Wang Jianwei's Time Temple Review

Today was my first trip to the Guggenheim museum, and after this experience, I think it is safe to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I found the Guggenheim to be a refreshing museum experience- not only because of its architecture, but also its experimental, avant garde exhibits, and of course, Wang Jianwei’s Time Temple.


As we were walking towards the Guggenheim, my first impressions of it were, “It’s a little small for such a famous museum.” However, once inside, I realized that I was wrong, and that Frank Lloyd Wright was an architectural genius- the spiral shape allowed the museum to be far more, or at least appear to be, expansive. Not only that, it was really cool to walk around all the way up without any stairs, and it was interesting that all the actual exhibits were behind the spiral (Fun fact- our tour guide told our group that it was specifically designed this way, so that people could not see any of the artwork from the ground floor.).


Wang Jianwei’s Time Temple was one of my favorite art pieces that we saw this year, besides Tom Smith’s Heavenly Bodies at the Rox Gallery. Maybe it was because of all the previous exposure to abstract art this year, but this installation was the first time I was able to “see something” about the art that made sense. I cannot describe how, but I was somehow able to link the sculptures and physical installations to the painting of the meeting, seeing the wooden sculptures as physical representations of the painted table. Whether or not this was Wang Jianwei’s intention, I felt a lot less confused about this installation than other works of art that we saw this year.

Another thing that I liked about Wang Jianwei’s exhibit was the use of space. Our tour guide told us that Wang Jianwei literally came the day before the show was supposed to open and created the exhibit there. For example, in the painting there is a blue line that runs where the ceiling meets the floor in the painting. This is supposed to be a representation of the way the wall that the painting is hung on meets the floor.


In addition, once we walk into the room, we become a part of the exhibit- we can get so close to the wood sculptures that nothing is stopping us from touching them except for watchful museum guards. I enjoyed walking between the two large sculptures and feeling awkward and unsettled, almost as if I was supposed to do that but not do that. The painting of the cell was also interesting because of the use of his colors. The tour guide also explained that the yellow color was meant to represented indecision when we looked at the portrait- when we look at traffic lights, yellow is when you have to decide whether to speed up to beat the light or slow down.


Besides Time Temple, I had the opportunity to walk around the museum and explore other exhibits. I found them to be very unique- they made me feel as though I was walking among showcases at a World’s Fair, even though I’ve never been to one. For example one of the pieces, done by Klein was empty- the original art featured him standing there smoking, letting the smoke take on ephemeral shapes and then disappear.

All in all, I am very appreciative of the fact that our last trip turned out to be such a pleasant experience, and one where I feel that I have finally begun to grasp the idea and abstractions of contemporary art. I will really miss outings, and am very thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to go and experience the arts of New York City.

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Wang Jianwei's Time Temple at the Guggenheim Museum

Solomon-R-Guggenheim-MuseumWalking towards the Guggenheim for the first time, the first piece of art I noticed was not Jianwei’s Time Temple but the architecture of the Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The building from the outside has a cylindrical shape with the rings increasing in width from bottom to top, and the building itself look likes a sculpture. Going inside, the levels of the building combined is one continuous spiral. What I liked about this design was that the works of art were displayed in004 the open (I could see a piece of work looking at it from a floor above) and you see each piece of art as you transition from the bottom to the top of the spiral.


After staring at the architecture of the Guggenheim, our group was taken into a room and we began looking at Time Temple.


The installation was composed of sculptures and paintings. For the sculptures, the aspect that caught my interest was the hundreds of cuts made into each wooden block. Not oTime Temple 1nly were there many cuts, but each cut was different in angle and size creating this complex and highly precise sculpture. I learned later from our tour guide that Jianwei did not plan out every cut from the beginning rather the process for Jianwei was gradual. He did not have an idea what the sculptures were going to look like in the end. Rather, Jianwei made cuts into the wood everyday until he was satisfied with how the sculpture looked. For a person like me who plans and outlines, learning of Jianwei’s approach to creating these sculptures was surprising and at the same time fascinating.

