Outdoor Art Commission Celebrates the Streets of Los Angeles – 户外艺术委员会庆祝洛杉矶的街道

In celebration of Frieze Los Angeles, Frieze’s global partner LIFEWTR has commissioned L.A. artist Tofer Chin to create a public artwork. Facing West 6th Street at The Standard DTLA, Chin’s work is a mural, entitled Progression (2019). Hand painted in the artist’s signature graphic style, Progression is inspired, Chin says, by the play of light on the metallic strips in the architecture surrounding the site during L.A.’s famous ‘golden hour’.

Frieze: What first drew you to art?

Tofer Chin: Since I was a kid I was always drawing. And watching cartoons. I was really drawn to these animated formations in the backgrounds of the Looney Toons cartoons: the landscapes of Wile E. Coyote, the stalactites and stalagmites which – fast forward – I got to experience in real life, when my parents took me and my brother to National Parks. My parents would take us to museums and galleries too, so I was exposed to art at a very young age. I remember going to LACMA and seeing a Rothko for the first time. I didn’t know what it was at the time. I just remember seeing the color. It made a big imprint on my psyche. Having that access was really crucial.

Frieze: So how did you go from seeing that Rothko to today, being a professional artist?

Tofer Chin: I fell in love with painting, in short. I mean, right out of high school I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, other than something in the art field – photography, say, or illustration. I thought: I don’t wanna waste my parents’ money! But I convinced them to let me go to Junior College. And there’s where I fell in love with painting. Oil panting specifically. As soon as I picked up this brush for the first time I was like - yeah, I could do this for the rest of my life. I didn’t know about making money from it, of course. But from there I got into art school. I decided not to go to grad school – which wasn’t necessarily the easiest decision, but it molded me. I wanted to figure this stuff out on my own.

Frieze: Did you face any challenges?

Tofer Chin: The biggest challenge has just been deciding to really stick to this, and not bounce around. You have to have a really thick skin to just be able to expose yourself and your work to the world, knowing there will be criticism and praise. A challenge for an artist but which we all face in a way is how much information we’re being fed every day. We have to work out how much of it is pollution. I’ve had to learn how to focus and stay in my lane, how to pick and choose what I look at. I get really inspired looking at art. But I don’t go to all the openings. I decide where I wanna go and when I wanna go.

Frieze: What helps to build that focus?

Tofer Chin: I have a daily meditation practice - my wife is a meditation teacher. That has really affected my work and how I perceive it. The architectural shift that you can see in my work is in a way about going into internal architecture - your thoughts, your emotion, your ego. The work is asking me - and not only myself but the viewer too - to be present, and in the moment, and be aware of what’s going on and accepting of what’s going on. To know that there’s a world of possibilities and so much stuff out there, but to try to be grounded in the here and now for one moment and experience it.

Which is in a way what the LIFEWTR commission, Progression (2019), is doing – paying attention to a very specific location and a moment that occurs there…

Tofer Chin: Yes, it’s true. It’s all generated from this one, present moment - the light reflecting off the metal on the facade of the Standard in the “golden hour”.

Outdoor Art Commission Celebrates the Streets of Los Angeles - 户外艺术委员会庆祝洛杉矶的街道

Tofer Chin, Progression (2019), installation view at The Standard, DTLA.

Frieze: What appealed about this LIFEWTR commission?

Tofer Chin: It’s a collaboration with a brand – LIFEWTR - and an institution – Frieze - that I believe in. And I was down to be a part of that. What’s great is that both parties are allowing to me interpret my work as it is: I’m not a commercial artist, I just do what I do. And of course allowing my work to reach a wider audience like this commission does is really important.

Frieze: How do the more public aspects of your practice – like these outdoor commission – relate to the more studio-based work?

Tofer Chin: Right out of high school I did a bit of graffiti and street art, but I soon decided I didn’t want to do it, I wanted to focus on my studio practice. Being able to go inward in the studio practice – for years – meant when I felt able to expand it out into the public again, it was a really a natural thing.

Frieze: Is making work that’s publicly accessible important to you?

Tofer Chin: To have that interaction with people and spaces – people interacting with the work – in public is really important to my work as a whole. For me, that’s a constant, ongoing interaction. When you have a show in a gallery, it comes and goes, you get photos at the end. But when you do public work, you have so much interaction, conversation…

Frieze: How did you find your signature aesthetic? Have there been any key influences?

Tofer Chin: Working in the studio, developing a vocabulary… it’s a constant exploration and it’s constantly evolving. I do love art, and there are certain artists, from Pierre Soulages to Cai Guo-Giang, that are important to me. And brutalist architecture is important too. People like Tadao Ando and his use of light and space and concrete in particular. In fact, what I’d say has really influenced is my travels, and discovering architecture in real life spaces. As a kid I would sit in the street and draw people’s homes, but I never studied anything. It was going to Brazil for work one time that opened my eyes to architecture. I discovered Oscar Niemeyer for the first time. I was in heaven! It’s always stuck with me – now it’s like my second home.

