Anthony Gormley: Asian Field
M+ Gallery – Until Jul 03, 2022 Hong Kong (China)
In 2003, British artist Antony Gormley invited around 300 people of all ages from Xiangshan Village (now Huadong Town in Guangzhou City) to make around 200,000 clay figurines in five days. There were three simple instructions: each figure had to be hand-sized, able to stand, and have two eyes. Otherwise, each manufacturer was free to improvise. As an installation, Asian Field is meant to be experienced from one point of view. When you gaze upon a sea of figures, they seem to be looking back.
This installation belongs to Field, a series that Gormley started in 1989. Other versions of Field have been produced in Australia, North and South America, the United Kingdom and Europe. In each location, the artist uses locally sourced clay and engages local communities to mold the figures by hand. By far the largest and most ambitious work in the series, Asian Field reflects the vast territory and large population of China.
This presentation also features the work of photographer Zhang Hai’er, who captured and documented the making of Asian Field. Zhang paired each creator and one of their works in a series of photographic portraits. The subjects of the portrait stared intently into the camera, allowing us to imagine how their character and attitude might be transferred into the characters they created.
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