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Degradation in Motion 

Wednesday, Aug 24 2011
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“Forever” is useless to Phillip Hua. Archival ink? Acid-free paper? Pigments that last 900 years? Meaningless. Rather, Hua seeks meaning in the short-lived and decaying. His series “Entwined Excess” illustrates the clash between commercial culture and the natural world. Hua paints images of trees and other plant life, digitally alters them, then superimposes them on pages from financial newspapers including the Wall Street Journal. In this way he mirrors how manufacturing and other industrial processes commodify and eat away at nature. Take Magnolia and Bird: A stylized bird is rendered in blue, wings spread as if to land, approaching flowers and leaves in red, orange, and green. The background is newsprint, and a closer look reveals that the bird is running into the headline “One Giant Pile of Copper,” and clearing an advertisement that says “You’re Going to Like Where We Land.” The materials are designed to break down long before most pieces would. “When exposed to sunlight and time, these works begin to yellow and degrade, paralleling our current climate condition,” Hua says in his artist statement. If it’s true that art imitates life, this series predicts it on a global scale.
Mondays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.; Sundays, noon. Starts: Sept. 1. Continues through Sept. 15, 2011

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Keith Bowers

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