Empires - Monumenta 2016 (maquette à l'échelle 1:50e), 2016

Hong Kong 2017
kamel mennour
Mixed Media
Cuivre doré, laiton, Trespa, chêne massif, résine, peinture noire, broderie. Copper, brass, metal, Trespa, oakwood, resin, black paint, embroidery.
205.0 x 501.0 x 305.0 (cm)
80.7 x 197.2 x 120.1 (inch)
Kamel Mennour is presenting this year at Art Basel Hong Kong a special project by Huang Yong Ping related to his work Empires, shown last June at the Grand Palais for Monumenta. With both a scale model and a virtual reality film presented on the booth, the audience will dive in the gigantic installation. Reaching a maximum height of 29 meters and covering an area of 4 330 square meters, Empires was one of the largest indoor installations ever realized. Jean de Loisy, the curator, describes the work as “a symbolic landscape of today’s economy”. According to him, Huang Yong Ping depicted our “changing world, the transformations undergone by political and economic powers, the rise of new geographical regions, the fall of old empires and the appearance in the interim of new candidates to power, with the violence such ambitions are prone to unleash.” The scale model is at once a sketch, a work tool, and a work of art in its own right. The film on the other hand is the first made on a contemporary art installation shot in virtual reality with the 360° technology. The physical sensation given by Empires with the immensity of the decor and the multiplicity of points of view, appears difficult to transpose fully through video or photography alone. With an unprecedented quality of image, the film in 360° of Empires allows to relive the experience of the Grand Palais, under the form of a guided tour which immerses the viewer at the heart of the artwork. It allows him to infiltrate the imagination of the artist, whose relationship to space was built from an aerial view, embracing the model in all its aspects. This experience is of great physical intensity, allowing then not only to perpetuate the memory of the artwork but furthermore to offer a tour inside the installation and unfolding the story of the original project. Whereas the 1:50e scale model, made at the artist studio, illustrates the creating process of the artist and allows an overall vision of the sculpture, this film in 360° takes us at the closest of the artist’s vision and carries the promise of its future development. Huang Yong Ping and kamel mennour thank the CMA-CGM, the Réunion des musées nationaux and the Grand Palais for their support. - Founder of the group Xiamen Dada in China in the 1980s, Huang Yong Ping was invited by Jean-Hubert Martin to participate in the seminal exhibition “Les Magiciens de la Terre” at the Centre Pompidou and at the Grande Halle de la Villette in Paris in 1989. Internationally acclaimed artist, his work has been presented in numerous personal exhibitions at the Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon, at the Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris, at the Musée océanographique de Monaco, at the Astrup Fearnley Museet of Oslo, at the Barbican Art Center of London, at the MAXXI in Rome. A great travelling retrospective was held between 2005 and 2008 at the Walker Art Center of Minneapolis, MASS MoCA in North Adam (Massachusetts), and at the UCCA in Beijing. In 1999 he represented France at the 48th Venice Biennale with Jean-Pierre Bertrand. Winner of the Wolfgang Hahn Prize (Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany) in 2016, Huang Yong Ping was the artist invited by the Ministère de la Culture for the 7th edition of Monumenta, with his work Empires presented in the Nef of the Grand Palais in Paris, from May to June 2016.