In a way, space is my biggest influence. And really being in a city. How cities work and how they make you feel. How do you feel when you’re in a massive metropolis, with buildings towering over you, versus being on a tropical island with nothing? That sensation is part of what I’m exploring. And trying to deal with that in form and color and scale.

Frieze: You were born and raised here in Los Angeles and studied art here too, at Otis. Has the city itself influenced your work?

Tofer Chin: L.A. is a place I come back to. With all the other cities I go back to - they provide me with constant stimulation. So when I come back to Los Angeles, it’s a place where I can rest, gather my thoughts and create my works. There’s a certain isolation, because it’s so spread out. It gives you calm, and the space to do things in. You can make anything here – you can get anything done. Everything is at your fingertips if you need to fabricate a sculpture or make some clothing or shoot a film or whatever, it’s all right here. And the light here too. The sunsets are insane!

Frieze: Besides Progression, are there any other public artworks in the city you’d recommend to a visitor?

Tofer Chin: I’ve lived here for decades, but lately I’ve been seeing the city the first time, noticing things that I haven’t noticed before. Now, the freeways are art to me. When you’re on a freeway and you go under an overpass, you know? and you see all the intersections, sculpted out of this stark, cold concrete. Frank Gehry’s Disney Concert Hall is art. Every time I go past it, it amazes me. Jason Revok is someone who started in graffiti and is now doing “fine art”. He has this apparatus of, I don’t know how many spray cans, but he engineers them, and they spray all at once in this amazing arrangement. How he attacks and approaches a surface is incredible. I think you can still find one of his works in the Arts District downtown, near the ICA. The big rock at LACMA is pretty incredible, too, I guess [Michael Heizer’s Levitated Mass, 2012].

Finally, what are you working on after the LIFEWTR commission?

Tofer Chin: I am doing a mural installation at LAX in Terminal 7. I have a permanent public project with the city of Los Angeles in Crenshaw, opening in 2020, in a huge sports complex.

Tofer Chin’s public artwork Progression (2019), commissioned by LIFEWTR, is on view at The Standard DTLA until the summer months.

LIFEWTR, a premium water brand committed to supporting and advancing emerging artists on a global stage, is the Official Water and Emerging Program Partner for Frieze. The wide-ranging, multi-faceted global partnership helps further the brand’s commitment to supporting artists through various touchpoints throughout the year including at Frieze Los Angeles.

