is expanding at an extremely rapid speed, bangbang men are disappearing from the urban scene at a similarly rapid speed. Havermans’s stick is not round-shaped – it has edges and corers. One could imagine that it must be very painful to use Havermans’s stick to carry any heavy parcels, similar to the ways part of the population have been struggling painstakingly to adapt to the ever-faster pace of the modern day. There is an object suspending from the stick by a thin wooden stick; it looks like a black rock that’s cut into pieces, then re-assembled into a futuristic-looking object; this object actually stands for the ‘Mountain City’ Chongqing, which suspends in a seemingly dangerous manner in midair. The tension and stress that faces the entire city of Chongqing is thus expressed subtly.
Other more two-dimensional works, for example this huge drawing on the wall is named ‘INFRA # habor 1’. It is a unique combination of manmade landscape: the huge black shadow is the plans of various seaports in the world; these plans are layered on top of each other by the artist disregarding their geographical locations, therefore the shadow looks quite unfamiliar to our eyes. Seaports as three-dimensional existences are converted into two-dimensional objects on this drawing. The shapes stand out as bizarre and the composition of the drawing is highly disproportionate – it jumps at the audience in the exhibition room. From an overlooking perspective, the artist shows us – the Creators – what our needs have given birth to in an unusual way. These ports come into being through land reclamation, which is a direct reflection of how humans have been developing and expanding their cities. There is another group of mixed media drawings, which are selections from the year of 1995 (when Havermans initially started drawing) till the present day. Apart from two-dimensional elements, layers can be added to the drawings too– one layer of putty, two layers of putty, one layer of ink, two layers of ink… Similar to the expansion of cities, these expansions and layering may or may not carry on with a sense of direction.
Every work contains a large amount of information and delicate details that are worth pondering on; the materials he uses and the shapes he adopts are metaphors; behind their clean and simple looks hides their complex relationships with the society and with the human desires. We hope that through this exhibition, our audience will learn about the methods and works of Frank Havermans, and also see how the artist’s is constantly reflecting and practicing in his art creation.