Kisses, embraces and things overtly romantic are seldom depicted in Oriental art, but one exhibition of art installations is all about hugs and kisses.
“Few Oriental art takes ‘kiss’ as the theme, since people in the East favor a more subtle way of expressing emotion,” says Jiang Shan, curator of “Kiss Style Art” exhibition at Xintiandi. “We hope that through this exhibit, the Chinese people may be braver in expressing the love in their heart.”
In the south plaza, an 18-meter-high light interactive Tree of Kiss installation encourages people to kiss, each kiss activating a light sequence. The work combines Christmas mistletoe — under which people are supposed to kiss — and the Shanghai city flower of magnolia. It also contains a “kiss counter,” in which each kiss is counted and represents a charitable donation.
The show features the works of Zhang Xi, Gu Yeli, and Wang Xuejun, welcoming the Christmas season of warmth.
Inspired by classic art works about kisses and kissing, the artists try to evoke happy memories of being kissed and embraced in their childhood.
Inside Xintiandi Style, colorful red lips, balloons and lollipops hang at random from the ceiling, a creation in colorful wool by designer Gu Yeli.
Gu says she was inspired by Andy Warhol’s 1963 experimental film “Kiss” featuring various couples kissing for three and a half minutes each. It runs 50 minutes.
She also organizes a small workshop teaching children how to knit. The best knitters receive a wool ball.
Artist Wang Xuejun sets up a stainless steel mirror and invites visitors, men and women, to put on lipstick (provided) and kiss the mirror.
Architect Ma Ke uses 64 ceramic fragments to reflect the masterpiece “Kiss” by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt, his most famous painting of lovers that created a scandal in 1909.
Ma also uses a ceramic fish bowl to create a “bridge of love.” According to him, though a goldfish is said to have a memory of seven seconds (a misconception), fish can still be witness to a lovers’ kiss on bridge above it.