International exhibitions

International 2010 Archives

Olafur Eliasson and Ma Yansong, Feelings are facts
UCCA, Beijing (China)

04.04 - 20.06.2010

04.06- 15.08.2010


07.09 - 25.11.2012

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Press release

Today sees the formal opening of UCCA's new exhibition Feelings are facts by Danish-Iclandic artist Olafur Eliasson and Chinese architect Ma Yansong. This will be the first collaboration between the two artists, each of whom represents unique endeavors and cultural backgrounds. Together they invite the audiences to enjoy an astounding artistic experience crafted by their exceptional powers of imagination.

"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 leading European artist Olafur Eliasson and China's outstanding young architect, Ma Yansong. 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. The dialogue between Olafur Eliasson and Ma Yansong has invented an inspirational synergy between nature and our current urban environment, allowing the viewer a new perceptual encounter with himself." says UCCA Director, Jérôme Sans.

Eliasson's practice is characterized by his incessant exploration of our modes of perception. One of his focal ideas is to prompt us, the viewers or users of his works, to examine the conditions of our perceptions through our individual experiences, thus enabling us to re-evaluate our notions of what it means to be and act in the world; to consider the consequences of our feelings and actions, in art and in society at large.

Architect Ma Yansong has found fame through his buildings, realised with the newest materials and latest techniques. His designs are based upon ground-breaking experiments in architectural form that give his built objects a bold and living vitality.

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.

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?



Olafur Eliasson and Ma Yansong, Feelings are facts, UCCA, Beijing

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2012. All Rights Reserved

Exhibition 4 April - 20 June 2010. Ullens Center for Contemporary Art - UCCA, 798 Art District, N°4 Jiuxianqiao Road - Chaoyang District - Beijing, 100015 (P.R. China). Tel.: +86 10 84 59 92 69. Open Tuesday-Sunday 10am-7pm.