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Published November 21, 2017

SHEX Sees: Antony Gormley's ‘Still Moving’ Exhibition

Definitely a Must See!

By Tom Miller

For those of you who have never heard of Antony Gormley, look at this:

 

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This is the famous ‘Angel of the North’ in Gateshead, UK. The UK-based Gormley’s work has been at the forefront of sculpture art since the 1980s. His work is often very moving and actually quite thought provoking. His exhibition at Shanghai's Long Museum is no different at all.

 

I went with a few ideas of what to expect, but really, I was looking forward to seeing what he had in store for us. And trust me, if you’re an art lover or not, anyone can admire this exhibition. It’s entitled ‘Still Moving’ and it’s the first major presentation of Antony Gormley’s work in China. The Long Museum is the perfect venue to exhibit his work, even though it is a bit of a ball-ache to get there.

 

The incredible work ‘Critical Mass II’ is an absolute must-see. It consists of 60 life-size cast iron body forms. This piece has traveled all over Europe, and this is its first showing in Asia. It’s quite enthralling because some of the body forms are set up in progressive positions from fetal to stargazing in a manner reminiscent of the ‘ascent of man.' You’ll see a bunch of pillocks mimicking the sculptures for photos…like us!

 

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Some of the bodies are suspended in free fall, others lie scattered across the hall and some form a jumbled pile. The official information states that “This multiple work celebrates the sculptural body as object and ground for feeling and engages our deepest hopes and fears; our attraction to light as well as to darkness." You’ve got to spend a good amount of time going around the different bodies. You can’t help but appreciate how much time and effort has gone into putting this all together. 

 

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We also saw the really quite trippy ‘Breathing Room’. It’s a totally dark room with an entanglement of photo-luminescent metal frames stretched higgledy-piggledy in different directions. The room has ten minutes of complete darkness and then you become blinded by 40 seconds of the most immense light we've ever seen. We found out that Gormley’s idea was to invite the viewer to look at it as an object and engage with it as a subject. Gormley actually invites you to get involved with all of his work, it’s all about ‘man’ being a part of and immersed in his work. So by all means, explore all inside this one.

 

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Another kinda creepy work, is his new for 2017, ‘Passage II'. It is a 15.5-meter long tunnel shaped into a standing human form. You go into this one at a time. Your heart actually gets pumping because you can’t see anything and just have to trust your other senses and just keep moving forward. DO NOT TURN ON YOUR PHONE OR FLASHLIGHT FUNCTION! You’ll completely ruin the experience. It really is a journey into darkness and the unknown.

 

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This really was a massively impressive exhibition. I actually found it to be a bit of a shame that there weren’t more people exploring because you really cannot help but be impressed by his work. The only sad thing about this exhibition is that it finishes on November 26th! So hurry! Get yourself down there!

 

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