In August of 2021, Key Elements launched the Gallery, an exhibition space dedicated to showcasing talented emerging artists and presenting work online. We have accompanied our audience for two years till now.
For each month, we invite an artist and curate a solo exhibition for them on our platform. The work we feature not only shows competency in both meaning and making but also represents the diverse cultures and backgrounds of the artist community. To this day, we have invited artists working in sculpture, design objects, print media, architecture, visual communication, fashion design, photography, and new media art.
To celebrate our journey, here we present to you the Second-anniversary exhibition of Key Elements, featuring artists who had exhibitions with us over the past year: Xiaoyao Yao, Mavis Zhao, Bella Chen, Doyeon Kim, Xiner Lan, Hanjia Wang, Qianyue Chen.
On My Way
Artist Xiaoyao Yao / Medium Oil and Wax on Panel / Year 2023
Artist Mavis Zhao, Zephyr Zhu, Max Kuo / Medium Architecture Project / Year 2023
Capitalizing on the existing structure, our aim with this renovation project is to weave a dual narrative, demonstrated through three key design elements:
Firstly, the split formal narrative from a static two-dimensional plane to a dynamic three-dimensional space. Secondly, the split journey for the visitors, oscillating between the historical charm of the old space and the contemporary elegance of the new renovation.
Lastly, the split material properties to create a contrast in perception, moving from the solidity and weight of traditional materials to the ethereal lightness of translucency.
Through these dichotomous design strategies, we aim to create an architecture that speaks of its past while simultaneously reaching towards the future.
Artist Bella Chen / Medium Fashion Design / Year 2022
Artist Doyeon Kim / Medium Projection Installation / Year 2023
Chung-Ki-Wa Mall, LA (2023) was inspired by a peculiar mall that I stumbled upon in Korea Town. There are a number of malls that have fake traditional roofs atop, but the mall that intrigued me the most stood out in the sense that it had no points that I could think of that would attract customers. It just piqued my curiosity as to how in the world it survived in the middle of Los Angeles. It seemed like an artifact spawned out of nowhere in the wrong place. I gravitated towards there, hoping to know who was in there.
The project, including interviews and research, resulted in the installation of three animations, which consist of observations of each shop owner from Chung-Ki-Wa Mall who came to LA at different times. The subtitles convey their anecdotes and my thoughts based on the interviews. The core question that permeated our conversation was whether they felt fulfilled in their lives despite the trade-off of immigration—the loss of a strong sense of communion.
There is nothing particularly beautiful about the building. In fact, the cluttered store signs and the jarring colors are dull to attract people. Nevertheless, the inner turmoil that they have had to endure in terms of passing or confronting normalcy is endless, and my work seeks to preserve their unknown stories.
I wanted to use 3D animation as a mediator of vulnerability and its sentiments, which are not in line with the glamorous digital culture while exploring the agency that physical installation has when it materializes the sleek computer graphic animation. The shadow animation and the looping day/night depict their daily lives. In conjunction with the subtitle, it transforms the time in a way to vicariously experience the accumulated time of the people.
My Mama Is A Witch
Artist Xiner Lan / Medium Script of Performance / Year 2023
A script selection from the performance "My Mama Is A Witch", showcasing a double-sided instruction for casting spells with appropriated functions and data structures.
Artist Xiner Lan / Medium Script of Performance / Year 2023
The image on the right presents a score of the monologue of the "unreborn train", from the in-progress musical writing the artist is working on.
Wall Painting Restoration
Artist Hanjia Wang / Medium Restoration / Year 2022 (Group Research Project)
The Yanshan Temple is located in a remote small mountain village at the foot of Wutai Mountain, where hundreds of Buddhist temples are gathered. Amidst wars and turmoil, Yanshan Temple has preserved one of the most artistically valuable Yuan Dynasty murals. This mural is composed of two parts, each approximately 3 meters by 9 meters, covering the entire inner walls of the temple from east to west. The mural consists of dozens of different narrative scenes, depicting both religious stories and everyday life. Due to weathering and human damage, the preservation condition of this mural is poor. Collaborating with artists and cultural heritage preservation personnel, our team's current goal is to assess the current state of the mural and prepare to create replicas, restoring some sections of the mural to their original state. My responsibilities include restoring selected architectural elements, collecting and attempting to use local materials, and finding the best materials for the replicas.
Artist Qianyue Chen / Medium Publication / Year 2023 (Group Research Project)
Traditional Chinese society believes that women must achieve their self-value through childbirth, but at the same time, society also has strict requirements on women's appearance and body. In social ideals, women's bodies should be as slim as a vase, with smooth and flawless skin. But I found through research that most women perceived the pregnant body to be out of their control and as transgressing the socially constructed ideal, against which they tried to protect their body image satisfaction.
This book is an excerpt from my interviews with women who have experienced pregnancy. I hope the audience can understand the harm of pregnancy to women through the book and jointly explore the relationship and conflict between these harms and social demands.
CURATOR: KE ZHANG, WANTONG YAO, YUXUAN WEI
EDITOR: WANTONG YAO, KE ZHANG, CHENYU LIN
GRAPHIC DESIGNER: VIVI SHEN