One dark and stormy afternoon, a Dresser was found abandoned, forgotten, and utterly alone in an old estate emblazoned with the ubiquitous angry red “拆” (chai – demolish) that seems to be everywhere in face-lift-addict Shanghai. He was picked up and lovingly cradled in the arms of an opportunistic island6er, and brought to his new home.
The Dresser was carefully examined by a concerned team of restoration non-experts. How was he feeling? Were the travails of his difficult life telling on his once-immaculate body? Has his long use and stoic endurance scarred his noble complexion? Gloved hands probed and prodded every nook and cranny; squinted eyes travelled over every inch of his facade. Through it all, he held his head high; despite his current state of dilapidation, he remembered his proud past, and how he had been feted, feasted, toasted and boasted of.
Essentially, The Dresser was fine. Strong bones held him together. The non-expert team decided that was needed fell mostly into the category of a re-upholstering.
Loving hands took him apart and cleaned him up meticulously.
The Dresser was initially apprehensive about his makeover. Afterall, he had been absolutely beautiful on his own terms once before – albeit quite a few years ago. Still, how was he to trust this team of self-professed non experts?
The answer to all his doubts came soon, when a scarred wooden door leading to the deeper interior of the workshop was left open by chance, and a tantalising peek into his interiors offered The Dresser a glimpse into his future…
“WOW!” The Dresser thought. “Is that… could I… am I going to look like that, too?” He had newfound respect for the non-expert team, who was still working on with a gleam in their eyes and a slight smirk on their lips. “You’ve not seen the whole of it yet,” the non-experts murmured crytically. The Dresser frowned. Whatever could that mean?
The mystery was soon cleared up, when that very night, a vision of beauty floated into the workshop and smiled beatifically at The Dresser, who could only gape in stunned silence.
“Hello there, little one,” the sultry siren breathed, leaning over and washing the dumbstruck Dresser with wafts of perfume, intoxicatingly reminiscent of opium-and-pearls. The Dresser realised then, what lay in store for him. It is the past, the present and the future. East and the West. Antiquity and modernity. Beauty and challenge. The Dress rehearsal was over; now his new life begins.
A Note about Liu Dao’s restored furniture artwork:
Liu Dao incorporates all the cultural and aesthetic values of traditions into its innovative contemporary art productions to create or edit personal histories and modify historical Chinese imagery. In its signature fusion style, LED animations or video footages on LCD screens are surprisingly, yet meaningfully, integrated with traditional Chinese antique furniture. The result is a startling and evocative inquiry into the meaning of “modernity” and “tradition” and adds to Liu Dao’s infinite debate over the integrative/ disruptive nature of technology in our lives. Evolutions to Liu Dao productions arise from modern sculpture techniques such as taxidermy, computer generated 3D blueprints, neon installations, wire-brushed stainless steel, light towers and renovated furniture, all of which are extensions and embodiments of collectively conceived ideas.
For more information and images about Liu Dao’s restored furniture art, please click through here.
For this and more, come to our “island of Oddities” show this Friday the 13th!