Economic markets, financial institutions and the global economy appear unpredictable and in constant flux. However as market systems accelerate, they must eventually correct and enter a boom and bust cycle. Upside Down Fire examines the fragility of interconnected global market systems and the competing economic needs and realities they serve. Anthropomorphic bear and bull sculpture and video installation characterizations depict the slapstick emotionless routine of global markets while poignant remnants of failed consumerism are assembled to tell the story of the economic casualties inescapably drawn into their dance.
Upside Down Fire is a continuation of a body of work called Boom & Bust, first shown at Art Experience Gallery in Hong Kong (2013). The exhibition speaks most immediately to Kang and Nicolay’s practices, each of which deal with incorporating found or salvaged materials and its relationship to the environment and the everyday. Both artists sense of play is evident embracing the collaborative component searching for ways to open up discourse on timely global issues.
Christian Nicolay and Ya-chu Kang have been collaborating since 2010, based between Vancouver Canada and Taipei Taiwan. They work with sculpture, installation, video, sound recording, performance and site-specific projects often dealing with the shifting polarities between Western and Eastern cultural landscapes which they define as “portable walls”. Fascinated with rituals and superstitions from around the world their research deals with cultural divisions and relationships using art to effectively break down borders and boundaries blurring the lines between art and the everyday.