Hong Kong – Jean-Michel Othoniel: “Monumental Structures” at Galerie Perrotin Through June 21st 2014

May 28th, 2014


Jean-Michel Othoniel, Double Collier Autoporté Or (2014), all images courtesy Galerie Perrotin Hong Kong

On view at Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong is a solo exhibition of sculptures by French contemporary artist Jean-Michel Othoniel. For the works, great hanging sculptures composed of glass that Othoniel made in collaboration with a Feng Shui Master. Seeking to create forms that originate in human life, the works seek to achieve a symbiosis with the space that they inhabit.

Jean-Michel Othoniel, Monumental Sculptures, (detail)
Jean-Michel Othoniel, Monumental Sculptures, (detail)

Born in 1964 in Saint-Étienne, France, Othoniel currently lives and works in Paris, and often works to create site-specific works.  In 2000, he transformed the Paris subway entrance at the Palais-Royal Musée du Louvre station into a “Pavilion of the Nightwalkers.” And in 2013, the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo commissioned him to create a permanent work in the Mohri Garden entitled “Kin no Kokoro” to celebrate its 10th anniversary. In September 2014, a group of three majestic fountain sculptures will be inaugurated in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles, at the Water Theatre grove, the first permanent work commissioned from a contemporary artist since Louis XVI.

Jean-Michel Othoniel, Monumental Sculptures, (Installation View)
Jean-Michel Othoniel, Monumental Sculptures, (Installation View)

Feng Shui, the Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing the human existence with its environment, is one of the Five Arts of Chinese Metaphysics, and classified as physiognomy – the observation of appearances through formulas and calculations.  Its goal, to situate the human-built environment in areas with good qi, translated as “energy” in the sense of “life force,” in turn considers a structure’s orientation, age, and interaction with the environment, with a goal of creating the “perfect” location and time for a particular manmade object. In accordance with these theories, Othoniel has constructed 4 mirrored, abstract sculptures that strive to celebrate, or simply fit comfortably (“perfectly”) inside the space in which they are displayed.

Jean-Michel Othoniel, Monumental Sculptures, (Installation View)
Jean-Michel Othoniel, Monumental Sculptures, (Installation View)

Utilizing the artist’s trademark mirrored orbs, Double Collier Autoporté Or is displayed over the entrance of the gallery building, emoting a first impression of orderliness and gravity – large red beads hung like a necklace. The three knot sculptures displayed inside, named Nœd rose miroirNœd rouge miroir, and Nœd ambre miroir aim for “emotional geometry,” adornments seemingly unimposed by the forces of physics.  The sculptures are mounted on circular mirrors, so that their footprints extend into the ground, seemingly floating on reflecting pools – or growing roots below the surface – as the beads’ reflective surfaces create a mirroring effect of the structure within itself.

Jean-Michel Othoniel, Monumental Sculptures, (Installation View)
Jean-Michel Othoniel, Monumental Sculptures, (Installation View)

“Monumental Sculptures” is a part of the  Hong Kong festival Le French, May 2014. The exhibition opened on May 13th and will remain on view at Galerie Perrotin through June 21, 2014.

Jean-Michel Othoniel, Monumental Sculptures, (Installation View)
Jean-Michel Othoniel, Monumental Sculptures, (Installation View)

—E. Baker

Related Links:
Exhibition Page [Galerie Perrotin]