WANG_JIANWEI_cacf3c_cFor the paintings, the one that caught my eye was this one with a bright orange background surrounding something that resembled a microscopic cell or organism. What was interesting about this painting was how Jianwei used different types of paints to present a message on time. In contrast to the bright orange and yellow, the black is oil paint and the oil paint represents ancient China when most paintings were black and white oil paintings while the orange and yellow represents modern China. Through the juxtaposition of these colors, Jianwei presents a message about convention in modern China and a message about the movement of time.



Overall, Wang Jianwei’s Time Temple was an unique and interesting installation. The abstraction of the sculptors and the paintings matched perfectly with the main topic, time, which is also a concept that is full of abstract point of  views.


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Too Many Zooz

Nearly every day, after a long day of school, I find myself hoping that the band “Too Many Zooz” will be playing at the Union Square Subway Station.  This band is completely different than all other public music I have every seen. Drawing crowds of hundreds of people and  playing extremely catchy tunes with a saxophone, trumpet, and drums, these guys are on a completely different level than anything I’ve ever seen. They’ve become so famous, that there was recently an article in the New York Post featuring them. Here’s the link:

Here’s them playing, enjoy!


Hopefully you will all keep on the lookout for them next time you’re at the 14th Street Union Square Station!

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Complexions at the Joyce

complexions 2

After an hour of trains and then walking the wrong way, I finally got to Joyce Theater. When I saw Professor Eversley, she said we hadn’t gotten the best seats. Just our luck, right? But then we went inside and it was kind of a shock for me. After seeing the performance of Carmen in the Metropolitan Opera, it was disconcerting to realize how intimate this theater was. But it was also a lot less formal, which I personally liked.

Moving on to the show. WOW. There were definitely some parts where I was like, “HUH?” because usually there’s a story for everything we watch. But I realized that when dancers perform, their movements tell the story. The audience is touched not by the words coming out of their mouths—because frankly, there are none—but bcomplexions 1y the way their bodies become the story.

In my opinion, as the show progressed it became more interesting. In the beginning, I was watching the performance but not really into it. The whole Company was dancing, there were so many people on stage that I didn’t know where to look, and the music wasn’t really that exciting. But after the first intermission, things started getting more interesting. The performance of Testament was very interesting because it was probably supposed to have religious implications and Andrew Brader, the male dancer, had a tattoo of a cross. Now I don’t know if this was done on purpose, but it was something that caught my eye and got me thinking.

Throughout the whole show, there were couples dancing together and I realized that dancers really need the support and trust of their fellow dancers because otherwise no one would move! But then again in What Come, Thereafter, the dancer danced alone and that took guts and stamina I was very awed to see.

My favorite performance of the night was definitely The Groove. It was very exciting and I feel it left everyone with a lot of energy. The music, dances, and chemistry on stage just lit it on fire. It was a beautiful thing to watch.

I definitely learned a lot watching these dancers and aspire to be as strong as they’ve become!


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Complexions Modern Dance Review


My first impressions as I walked into the theater told me, “This is no Met.” Similarly, the performances were vastly different. While Carmen was large and very grand, Complexions was smaller and more bare, focusing more on the individual and expressions through body movement.

When the dance began, I was immediately awestruck by the level of athleticism and flexibility each dancer possessed. We sat close enough to see all the muscles flexing during each move, and the dancers’ rising and falling chests as they struggled for air. It was amazing to see all the physical feats that they could do.Following this, however, I quickly became confused. Complexions was for me a very different experience than any theatrical or musical performance that I’ve been to. My sister does traditional ballet, and every year when I go to her recitals the story is very easy to follow and obvious- whether it be the Nutcracker or Swan Lake, it was very easy for me to understand what was going on and what I was looking at. Perhaps that made it more difficult to comprehend Complexions. Throughout each performance, I found it difficult to piece together a concrete storyline; I could not understand how the title related to the moves the dancers were performing. The only visible action throughout the first dance that I could discern were the dancers imitating birds trying to escape a cage, which I found very convincing. By the first intermission, I was unsure of what I was really watching.

Fortunately, the following dances made more sense to me, and the shorter performances helped to clarify some confusions. They indicated to me that the dances focused more on expressing an emotion. I particularly liked the solo dances- I felt the dancer was most “free” and able to express himself the best when he was the focus of the stage.



