Water’s Wet: Chelsea Art Museum

When 25 Jun 2010 - 24 Jul 2010
Where Chelsea Art Museum
556 W 22nd St
New York, NY 10011
United States
Enquiry 212.255.0719

Water’s Wet, Christina Mamakos, 2010.  Video still.  Courtesy of the artist and Chelsea Art Museum NY


June 25 – July 24 2010

Opening Reception: June 24, 6-8pm

Press Release:

The Project Room for New Media at Chelsea Art Museum is pleased to announce the opening of water’s wet, by visual artist Christina Mamakos and composer Huang Ruo. Mamakos’s immersive video installation integrates painterly depictions of water with music by composer-musician Huang Ruo, whose inventive musical voice draws influence from both eastern and western traditional and contemporary genres. Guest curator for this exhibition is Santiago Navila.

Using video to capture images as representation of matter, artist Christina Mamakos approaches the surface of the sea from below. With a simple hand- held digital camera in waterproof casing, Mamakos collects and links a series of unmanipulated images of water. The rawness of imagery and impressionistic attitude toward depicting water creates a lyrical use of the moving image where transparency, textures, tones and ambiguous forms capture reflections that become almost a living entity — an imagined or present creature – the specter of the sea. Combined with Huang Ruo’s inventive musical voice which draws equal inspiration from Chinese folk, Western avant-garde, rock, and jazz, Ruo creates a seamless series of musical works that do not necessarily exist in the sound world of our daily lives. This visual / sound installation constructs a multi-dimensional space where images and sound flow from and in response to one another, evoking elements of nature, and still an unknown yet unambiguous creature with a voice, a language and a will.

About the Artists:

Christina Mamakos was born in San Francisco, California, and lives and works in Athens, Greece and London, UK. Mamakos studied comparative literature at Harvard University and received her MFA from the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art at Oxford University, with doctoral work in aesthetic philosophy and studio art at New York University. She has exhibited widely in the US, England, Greece, UAE and Africa.
Huang Ruo was born in Hainan Island, China, in 1976. He is the artistic director and conductor of Future In REverse (FIRE), and was selected as a Young Leader Fellow by the National Committee on United States–China Relations in 2006. Huang Ruo is a member of the composition faculty at SUNY Purchase.

Recently awarded First Prize by the prestigious Luxembourg International Composition Prize, Huang Ruo has been cited by the New Yorker as one of the most intriguing of the new crop of Asian-American composers. “His vibrant and inventive musical voice draws equal inspiration from Chinese folk, Western avant-garde, rock, and jazz to create a seamless, organic integration using a compositional technique he calls “dimensionalism.” Huang Ruo’s writing spans from orchestra, chamber music, opera, theater, and modern dance, to sound installation, multi-media, experimental improvisation, folk rock, and film. Ensembles who have premiered and performed his music include the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Asko Ensemble, and many others, with performances under conductors such as Wolfgang Sawallisch, James Conlon, Dennis Russell Davies, Ed Spanjaard, Xian Zhang, and Ilan Volkov. Huang Ruo has received awards and grants from the ASCAP Foundation, Presser Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Argosy Foundation, Greenwall Foundation, Meet The Composer, NYSCA, Chamber Music America, American Music Center, Aaron Copland Award, and Alice M. Ditson Award.

For more information please visit www.chelseaartmuseum.org.