Elevation: Installation and Sculpture by Amy Hibbs and Chiei Ishida
In distinct ways, Amy Hibbs and Chiei Ishida each employ crude, everyday materials to construct fanciful illusions that evoke the spirit of play, instill a sense of weightlessness, and explore the dynamics of space.
Inspired by her experience of living with coastal birds and the roaring jets of SFO, for this exhibiton, Amy Hibbs constructed a series of sculptures with plastic bottles, tape, wires, clips, and springs, collected on “intuitive shopping trips” to the hardware store. Her constructions appeared to be both organic and inorganic, like a flock flying south as well as a line of 747s waiting to land, exploring space through flight and the experience of air. Along with geometrically dividing the gallery, the taught lines that held them aloft evoked a sense of speed and direction. Their bright colors and utilitarian materials gave the feel of science-fiction, conjuring fantasies of adventure, self-determination, and technological mastery. But Hibb’s sculptures also raised questions concerning the experience of living in a world, where birds share the skies with machines, and sentient beings have progressively been replaced by merely mechanic things.
While living in the United States, Japanese artist Chiei Ishida focused her art practice on articulating her experience through her consumption. Her work with rubber bands was first inspired by the elastic bands that package green. By pinning them to the wall, Ishida treated the rubber brands like precious specimens in a science experiment. But the effect was not sobering. Instead, the rubber bands, proved to be a playful medium, reminiscent of colorful bouncing balls, bubbles floating to the surface, or balloons taking off as the air rushes out of them. Hanging loosely on the pins, they took random, awkward shapes like distorted, drunken faces. Ishida’s installation was humorous, but also evidenced a refined sense of surface, depth and texture, casting subtle, multifarious shadows on the wall. As an articulation of her experience, the piece looked almost like a map documenting people or events – a record of where she comes from, or where she was, during her two years in America.