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Chambers Fine Art: Tan Dun's Organic Music - 24 Oct 2009 to 5 Dec 2009

Current Exhibition

24 Oct 2009 to 5 Dec 2009
Hours : Tuesday - Saturday, 10 - 6
Chambers Fine Art
522 West 19th Street
NY 10011
New York, NY
New York
North America
p: 1 (212) 414-1169
f: 1 (212) 414-1192

Tan Dun
Visual Midi Piano 1 2005
piano, midi, steel
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Artists in this exhibition: Tan Dun

Tan Dunís Organic Music

October 24 Ė January 9, 2010

Opening Reception: Saturday, October 24, 6-8pm

Chambers Fine Art is pleased to announce the opening on October 24, 2009 of Tan Dunís Organic Music, an exhibition devoted to a site-specific exploration of the composerís deep attachment to the sounds and materials of the natural world. This exhibition originated at Chambers Fine Art Beijing where it was conceived in conjunction with the first performance of Tan Dunís Organic Music Tears of Nature at The National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing in 2008.

Although there has always been a pronounced visual aspect to the performance of Tan Dunís music, it was only in 2004-5 that he began to conceive of exhibiting installations derived from his performance works in a gallery space. The exhibition Visual Music, one of eighteen one-person exhibitions in the Bunker Museum of Contemporary Art, Kinmen, Taiwan organized by Cai Guo-Qiang in 2004-5 was the first of these. Now, western audiences will have the chance to experience the visual interplay inherent in Tan Dunís organic music as realized in the installations at Chambers Fine Art and the performance of his music during Carnegie Hallís Ancient Paths Modern Voices A Festival Celebrating Chinese Culture opening on October 21, 2009.

With this new development in his multi-faceted career, Tan Dun joins the small but distinguished lineage of twentieth century composers who have gravitated towards visual expression at a significant stage in their careers. Arnold Schoenberg painted his haunting series of Expressionist portraits and self-portraits early in his career. John Cage who studied with Schoenberg in the 1930s produced hundreds of prints, drawings and watercolors towards the end of his life. Strongly influenced by John Cage when he arrived in New York in 1985, Tan Dun continues this tradition, not only with the visual beauty and precision of his musical scores but increasingly with installations and their by-products.

The current exhibition comprises two installations. In the larger of the two galleries Water Passion after Saint Matthew is based on the work that was commissioned by the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the death of J.S.Bach in 2000. Seventeen transparent water bowls in the form of a cross lit from below lead to a video of the composer that emphasizes the ritualistic aspect of the performance of water music in its focus on the gestures that produce the sounds.

In the smaller gallery to the left of the entrance dismantled and reconstructed pianos enact a drama of deconstruction, reconstruction and resurrection. The discovery of large numbers of abandoned pianos in the music school of Shanghai awakened in Tan Dun a strong feeling that these ďsurvivorsĒ should not be overlooked. As a violent prelude, a video documents the destruction of some that were beyond repair. On the wall a section of a piano keyboard is a mute reminder of past glory. This contrasts with a piano that has survived the loss of its protective shell without losing the ability to produce sounds through computer engineering. Through the iron bars fragmentary melodies emerge.

With this new development in his career, Tan Dun allows a pronounced visual emphasis to enrich his all encompassing sonic world.

For more information please contact:
Or call 212-414-1169

522 West 19th Street (btwn 10th & 11th Ave)
New York, NY 10011 Tel: (212) 414-1169

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