‘Untitled’ by Wendy Tai

The vast majority of Wendy Tai’s artworks are concerned with questioning and subverting the viewer’s perceptions of the space of the art gallery. Included in the brief for her most recent installation, Untitled, Tai commented that gallery visitors “are socially conditioned to treat artwork[s] as precious and sacred – we speak softly in museums, we maintain respectable distance, we are never to touch the work.” However, this is not the case with Tai’s interactive art.

In a move to disrupt the boundaries between the gallery and the self, as well as the distinctions between viewer and artist, the viewers of Untitled were invited to walk over the charcoal portraits on the floor of the gallery. The images included in this post display the progression from the originally defined and detailed drawings, which ironically picture gallery goers contemplating non-existent artworks, to the smears and footprints that have re-imaged the surface of the gallery floor.

The blurred palimpsest shows traces of what was initially there, but what I find particularly exciting about Tai’s piece is that the viewer is made an active participant in the art-making process. By literally walking on and effacing the illustrated gallery visitors, the viewer asserts his or her presence in the gallery and within the artwork itself.

Tai’s work can be viewed on her online portfolio and on her artist page for Hong Kong gallery MobArt.

8 Comments ‘Untitled’ by Wendy Tai

  1. kg April 27, 2010 at 10:41 AM

    just like fluxus!

  2. Tristan April 27, 2010 at 8:16 PM

    Very clever! I like how the scuff marks add to the art.

  3. Pingback: Untitled auf BILDBUNT | Design, Kunst, Kultur, Inspiration & Experimente

  4. Danica van de VeldeDanica van de Velde April 30, 2010 at 3:40 AM

    @ KG – Snap! That’s so true.

    @ GJ – Thanks for the link. Even his website is impressive. I particularly like his “environmental integrations.”

    @ Tristan – Yeah, the concept is so thoughtful, but also straight forward. I wish I had thought of it :)

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  6. Sundari Carmody May 1, 2010 at 5:14 AM

    The best kind of art, I find, is when you think ‘oh my goodness, I wish I thought of that’. I think this is brilliant.

  7. Pingback: ‘Untitled’ reviewed by several blogs « "living life consciously"

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