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CHN: Christie Lights Up Irish Artist John Gerrard’s Digital Art Pieces

(All photos courtesy of UCCA)

Christie is captivating visitors with spectacular projections of Irish artist John Gerrard’s digital art pieces at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) with more than 154,000 visitors to date. This is one of the most visited exhibitions at UCCA since its opening in 2007.

Titled “John Gerrard: Power.Play,” it is the artist’s first exhibition in China and most comprehensive institutional solo show to date. The exhibition features three major works: Solar Reserve (Tonopah, Nevada) 2014, a painstakingly accurate, virtual portrait of a functioning solar farm; Farm (Pryor Creek, Oklahoma) 2015, a digitally-modeled composite of one of Google’s server centers in Oklahoma; and Exercise (Dunhuang) 2014, a reconstruction based on satellite imagery of a system of roadways located mysteriously in the middle of China’s Gobi Desert.

UCCA_2All art pieces, displayed on huge canvasses in the museum, have been brought to life by five Christie projectors supplied by Christie China, which is the exhibition’s video equipment sponsor.

Three Christie DWU555-GS 1DLP projectors are used for Exercise (Dunhuang), while Christie Roadster HD14K-J, and Christie WU14K-M 3DLP projectors are used respectively for recreating the splendor of Solar Reserve (Tonopah, Nevada) and Farm (Pryor Creek, Oklahoma).

“I had previously used Christie projectors for Pulp Press, a permanent installation in Norway that I completed in 2013. It was, in short, the best image and performance of any projector I have worked with,” said Gerrard.

“The colors, image quality and smoothness of the visuals are unprecedented. They are the best projectors for art.”

In his works of the past 15 years, Gerrard has pioneered the use of post-cinematic, virtual space through complex algorithms that generate imagery in real time. Deceptively similar to film or video, his works are simulations: virtual, graphical worlds that exist outside of physical time. Often exploring geographically isolated locations – be they the agrarian American Great Plains or remote reaches of the Gobi Desert – Gerrard’s works frequently refer to structures of power and networks of energy that have coincided with the expansion of human endeavor in the past century.

For this exhibition in Beijing, both Gerrard and UCCA unanimously agreed that the best way for these works to be showcased is via projection technology, and his vision was to achieve three key points for the digital projections: sharpness, brightness and contrast of color. These objectives were fully accomplished by the five projectors used at the museum.

UCCA_1“The Christie projectors offered incredible brightness, a reinforced color spectrum and excellent contrast ratio. Frankly, I can’t imagine what my work is going to look like without the Christie projectors. At some point, I feel like the true artist is the projector, just like in Charles Sheeler’s Propeller. In art history, the propeller can be read as threatening the usurpation of the artist by the engineer. The Christie projector is the highest art of the engineer, like all great art is an art that largely conceals itself,” said Gerrard.

Charlize Lin, Senior Development Manager, UCCA, commented, “John is widely regarded as a pioneer of digital media, and we are honored to host his first solo exhibition in China by showcasing three of his most famous works, which are emblematic of his feats of documentation and painstaking digital replication.

“We are also delighted to have Christie come onboard as our video equipment sponsor of this exhibition. Not only have the Christie projectors delivered spectacular visuals that impressed the large turnout of visitors, they have also underscored the important role that digital projections play in flawlessly interpreting complex artistic visions and goals.”

Jason Pei, Deputy General Manager, Christie China, said, “At Christie, our mission is to create and share the best experiences with our visual solutions. We are very pleased to be the video equipment sponsor of John Gerrard’s first exhibition in China at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, and are thrilled that our featured solutions have delivered bright and colorful visuals that met the artist’s expectations. We look forward to collaborating with more artists and event venue operators to bring more art forms to life and inspire more people to appreciate works of art.”

Featuring laser phosphor illumination, the Christie DWU555-GS eliminates the need for lamp and filter replacements, providing 20,000 hours of low-cost operation. With its small footprint, low-weight, quiet operation and a full suite of lenses, the Christie DWU555-GS is ideal for museums and smaller location-based entertainment venues.

Known for their superior performance, high brightness and exceptional image quality, the Christie J and M Series projectors produce images with incredible color and brightness, and are ideal for venues such as museums and auditoriums.