Frieze sculpture 2017

Bernar Venet, 17 Acute Unequal Angles (2016)  Ugo Rondinone, summer moon (2011)

Bernar Venet, 17 Acute Unequal Angles (2016)

Top left & bottom: Bernar Venet, 17 Acute Unequal Angles (2016); Bottom right: Ugo Rondinone, summer moon (2011)


Regent’s Park is one of my favourite parks in London, and it becomes more enthralling in the summer when part of it is turned into a sculpture park by Frieze. I believe that art needs to be accessible to the public, hence, I consider this annual temporary outdoor display of works by contemporary artists a highlight of the city.

As always, there are sculptures that are intriguing, bizarre, incomprehensible, fun, and underwhelming… but it is always a joy to watch how people interact with them. The sculptures will be on display until 8th October, so there is plenty of time to see them for yourself.


Thomas J Price, Numen (Shifting Votive One, Two and Three) (2016)  Miquel Barceló, Gran Elefandret (2008)

Thomas J Price, Numen (Shifting Votive One, Two and Three) (2016)

John Wallbank, Untitled (Sewn Cube) (2016)  Rasheed Araeen, Summertime

Top left & 2nd row: Thomas J Price, Numen (Shifting Votive One, Two and Three) (2016); Top right: Miquel Barceló,Gran Elefandret (2008); Bottom left: John Wallbank, Untitled (Sewn Cube) (2016); Bottom right: Rasheed Araeen, Summertime – The Regents Park (2017)


Tony Cragg, Stroke, 2014

Jaume Plensa, Tribute to dom Thierry Ruinart (2016)  Magdalena Abakanowicz, Standing Figure with Wheel (1990)

Top: Tony Cragg, Stroke (2014); Bottom left: Jaume Plensa, Tribute to dom Thierry Ruinart (2016); Bottom right: Magdalena Abakanowicz, Standing Figure with Wheel (1990)


Michael Craig-Martin, Wheelbarrow (red) (2013)

KAWS, FINAL DAYS (2013)  Eduardo Paolozzi, Vulcan (1999)

Top: Michael Craig-Martin, Wheelbarrow (red) (2013); Bottom left: KAWS, FINAL DAYS (2013); Bottom right: Eduardo Paolozzi, Vulcan (1999)


John Chamberlain, FIDDLERSFORTUNE (2010)

Peter Regli, Reality Hacking No 348 (2017)  Hank Willis Thomas, Endless Column (2017)

Top: John Chamberlain, FIDDLERSFORTUNE (2010); Bottom left: Peter Regli, Reality Hacking No 348 (2017); Bottom right: Hank Willis Thomas, Endless Column (2017)



Serpentine Pavilion & Grayson Perry’s exhibition 2017

serpentine pavilion 2017

serpentine pavilion 2017  serpentine pavilion 2017


This year’s Serpentine pavilion is designed by Diébédo Francis Kéré, the Berlin-based African architect from Gando, Burkina Faso.

Inspired by the tree that serves as a central meeting point for life in his home town of Gando, Francis Kéré‘s design aims to connect its visitors to nature – and each other. The expansive wooden roof is supported by a central steel framework, and it mimics a tree’s canopy, allowing air to circulate freely while offering shelter against London rain and summer heat. In the case of rain, an oculus funnels water from the roof into a spectacular waterfall effect, before it is evacuated through a drainage system in the floor for later use in irrigating the park.


serpentine pavilion 2017  serpentine pavilion 2017

serpentine pavilion 2017

serpentine pavilion 2017  serpentine pavilion 2017


In my opinion, this pavilion is a more back-to-basic one compared to the previous few. It is neither conspicuous nor insipid; it is simple, low-tech but heedful and inviting. I particularly like the subtle African influence: the indigo blue timber screened walls and the intricate canopy roof patterns that resemble the texture of a woven cloth.

Before my visit, I had little expectations as the photographs of the pavilion didn’t appeal to me very much. Yet my opinion changed as soon as arrived, and I realised that the photos don’t do the structure justice. It is necessary to walk around it and sit inside/outside of it to fully appreciate this open and humane pavilion that employs design to connect people with nature and each other.


grayson perry exhibition

grayson perry exhibition  grayson perry exhibition  grayson perry

grayson perry exhibition


Inside the Serpentine Gallery, a new exhibition Grayson Perry: The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever! is currently showing until 10th Sept. As one of the most astute commentators on contemporary society and culture in Britain, Perry‘s works at the show focus on many themes including politics, sexuality, injustice, and social issues. Perry has always enjoyed being controversial; and he has worked with various traditional media like tapestry, pottery and woodcuts etc, which can all be seen at this show.


grayson perry exhibition

grayson perry exhibition  grayson perry exhibition


I thought Perry‘s previous tapestry series “The Vanity of Small Differences” (2012) on Britain’s classes and aesthetic tastes was fascinating, and so were the entertaining TV programmes that accompanied the series. However, I didn’t enjoy this show at all as I found the works to be quite superficial. His current popularity status and works remind me of Andy Warhol at the peak of his career – both are excellent marketers of their own brand. There are some arresting works at the show, but others are repetitive, intentionally kitsch, and rather shallow. Has it got to do with the curator’s choice or has Perry run out of new ideas?

Once upon a time, art used to be influential and awe-inspiring; sadly, our narcissistic and celebrity-obsessed society has changed the arts and cultural landscape immensely. Today, art is about business and profits, and it is why the contemporary art scene is so banal, meaningless and irrelevant.

V & A’s new Exhibition Road Quarter & Reveal Festival

v & a sackler centre


On the last day of V & A’s Reveal Festival, I visited the museum hoping to see some performances, yet I saw a transformed new quarter which took me by surprise.

The £54.5 million project was designed by Stirling Prize-winning British architect Amanda Levete and her firm AL_A, providing an extra 6,400 square metres of space for the museum. Her firm’s design was chosen to replace star architect Daniel Libeskind‘s £100m winning proposal ‘Spiral’ – a conspicuous design that looks completely out of place (like his usual designs) with its surroundings. After an eight-year battle for approval and funding, the project was rejected and the Levete‘s project was announced in 2012.


v & a sackler centre

V & A

v & a sackler centre

v & a sackler centre


I think this twist of fate turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the museum. Not only the new quarter costed about £46 million less than the Libeskind’s original proposal, it also highlights the historic Aston Webb Screen which had been restored and resembled at the entrance of the new courtyard. 11,000 handmade white porcelain tiles inscribed with graphic lines and faceted geometries were laid on the ground of the courtyard, accompanied by a Zaha Hadid-style structure, which houses a cafe. I am not entirely convinced about the porcelain tiles as I can see how dirty they can get in winter/ during the rainy months. The idea is an interesting one but not exactly practical.


V & A Sainsbury Gallery  V & A Sainsbury Gallery

V & A Sainsbury Gallery

V & A Sainsbury Gallery

V & A Sainsbury Gallery


I was, however, more impressed by the 1,100 square metre column-free Sainsbury Gallery built underneath the courtyard. During my visit, the gallery’s first commission ‘Shade’ (part of the Reveal Festival) was installed by artist Simon Heijdens. Choreographed by the wind passing outside, Shade is a cellular glass that filtered natural sunlight into a play of light and shadow, filling the interior gallery space with a pattern of light driven by the wind and the sun.



Julie Cunningham & Company

Another event that took place at the festival was Julie Cunningham & Company’s new site-specific dance performance inspired by Yoko Ono’s ‘Dance Pieces’. Audience followed four dancers as they moved through spaces inside the Museum and performed among art, sculptures and architecture.