The final dance began very interestingly, with a loud, upbeat dramatic soundtrack injecting energy and enthusiasm into the performance. However, as it dragged on and on, I felt, once again, confused by what I was watching. While it was entertaining to watch the dancers, I could not figure out any kind of story, or path that the dance was following.

In the end, I was left with a very perplexing view of the ballet.  On one hand, I really enjoyed the dance- it was very graceful and elegant, yet at the same time very powerful and fierce. The athleticism and flexibility of the dancers made a very strong impression on me, and I appreciated how “into” the performance they were, especially Youngsil Kim, the Asian dancer. Even though I couldn’t understand the dance, her constant smile as she performed really helped convey positive emotions to me. I also enjoyed the fact that there was live music playing at times. This really helped bring life to the performances, as opposed to a pre-recorded track sounding robotic and lifeless.

On the other hand, I do not know what to make of the overall performance. With no discernible thing to focus on and say, “Wow, that dance was really good at expressing __”, I am left to wonder about what the nature of the entire program. After reading some of the other posts and looking online, I realized that the dance was focused more on portraying the emotions. Unfortunately, I was unable to realize this during the performance.

Although my feelings of Complexion are not entirely favorable, I did enjoy the experience. I am glad that I was able to see modern up close, and to determine for myself whether I liked it or not. I am grateful that now I have a new appreciation for the art of dance, and how much effort and physical strength is needed. Maybe simply the reason why I didn’t like it as much is because it’s just not my cup of tea. Or maybe it is an acquired taste, and as I become more well-versed in these kinds of things I’ll be able to understand and appreciate them better. Only time will tell.

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Complexions Review

Last night, we were privileged to enjoy a ballet at the Joyce Theatre.




When I first heard that we were seeing a ballet, I imagined it would be a similar experience to the ballet I saw as a child, The Nut Cracker. I don’t remember many the details from that performance however, entering a fancy theatre, seeing elaborate costumes and carefully choreographed dances do still stand out in mind.


Like I said, I don’t really remember much about The Nut Cracker but I do know for sure that “Complexions” was absolutely nothing like it. Of course, I had fair warning; Prof. Eversley told us in class that this modern dance would be the opposite of a classical ballet experience and the article “Modern Dance Primer” by Jessica Moor did explain this as well. But still, it’s hard to believe it until you see it.


Moor writes, “All classical elements of ballet—defying gravity, seamless grace, adherence to form—are challenged in modern dance.” I saw this myself when I was watching the dancers stomping, falling and dancing on the floor and abandoning form for much looser motions. In addition, Moor explains, “While the ballet dancer faces the audience, the modern dancer uses all orientations.” I would say this served as a major advantage for our class, since our seats were positioned on the side.


Prof. Eversley also taught us that these dancers would not be wearing elaborate costumes, rather they would be dressed in a way that focused on the body. This is because classical ballet tried to make you forget the body by having you focus and movements and form, while modern dance wants you to remember you are watching people. The individuality of the dancers was definitely present, which I did find quite beautiful. I noticed that two of the dancers had tattoos, which I think added to the “modern dance” because I assume in a more classical setting, makeup artists would insist on covering the tattoos.


Overall, I can definitely say this Ballet was a new and experience and I am still left in winder from the talent I witnessed last night.



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Coming into this event, I did not know exactly what to expect never having experienced this type of modern live dance. At first, I was a little disappointed that we were sitting in the top row close to the corner, but once the curtains opened up I was surprised by the many physical specimens in front of my eyes, reminding me of Greek sculptures. I was in awe with how much the dancers were able to stretch out their lanky, muscular bodies out. I was additionally very impressed with how (especially in the first scene) all the members of “The Company” were dancing completely in sync and how they were able to remember every single subtle move.

With each new scene came a specific color of attire that all the dancers wore, giving the impression of organized uniformity, however although they wore the same colors, the types of attire varied – from tight pants to tight shorts which added the dimension of individualism and uniqueness.

