Elizabeth Briel, Travel Artist


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DIY Art MFA Project

January 23rd, 2016

DIY Art MFA

Several months ago, I decided to create a one year program to explore the art I was making, the art around me, and have the world's greatest contemporary artists as my teachers. For free. 

This project takes three main forms:

* Research of contemporary artists and concepts relevant to my work, listening to artists' lectures and watching documentaries and interviews, reading articles and books, etc. One artist or concept per week.

* Exploration of the art in my city and others I visit: participation in exhibitions, attending events, meeting new practitioners, and curating exhibitions in a private gallery. One event per week.

* Creation of work informed by the research, breaking out of media and methods I've become comfortable with, and making maximum use of my Beijing studio. Production of one complete series of paintings, and two multimedia installation projects.

Soon, my documentation will be available here: ArtMFA.com

These are methods which may be applied to a DIY art education no matter where you live. 

Image: The Great Dictator's Office Window, from the China Obscura Cyanotype painting series

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Exhibition at Workjam, 798 Arts District, Beijing

December 14th, 2015

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The group exhibition runs from 27th December 2015 through 26th January 2016

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Greenbacks Project Hong Kong

November 22nd, 2015

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First performance for the Greenbacks Project, Standard Chartered Bank, Central, Hong Kong – 22nd November

More about the participants and the project here.

 

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China Paper Exhibition

November 15th, 2015

Hanging Paper

Installing a giant sheet of handmade paper from Anhui province for an exhibition of my Chinese Paper Collection-in-Progress at YCIS Hong Kong gallery, on display until 1st January 2016

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Soft Power: Upcoming Exhibition in Beijing

September 22nd, 2015

"Soft Power: A Self-Criticism" Book and Photo Installation

My first solo exhibition in Beijing opens this Sunday, 27th September. It's a book and photo installation inspired by living in the…unique conditions…of China today. Conditions which have me looking at censorship in other places, particularly my home country, where 'freedom of information' has never really been free.

Opening is this Sunday at Meridian Space, a gallery/performance venue behind Beijing's National Museum. Stop by from September 27th-October 11th, get a close look at acupuncture models, and practice censoring great American literature like a real official. Kids welcome, but you may want to keep them away from the needles -

This exhibition is part of Beijing Design Week.

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Mao’s Office Window (Wuhan)

July 9th, 2015

Sneak peek at a series in progress.

Windows are barriers, lattices, screens. They keep out enemies, the hot and cold, and they shut us in.

These Cyanotype murals are views of rooms in China where pivotal people stayed, slept, and worked to change the country's future. The window paintings are all diptychs: they portray the perspectives of those inside them, and those of us peering in from outside.

In Mandarin, the polite way to say '[western] foreigner' is "outside country person", which hints at the historic insulation of the country. Foreign perspectives of China – those from outside - are inherently incomplete. These dual views of the same window show how different the opposing sides appear of what is inherently the same structure.

Cyanotype Painting in Progress

Painting in progress: Mao's Office Window (Wuhan) from the Outside

Cyanotype chemicals are pale green when first painted, then darken as they dry, and turn blue in the sunlight.

maos office windows

Finished prints,Views of Mao's Office (Wuhan), from the Inside and Outside

Visible are silhouettes of his calligraphy, which was surprisingly refined.

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Printing a Cyanotype Mural in Beijing

June 9th, 2015

In Beijing, we have reliable sunlight only half the year. To make my blueprints, I need strong sunlight and no rain. In spring, the pressure is on to create work which I've designed over the winter.

Below: a video of Cyanotype printing on the rooftop of my studio, illustrating the process from fresh painting (the photochemicals are green) to quickly layering negatives before they are exposed to the sun and turn blue.

Cyanotype Mural Printing from Elizabeth Briel on Vimeo.

Best played with sound off - 

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Timelapse Mural in Yantai

May 2nd, 2015

For a recent project in the coastal city of Yantai (Shandong province).

Sponging the first layer of a mural creates an atmosphere and texture which enables freedom of later layers.

Yantai Mural from Elizabeth Briel on Vimeo.

Painting in the hot sun of Shandong province, China, spring 2015

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Paper Collection-in-Progress

April 9th, 2015

Clips from a long-term project across China, searching for paper for my artwork: from Silk Road papers from Xinjiang to tea papers in the Southwest to the famous Xuan paper used by artists and scholars for centuries. 

Translation: Alicia Cai
Music: "Zheng" by Jonny Faith

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Qingdao Cyanotype Mural

October 18th, 2014

cyan mural

Cyanotype mural in 50 pieces, mounted on canvas.

Printed on Idin Paper. 1.5 x 2 m, 2014

In Qingdao:


New China straddles the old.


Thousands of words in white overlap in blue: Korean, English, Chinese. A reflection of the many languages spoken in this port city.

cyan mural test closeup

Cyanotypes are painted in the dark,

qingdao in green
and the results are an alchemy of timing, water, and pure guesswork until sunlight brings out the blues.

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