May 18, 2016

Tip from a Museum Guide 3: Ask for Beauty

Is it okay to expect beauty at the Museum of Contemporary Art? My favourite artist Ming Wong said a true thing about beauty in contemporary art during his performance Art Must Be Beautiful at the Hong Kong Art Fair 2011: “I have nothing against beauty, in fact I use beauty in my work, there is a lot of beauty in my work, but it cannot stop there. It is not good enough to give us what we already know, and what we already love. For something to be deemed as art it has to go beyond surface decoration, beyond distraction, and beyond drag, beyond fetichism, and commodification. Art has to go beyond beauty.” 

In praxis I would say that, when visiting a museum, you can trust on your first impression of the art work: Does it have a good form? Does it have a Gestalt? (It can be made with trash from the gutter, that doesn't matter.) If not, it’s probably bad art, since it hasn’t been well thought through how the idea fits the material, and the material fits the form, and the form fits the space, etc. 

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