The dance made me ask myself a few questions:

How did they have the flexibility, stamina, and talent to continuously perform flawlessly over the course of hours?

How did they all walk with a perfect posture on their tippy toes with all  of their body weight pushing down?

How were they able to slide their feet on the ground, or come crashing down on their feet with a loud thump that can be heard from all the way where we were sitting – without hurting themselves?

These questions can all by answered by the sheer talent that these dancers all have and the amount of hard work they put in.

Lastly, I felt that the music was almost as important to the performance, as the dance itself! The music set the audience’s mood and provided us with a lens with which we interpret the dance – whether it be happy, lustful, or sacred.

My first trip to see a modern dance was definitely a success, and I hope to see more performances like this in the future!

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"I AM HARDWELL" at The Garden 11/15/14


This past weekend I was at the iconic Madison Square Garden to see the final stop of the “I Am Hardwell” tour, staring DJ Magazine’s #1 DJ Hardwell. The concert was five hours of energy filled EDM (Electronic Dance) music. This type of music is sometimes criticized as being pointless to go see live, because it is believed that is just as entertaining to put on a pair of headphones and listen to the same pre recorded music that is played at the concert.


However, after my first EDM concert this weekend, I totally disagree with that claim. When I was there in the beginning I wasn’t too sure what to expect. When Dannic was playing his set, he didn’t play too many songs with heavy bass drops, but music to get the crowd in the dancing mood for the main event. Once it was time for the headline act to come onto the stage, it was an experience like no other. One big theme of EDM and these concerts or rave type events is the idea of being one with the music and spirit. Before Hardwell actually came on the stage there was a long intro of a man talking about the universe and dreaming, which made the whole vibe of the even so surreal. After Hardwell came on the stage the crowd was going wild from the beginning to the end of his 3-hour set. Now as I said earlier, all of the music is prerecorded way before the concert date. Having said this, the role that the dj has is to run the energy of the crowd in a way that allows them to be engaged in the music at all times without tiring them out at the same time. They pick and choose songs that they seamlessly mix together with high and low energy levels throughout the night. Without mixing the music the way that Hardwell does so well, the music can become repetitive and boring after a while. What Hardwell does so well is mix the songs in a way that it seams that the beat is always changing but so smoothly that it is all just one big song.

After such a great experience, I can guarantee that I will be attending as many as time and money let me. If you are even slightly into this genre of music I definitely recommend going to one of these concerts, as I believe there is nothing like it.  IMG_1257

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My First Modern Dance Experience: Complexions Contemporary Ballet



Three weeks ago I had first opera experience and now I just had my first modern dance experience seeing Complexions Contemporary Ballet at the Joyce Theater.


The first thing I noticed about the performances were the dancers. All of them were very flexible, and even though I knew beforehand that modern dance requires dancers to be highly flexible, seeing the flexibility in person was astonishing. One of the moments that surprised me was when one of the dancers stood and maintained her balance on her left leg  while lifting her right leg into the air until her legs formed a straight, vertical line; it was something I could never imagine myself doing.


The second aspect  I noticed was the constant shifting of music in pace and tone. The shifts were sudden and they happened not only between  each performance but also in the middle of the performances. For example, during the first performance, Head Space, the music shifted from a slow, gentle tone in the beginning to a more upbeat and faster tone and then to music that sounded alarming and instilled a sense of danger. At first, the constant shifting of the music was confusing and the shifts made it difficult to try and understand what was happening, what was the underlying message or theme in the performance. However, I realized that the constant shifts in music were not used for a theme. Rather they reflected emotions and how in humans, emotions can constantly and suddenly change.


The final aspect I noticed was the lack of a concrete story line and a defining idea for each of the performances which emphasized the idea of freedom associated with modern dance in contrast to traditional ballet. There were no descriptions of each performance in the information booklets given out; each member of the audience was left to decide and interpret the meaning of each performance based solely on what they saw. Although some  performances such as the biblical allusion of The Testament had a general tone to the performance, most were open to many different interpretations.


Overall, my first modern dance experience was definitely something that was very unique; I had never seen people move their legs and arms in that kind of way before so watching modern dance was seeing something that was completely unfamiliar to me.

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