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Brendan Tang | ColorMute

Brendan Tang

Brendan Tang grew up knowing what lack of identity meant, he was raised in Ireland by Trinidadian parents and is a naturalized Canadian citizen.  His work displays the melding of cultures, often times forced through war, trade or by the shrinking world of technology.  His works explore how from one generation to the next a schism forms in what it means to be from a culture today and what it meant not thirty years before.

Focusing his work on Chinese elements, Tang rebuilds Ming dynasty vases engulfed by borglike post-modern manga instruments which he dubs “Manga Ormolu.”  These pop art prosthetics recant when French explorers first exported 18th century ceramics and gilded them to be displayed as curiousity pieces among the ruling class, calling it Ormolu.  Taking this idea and flipping it on its head, Tang takes an icon of the rigid class caste era and makes it playfully useless with Blade Runner adornments.  Utilizing modern-mecha art inspired by manga and anime, which is purposefully over the top, his work expresses forced assimilation, or perhaps a culture cloaking itself in the new.

This modern blending of Asian cultural elements scrutinizes the seeping westernization of its youth.  Successive generations shedding the husks of antiquity in return for comics, Nintendo DS and McDonalds.  As a culture Japan is stil very rigid, but the current generation of teenagers adorn themselves like cartoon characters in ostentatious displays of identity.  Everything in the modern era is larger, brighter and louder forgetting the age old persona of humility and sparse amenities once prized by their elders

Meticulously crafting each piece, Tang enjoys using porcelain inspired pottery as his median.  Originally utilitarian, pottery latter came to express status and beauty, becoming less and less a vessel of use.  Tang develops it even further, taking the focus from the pottery’s handpainted handiwork depicting scenes of daily existence and landscape and instead emphasizing his absurd futuristic extremities.  Technology transcending humanity, the future replacing cultural differences, and everyone stripped of any discerning hallmark of a heritage.

    • Beez
    • February 25th, 2010

    This is aweome! Also, did you write the text?

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