CAN X TWO TEMPLE PLACE Exhibition
Artists: Jasmin Kent Rodgman, Donald Shek, Jack Tan, Chloe Wing.
Jack Tan’s ‘Hearings’ formed part of the CAN x TWO TEMPLE PLACE exhibition from 20th February 2021 – 21st March 2021. Jack decided not to take part in the exhibition extension period.
Four Chinese artists working in contemporary genres were invited to explore and respond to the extraordinary spaces of William Waldorf Astor’s Neo-Gothic mansion on Embankment. Initially these artists Chloe Wing, Donald Shek, Jack Tan and Jasmin Kent-Rodgmen planned to fill the gallery spaces with their work and to present live promenade performances with other artists. Then came the second round of covid restrictions.
The artists ingeniously adapted and created new ways of showing their work online creating a digital gallery
Chloe is a fine artist, light and shadow paper cutting artist and songwriter/performer who makes immersive and atmospheric installations / spaces. For Two Temple Place, her performance, specially crafted paper gown and headpiece drew on themes of gender, social conventions and mental health.
“Whilst we were given a tour of Two Temple Place, of course the grandeur and luxury is what is initially impressive. But what struck me was Astor’s story of how he came to London and being rejected from High Society in New York. That pressure of wealth, status and struggle to prove himself really made sense of what he aimed to achieve. I also felt a sadness for what Astor went through and the space has a very atmospheric and magical feel to it as well. I wanted to incorporate all of these thoughts of struggle as well as the passion. Another thing that really struck me was the masculinity of the building, the heavy wood carvings, the maximalism and pomp of it all. I felt there was a lack of a feminine voice and presence.
I had been thinking about making a cut-out dress for 5 years and when I went to see 2TP it felt right to realise this gown. The period of interiors, the decor and style all just felt right”
Donald studied architecture at Liverpool University and incorporates architectural elements into his artwork. He mixes a variety of mediums that include screenprinting, drawing, and etching which has gradually expanded to include augmented reality. The issues involved in his work is a mixture of questions of cultural origins and the effects of the urban environments on our subconscious. He creates images using 3D programs and then converts into a 2D image for printing using the silkscreen method. This process reflects our mechanised society where the line is blurred between the digital world and reality.
“I reflected upon the history, architecture, decoration, and mythological imagery of the house, as well as exploring Astor’s interest in literature and fiction. The works explore fundamental questions of identity and perception, influenced by the Astors of Two Temple Place and their quest to find acceptance both in America and Britain – a sense of ‘otherness’ that struck a chord with my own experiences as a British Chinese man. The work is presented with the use of language and mythological stories to present patterns in history as well as reflecting the constant quest for meaning and personal identity”
JASMIN KENT RODGMAN
London-born British-Malaysian artist + composer Jasmin Kent Rodgman brings together the contemporary classical, electronics and sound art worlds to create powerful soundscapes and musical identities. A regular collaborator across various art forms including dance, word, film and VR, her music explores otherness, memory and plays with a sense of narrative. Activism also has an important place within her music and wider creative work. Her piece Nineteen Ways of Looking brought together counter tenor Keith Pun, Chinese writer Chen Si’an and choreographer Si Rawlinson to create an Instagram Opera. Responding to the portrayal of and prejudice displayed towards people of Chinese and East Asian heritage in the West during the COVID-19 pandemic, this multidisciplinary work explores nineteen different perspectives that relate to isolation, media and mental health.