04 Apr 2010
20 Jun 2010




Feelings are facts - Olafur Eliasson and Ma Yansong
April 3 - June 20, 2010
Curated by Jérôme Sans and Guo Xiaoyan

The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) presents the exhibition Feelings are facts, from 4 April to 20 June 2010, fruit of the first collaboration between Olafur Eliasson, the Danish-Icelandic artist, and Ma Yansong, one of the most prolific Chinese architects. Together the artists have created an installation specially conceived for the of UCCA’s Big Hall, uniting architecture, light and fog.

Eliasson is known for his exploration of human perception, and he often works with light, shadows, color, water, wind, or fog to create a specific environment in order to move us to think about our experience of our surroundings – perceptions we usually take to be self-evident. Ma's architecture stands at the forefront of new experimentation in building structures, refashioning form in bold pursuits of perfection.

Their collaboration invites the audience to enter an endless space of fog, with color emanating from fluorescent tubes of red, green and blue. By moving through the space, the colors blend, and so the viewers will endlessly create their own color spectrums.

In Feelings are facts, Olafur Eliasson and Ma Yansong challenge our everyday patterns of spatial orientation, thereby suggesting the need to invent new models for perception. The installation was specially crafted to fit the Big Hall of the UCCA, the dimensions of which were altered by substantially lowering the ceiling and constructing an inclined wooden floor.

“UCCA is proud to present Feelings are facts, an exhibition which catalyzes a dynamic cross-fertilization between art and architecture. The final result is born of a unique collaboration between Eliasson and Ma. This breathtaking installation promises to transport the viewer on a journey which reverses his normal art experience.  Here the spectator, rather than simply viewing an art object from the outside, surprisingly witnesses himself becoming an integral part of the artwork. The viewer enters a world of extra-sensorial perception whereby color, light and architecture enable him to re-evaluate his relationship with his surroundings,” says UCCA Director, Jérôme Sans.

Basing this project on a series of previous experiments with atmospheric density, Eliasson introduces condensed banks of artificially produced fog into the gallery. Hundreds of fluorescent lights are installed in the ceiling as a grid of red, green, and blue zones. By permeating the fog, these lights create colored walk-through spaces that, in Eliasson’s words, function to ‘make the volume of the space explicit’. The colored zones introduce a scale of measurement in the gallery, their varying size and organization referencing urban-planning grids. At each color boundary, two hues blend to create transitional slivers of cyan, magenta, or yellow, and so the visitors will create their own unique color spectrum when making their way through this seemingly endless space. The artists use this structural marvel to present inquiries into the nature of reality. What should be the basis of our thinking and judgement in a space where reality and illusion interconnect? As we stand amidst such accomplished phenomena, can we re-examine with greater concern our sensations and experiences of that which is around us?

This exhibition has been made possible with the support of LVMH / Moët Hennessy . Louis Vuitton and Zhongtai Lighting.

The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) is a non-profit, comprehensive art center founded in Beijing by collectors Guy and Myriam Ullens in November 2007. UCCA presents exhibitions of established and emerging artists and develops a trusted platform to share knowledge through education and research.

Olafur Eliasson, Ma Yansong - Feelings are facts, 2010
Olafur Eliasson, Ma Yansong - Feelings are facts, 2010
Olafur Eliasson, Ma Yansong - Feelings are facts, 2010
General information

Ullens Center for Contemporary Art

798 Art District,No.4 Jiuxianqiao Lu,

P.O. Box 8503, Chaoyang District, Beijing P.R.China 100015

Tel: +86 10 8459 9269

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