Hu Bing at the Flatiron Prow Art Space
Hu Bing’s Shattered Debris, Sheer Transformation fills the triangular tip that the Flatiron Building interjects onto 23rd Street where Broadway and Fifth Avenue intersect. Her gloriously crowded installation is made of broken sake bottles hung from the ceiling, shards of automotive glass, iron, resin, and cheesecloth draped chaise lounges. At the apex of the triangle, the artist placed a table complete with colored bottles that are set on broken windshields, while in the center of the piece we find the chaise lounges. The work is about some of the anger and alienation Hu felt on experiencing the Cultural Revolution in Shanghai. The broken bottles are dangerous but also beautiful, signifying that Hu is capable of transforming some of the negative emotions she felt during that tumultuous period in China. Additionally, the broken glass represents the shock Hu felt on seeing cars that crashed outside her window in Williamsburg, where she first lived in New York. Her piece is a dark elegy for survival–by someone who has lived on the edge in two different cultures. JONATHAN GOODMAN
Hu Bing, Shattered Debris, Sheer Transformation at the Flatiron Prow Art Space, March 2 to June 3, 2012.