OCMA Season Three: Pacific Rim Artists and the Natural World, Part Two
The most recent manifestation of the Orange County Museum of Art, OCMAEXPAND-SANTA ANA, has taken on the goal of spotlighting emerging artists from around the Pacific Rim region who call attention to meaningful messages of social, political, and cultural change through their work. The museum launched its five season exhibition series in October 2018, and the third season will arrive this fall. The six artists highlighted in Season 3 — Yang Yongliang, Mulyana, Carolina Caycedo, Daniel Duford, Ximena Garrido-Lecca, and Robert Zhao Renhui – each place their own creative twist on what it means to be a conscious citizen in an age where human relationships with the natural world are so complex and loosely defined. In part two, we’ll explore the work of Daniel Duford, Ximena Garrido-Lecca and Robert Zhao Renhui. Read more about artists Yang Yongliang, Mulyana and Caroline Cayecedo in Part One.
North American artist Daniel Duford’s work is simultaneously unique and universal. His style of expression is solely his own, while his base inspiration of mythology allows his evocations of the natural world to be recognizable for all. His exhibition, Underworld Stories Told in Tree Time, is characterized by its bold colors and loose yet targeted brushstrokes, which lend a texturally captivating element to images of a ravenous lion devouring a fragment of honeycomb, or a bear emerging from a cave of debris. The art places a strong emphasis on the idea that this planet is one which endures over centuries, and will continue to endure despite humankind’s insistence on tampering with the earth’s natural state. Duford’s stories shine through his work, and convey the importance of every aspect of nature, even the non-human life forms.
In Spectrums of Reference, Ximena Garrido-Lecca explores the connections and blurred lines between culture, capitalism, technology and the exploitation of natural resources. The primary medium for the exhibition is scraps of silicon which are configured into an assortment of forms, including everything from enormous tawny woven textile boards to abstract geometric vessels inspired by indigenous ritual. Garrido-Lecca’s choice to use silicon comes as a result of her interest in its transformation from a naturally occurring dust to its manufactured form, which is commonly used in technology. While viewing Garrido-Lecca’s work, the audience may ponder the inherent contradiction which lies in the use of natural resources as a means to further industrialism and urbanization. In all, Ximena Garrido-Lecca seeks to investigate the disappearance of “an ancient conception of nature as a living force.”
Robert Zhao Renhui’s debut exhibition in the Unites States is a fascinating photographic study on the importance of insects in global ecosystems, specifically flies and butterflies. Known for his extensive work with creepy-crawly subject matter, the Singaporean artist presents pieces which feel rustically ethereal. The exhibition, Effects, showcases a diverse array of work, including suspended extermination devices such as fly traps, photographic panels painted with fly pheromones, and “a large photographic lexicon documenting 4,784 specimens from a single family of flies.” All of these innovative details work together to provide an experience that emphasizes humankind’s lack of concern for organisms that are considered to be pests, but which realistically play a crucial role in our world.
Visit OCMAEXPAND-SANTA ANA to view Season Three on display from September 21, 2019 – March 15, 2020. OCMAEXPAND-SANTA ANA is located at 1161 W. Sunflower Ave in South Coast Plaza Village. Admission and parking are free and the space is open to the public every Thursday-Sunday.