Walking Behind The Sky
"I have walked behind the sky.
For what are you seeking? " (Derek Jarman, Blue, 1993)
“It appears in veins like silver streaks.” In 1271, Marco Polo described the first time he saw Lapis Lazuli in the region of Afghanistan. Once used for decorating Tutankhamun’s Eyebows, Lapis Lazuli was among the first gemstones to be crafted on; it is not until the end of Middle Ages that it was exported to Europe and became the most intense and expensive blue pigment reserved only to crown the privileged figures; in 1706 Johann Jacob Diesbach accidentally synthetized Prussian blue which then gradually replaced Lapis lazuli; after importing the novel pigment to Japan, it burst into Hokusai’s prints as in Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji (early 1830) , the prints in return exerted a powerful influence on European modern painters. Later on, in the extensive experiments of artist, colors were regarded as words yet to be expressed, objects yet to be defined and events yet to be activated; without being bound to representative form, “the pure tone ran out from the paintings […] and became the new object, the new reality” (Fernand Léger,1943).
In 2011, honeysuckle was elected as the “color of year” by Pantone, in the press release it is stated as "In times of stress, we need something to lift our spirits. Honeysuckle is...perfect to ward off the blues." In daily life, we are surrounded by colors serving practical purposes and spoiled by a cheerful system coded by industries that aim to capitalize and reinforce its emotional connotations. Are we still capable of reinventing the moments when colors manage to sneak in and get under our skin, like being shot by a bluet?
This exhibition attempts to plunge into the “blood of sensibility” —blue—by immersing the audience in an emotional space with varied shades through history. Inspired by Robert Rauschenberg’s blue prints series, the show expands into a study on color as culture/visual device and a possible path to marvelous inner life and tangible infinity.