Contemporary Archives

Herzog & de Meuron are in town! Building on history or Discovering the Tate Modern

Herzog & de Meuron are in town! Building on history or Discovering the Tate Modern

When I first discovered Herzog & de Meuron’s ‘customized architectural work’, I was living in London. I remember entering the Turbine Hall at the newly converted Tate Modern.

That was in 2000; and we were stepping into the 21st century!

The first feeling was close to the one of entering a cathedral, where one is overwhelmed by first a cavernous smell, and second a sense of enclosed space; feeling the negative space delimitated by a solid structure as opposed to feeling the building’s walls.

From the side entrance (which I recommend if you are a first comer) the slope gradually descends towards the center of the ‘mine’, which is accentuated by its huge head room. I remember thinking: What a luxury of space ! (something I’ve never seen before in a gallery). And then, higher up, you discover protruding blocks coming out of the left wall, as if suddenly you are outside looking at a building! These blocks have big openings with window areas in aqua colour, giving again a futuristic sense (remember, we are in 2000!). Now imagine that behind that wall are the exhibitions venues.

But you are not thinking about the exhibits yet, you are experiencing this gigantic hall!

Herzog & de Meuron made a point of redesigning the power station: expressing architectural qualities of the old building as well as the qualities of the space in the purposely converted art gallery.

Two of their new converted buildings will be unveiled in HK in the coming months. I wonder what they have ‘in the bag’ for the future M+ Museum for Visual Culture and the Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts?!

Frederique Decombe, 2nd May 2018
Visual Art Teacher, and Course leader of Mentor Studio and Textile Tactile

FACES PLACES – “The Best Documentary of the Year” recommended by Jennifer Lee

FACES PLACES – “The Best Documentary of the Year” recommended by Jennifer Lee

Faces Places (French: Visages Villages) is a 2017 French documentary film directed by Agnes Varda and Jean-Paul Beaujon. They both share a lifelong passion for images and how they are created, displayed and shared with the community. The film brings two individuals together who travel across rural and industrial France, creating portraits of people they come across. In the film, the artists create murals of some of their interview subjects, magnifying and honoring them on a scale usually reserved for public and historic figures.

Agnes Varda, 89 years old, is a French filmmaker with two-tone white and red hair. She is very old school, preferring to write letters even in the modern era. Jean-Paul Beaujon, commonly known as JR, 33 years old, is a French street artist who never takes off his hat and dark sunglasses in front of the camera.

Agnes Varda, 89 years old, is a French filmmaker with two-tone white and red hair. She is very old school, preferring to write letters even in the modern era. Jean-Paul Beaujon, commonly known as JR, 33 years old, is a French street artist who never takes off his hat and dark sunglasses in front of the camera.

Keeping Up to date with Contemporary Art!

Keeping Up to date with Contemporary Art!

Visiting Damien Hirst’s exhibition ‘Visual Candy vs Natural History’ at Gagosian Gallery made me wonder about the connections we find between contemporary art and science. Hirst is known for his installations, sculptures, paintings and drawings that explore these connections. This exhibition showed Hirst’s pickled animals, and decapitated heads that were surrounded by vibrant, coloured oil paintings. It was inspiring, thought provoking and interesting. What projects have you done that connect art and science?

Tell us about what exhibitions you have seen recently!

Hermione Macmillan,
Programme designer/
facilitator of Sketchbook Studies &
Painting at CMW