Frieze Los Angeles 2019
Tofer Chin
Public Art
Los Angeles

为了庆祝Frieze洛杉矶,Frieze的全球合作伙伴Lifewtr委托洛杉矶艺术家Tofer Chin创作了一幅公共艺术品。Chin的作品是一幅题为《进展》(2019)的壁画,正对标准DTLA的西六街。Chin说,在洛杉矶著名的“黄金时光”期间,建筑周围的金属条上的光的作用,激发了艺术家的标志性图形风格的进步。饰带:什么第一次吸引你去艺术?托弗:我小时候就一直画画。看动画片。我真的被这些以鲁尼·汤恩卡通为背景的动画形式所吸引:Wile E.Coyote的风景、钟乳石和石笋,这些都是我父母带我和我弟弟去国家公园时,我在现实生活中体验到的。我父母也会带我们去博物馆和画廊,所以我很小的时候就接触到了艺术。我记得第一次去拉克玛和罗斯科。当时我不知道是什么。我只记得看到了颜色。它给我的心灵留下了深刻的印象。拥有这种机会真的很关键。弗里泽:那你是怎么从看罗斯科到今天,成为一名职业艺术家的呢?托弗:简言之,我爱上了绘画。我的意思是,刚从高中毕业,除了艺术领域的一些东西——摄影,说,或插图,我真的不知道自己想做什么。我想:我不想浪费我父母的钱!但我说服他们让我上大学。在那里我爱上了绘画。特别是油气喘。当我第一次拿起这把刷子的时候,我就想——是的,我可以在我的余生里这样做。当然,我不知道从中赚钱。但从那里我进入了艺术学校。我决定不去研究生院——这不一定是最容易的决定,但它塑造了我。我想自己解决这个问题。弗里泽:你面临过什么挑战吗?托弗·金:最大的挑战就是决定要坚持到底,而不是原地踏步。你必须有一个真正厚实的皮肤,才能让你自己和你的工作暴露在这个世界上,知道会有批评和赞扬。对于一个艺术家来说,一个挑战是我们每天都要接受多少信息。我们必须计算出其中有多少是污染。我必须学会如何集中注意力,保持在自己的车道上,如何挑选和选择我所看到的。我对艺术很有灵感。但我不会去所有的开口。我决定我要去哪里,什么时候去。什么有助于建立这种专注?托弗:我每天都有冥想练习,我妻子是一个冥想老师。这确实影响了我的工作以及我对它的看法。在我的作品中,你可以看到建筑的转变是一种进入内部建筑的方式——你的思想,你的情感,你的自我。这部作品要求我——不仅是我自己,也是观看者——在当下在场,并意识到正在发生的事情,接受正在发生的事情。要知道有一个充满可能性的世界,有那么多东西在那里,但要尝试在这里和现在扎根一刻,并体验它。在某种程度上,这正是生命世界贸易委员会(2019年)正在做的——关注一个非常具体的地点和发生在那里的时刻……托弗·金:是的,这是真的。这一切都是由这一刻产生的,即“黄金时刻”标准正面金属反射的光。 TOFER CHIN,Progression(2019),标准安装视图,DTLA。弗里泽:对这个终身委员会有什么吸引力?托弗·金:这是一个与我所信仰的品牌——Lifewtr——和机构——Frieze——的合作。我是其中的一员。最棒的是,双方都允许我把我的作品解读为现实:我不是一个商业艺术家,我只是做我所做的。当然,让我的作品像这个委员会一样吸引更多的读者,这是非常重要的。弗里泽:你的实践中更多的公共方面——比如户外委员会——是如何与更多的工作室工作相关的?托弗:高中毕业后,我做了一些涂鸦和街头艺术,但很快我就决定不做了,我想集中精力在我的工作室练习上。在演播室练习的时候能够向内走——很多年——这意味着当我感觉到我能再次把它扩大到公众面前的时候,这真的是一件很自然的事情。弗里泽:让公众可以接触到的工作对你来说很重要吗?Tofer Chin:在公共场合与人和空间——人们与工作的互动——进行互动,对我的整体工作非常重要。对我来说,这是一个持续不断的互动。当你在画廊里有一个节目,它来来去去,最后你会得到照片。但是当你做公共工作时,你有那么多的互动、交谈……饰带:你是如何发现你的标志性审美的?有什么关键影响吗?托弗·金:在录音室工作,开发一个词汇表……这是一个不断的探索,并且不断地发展。我热爱艺术,有一些艺术家,从皮埃尔·苏拉格到蔡国强,对我来说都很重要。野蛮的建筑也很重要。人们喜欢安藤忠雄,特别是他对光、空间和混凝土的运用。事实上,我想说的真正影响的是我的旅行,以及在现实生活空间中发现建筑。当我还是个孩子的时候,我会坐在街上画别人的家,但我从来没有学过任何东西。有一次我去巴西工作,这让我对建筑有了新的认识。我第一次发现了奥斯卡·尼迈耶。我在天堂!它总是缠着我——现在就像我的第二个家。在某种程度上,空间是我最大的影响。真正的城市生活。城市是如何运作的,它们让你感觉如何。当你在一个大城市里,建筑物高耸在你身上,而在一个没有任何东西的热带岛屿上时,你感觉如何?这种感觉是我正在探索的一部分。并试图在形式、颜色和比例上解决这个问题。弗里泽:你在洛杉矶出生和长大,在奥的斯也在这里学习艺术。城市本身影响了你的工作吗?托弗:洛杉矶是我回来的地方。我回到的所有其他城市都给我不断的刺激。所以当我回到洛杉矶的时候,这是一个我可以休息的地方,收集我的想法,创作我的作品。有某种隔离,因为它是如此的分散。它给你平静,给你做事情的空间。你可以在这里做任何事情——你可以做任何事情。一切都在你的指尖,如果你需要做一个雕塑,做一些衣服,拍一部电影或其他什么,一切都在这里。这里的光线也一样。日落是疯狂的!弗里泽:除了进步,你还有什么其他的公共艺术作品可以推荐给游客吗?托弗:我在这里住了几十年,但最近我第一次看到这个城市,注意到一些我以前没注意到的事情。现在,高速公路对我来说是艺术。当你在高速公路上,从天桥下走过时,你知道吗?你可以看到所有的交叉点,都是用这坚硬冰冷的混凝土雕刻而成的。弗兰克·盖里的迪斯尼音乐厅是艺术。每次我经过它,它都让我吃惊。杰森·雷沃克是一个从涂鸦开始,现在正在做“美术”的人。他有这个装置,我不知道有多少个喷雾罐,但他设计他们,他们喷洒所有在这个惊人的安排。他如何攻击和接近水面是不可思议的。我想你仍然可以在伊卡附近的市中心艺术区找到他的作品。拉克玛的巨石也相当令人难以置信,我猜(迈克尔·海泽的悬浮弥撒,2012年)。最后,你在完成终身工作委员会之后在做什么?托弗:我在7号航站楼的LAX做壁画安装。我在克伦肖的洛杉矶市有一个永久性的公共项目,2020年在一个巨大的体育中心开放。由Lifewtr委托的Tofer Chin的公共艺术品展(2019年),一直在标准DTLA展出到夏季。Lifewtr是一家致力于在全球舞台上支持和推动新兴艺术家的优质水品牌,是Frieze的官方水和新兴项目合作伙伴。广泛的、多方面的全球合作伙伴关系有助于品牌在一年中通过各种接触点(包括在洛杉矶弗里泽)进一步支持艺术家。洛杉矶Frieze 2019 Lifewtr Tofer Chin公共艺术建筑绘画洛杉矶


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