Elizabeth Briel, Travel Artist

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Cruel Luxuries 2: Taipei

April 3rd, 2018

My residency at Treasure Hill Artist Village will culminate in an exhibition this weekend:

Cruel Luxuries postcard front JPEG

Image credit: Jin Heng Photography

Cruel Luxuries – A work-in-progress by Elizabeth Briel
Exhibition on Saturday April 7 and Sunday April 8, 10am – 6pm
Performance Saturday April 7, 4pm
Artists talk Sunday April 8, 4pm

For more information, email (English or Chinese): art@ebriel.com
or call (English): +886 – 0905117145

Cruel luxuries is an exploration of the brutality behind many of humanity's highest or most luxurious art forms. This installation will incorporate 20 meters of silk printed with sharks fins, music from the last castrato opera singer (recorded in 1902), and images from the artist's father's life as a young Catholic priest

Upper Ray Gallery No. 9
Treasure Hill Artists Village
No. 2, Alley 14, Lane 230, Section 3, Tingzhou Road
Taipei, Taiwan

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Cruel Luxuries in South Island Arts District

March 22nd, 2018

A recent exhibition was an opportunity to share Cruel Luxuries in a new context



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Installing the artwork in a warehouse in Wong Chuk Hang, HK's South Island Arts District



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The design is brought alive as visitors pass by, one young viewer said it gave him "waves of sorrow"



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Cruel Luxuries at Blue Lotus Gallery

December 12th, 2017

Cruel Luxuries performance @ Cheung Chau Wave

Photo by Jin Heng

This Saturday 16th December you're welcome to come by Blue Lotus Gallery at 4pm for an encounter with Cruel Luxuries.

Each time is an experiment, with more layers of sound and material.

More info here

Hope to see you there.

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Cruel Luxuries Hong Kong [beta]

December 2nd, 2017


Photo by Marcel Hejinen

On 1st and 2nd December, the Cheung Chau Wave festival hosted the first stage of my project Cruel Luxuries.

It's an exploration of the cruelty behind many of humanity's highest or luxurious art forms, from large (the Pyramids) to small (cochineal to produce organic red dye). For this project, I've chosen to incorporate several aspects:

* Silk created by worms that, typically, die in silk production

* Silhouettes of sharks fins which are often cruelly harvested – Hong Kong is where half the world's fins are traded

* The exquisite, eerie tones produced by castrati singers (a practice once implicitly encouraged by the Catholic Church in Italy where women were not allowed to sing in churches), singers who had operas written especially for them by some of Western classical music's famous composers like Handel, and who impacted western opera in ways that continue today

A reflection on the duality of beauty and its opposite, which are often simultaneously present in art and culture worldwide. Eventually Cruel Luxuries will consist of approx 100sqm silk printed with the sharks fin design, exhibited in the US and elsewhere, but at this stage the project is still at its essence. I was very happy to share it with Hong Kong and the Cheung Chau community in its earliest form.

The installation / performance included a total of 15 meters of Suzhou silk printed with sharks fins from my Typhoon Cyanotype series


Photo by Michael Wolf

The effect had something in common with this painting by Surrealist artist Remedios Varo (Encuentro, 1959)


And performed a dialogue with music by the only castrato singer ever recorded, Alessandro Moreschi 

There were two performances:

* Fri 1st December, Cheung Chau Wave's opening night in collaboration with the exhibition of architect / photographer Tugo Chen

* Saturday, Kam Yun beach, a short walk from the pier on Cheung Chau.

Selected photos:


Photo by Sarah Greene








Elizabeth Briel performing

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Video by Sarah Greene for Cheung Chau Wave


Photo by Jin Heng for Cheung Chau Wave


Photo by Jin Heng for Cheung Chau Wave


Photo by Michael Wolf


Photo by Jin Heng for Cheung Chau Wave


Photo by Sarah Greene


Photo by Pete Spurrier

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Lost and Found: Beijing

October 13th, 2017

Out now: a photo book I edited for ThingsAsian Press. Lost and Found: Beijing is a portrait of a city by five photographers. Each brings a different perspective to the Chinese capital.

Liu Laoshi is an artist who has been documenting Beijing's prolific graffiti scene for over a decade

Yifei Fang is a photographer who focuses on youth culture

Stefen Chow is a Singaporean photographer who works worldwide, notably co-founding The Poverty Line project

Marc Smith is a NYC-based British artist who finds inspiration for his work in the streets wherever he lives

Designer: Janet McKelpin

I contributed photos of Beijing's smog transforming the cityscape, and shadows of history that remain today


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Available via Amazon

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Athens21: Re-frieze-ing

September 1st, 2017

The Athens21: Re-frieze-ing project is a seventy-five meter portrait of the city created with silhouettes of Athens residents from all walks of life, who are bringing their city into the 21st century.

Most prints were made with Melissa Network, several at Coco-Mat (Kifissia), and the Victoria Square Project.

The artwork's length is a reference to the frieze taken from the Parthenon at the heart of Athens, which the British Museum will not return to Greece. Exhibited at Victoria Square Project, Athens, August 2017

Cyanotype photograms on cotton, approximately 75m x 1m, 2017

Some photos from the project's making and exhibition:

Fabric ready to print




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Dilara rises after printing



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Thaleia rises from the Cyanotype



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Sofia and her daughter



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Angel and Qadeer trace the frieze



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Drawings for the cliche-verres



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Manasif removing acetate from frieze Cyanotype after printing in the sun



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Lifting Cyanotype frieze, detail



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Frieze drying



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Holding artwork sewn by Click Ngwere at Victoria Square Project, ready for exhibition



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Qadeer lifts the artwork with Click's silhouette



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Qadeer hangs the exhibition at Victoria Square Project



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A small portion of the exhibition viewed through the window


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Tree of Exceptions, Reimagined

June 1st, 2017

Tree of Exceptions has been reconfigured and installed in a new space: the Blue Gallery of the Yew Chung Foundation's Secondary Campus in Kowloon Tong (Hong Kong). It will be exhibited until late August 2017. You are welcome to visit by contacting me.



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Alternative Photography Installation (2017)

May 20th, 2017

"Tree of Exceptions" installation at Pimary art residency, New Territories, Hong Kong

Painted dimensions: 1m x 16m, Cyanotype and Vandyke photo chemicals painted on handmade paper, installation variable

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Painted and ready to install


Ground floor installation blends with Pimary's existing elements (photo by Pete Spurrier)


and leads up a stairway to the rooftop (photo by Pete Spurrier)


Giving background on the project during the artists talk (photo by Pete Spurrier)

Intro to the project and its contributors (from Hong Kong's New Territories villages) here.

Photos of the installation as a work-in-progress here.

The project reviewed in the South China Morning Post.

More photos here.

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Tree of Exceptions in the South China Morning Post

May 11th, 2017

"Tree of Exceptions" review here





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Growing “Tree of Exceptions”

May 3rd, 2017

Photos as the installation Tree of Exceptions grows in a village house in Hong Kong's New Territories

Cyanotype "bricks" test negatives imprinted with villagers' memories

cyanotype bricks

Negatives installed on windows

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Paintings in progress: before developing in sunlight (L) and after (R)

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Printing on the rooftop of the village house, Pimary

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Histories of Hong Kong printed in branches and leaves. Vandyke and Cyanotype painting on paper, installation detail. Where two incompatible chemicals meet, an irregular, unpredictable border forms.

2017-05-15 13.06.17

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