Eastern Courier: Artwork gives contemporary touch to old church

Eastern Courier: Artwork gives contemporary touch to old church by Meghan Lawrence

Alvin Xiong's luminous blue tubes rest high in the ceiling, weaving between beams and theatrical rigging.

His art installation is one of many in Uxbridge Creative Centre's newest exhibition Reaching the Horizon and Beyond.

The East Auckland artist took his inspiration from the title of the exhibition and the architecture of the gallery.

Alvin Xiong stands below his art installation Reaching the Horizon and Beyond.

"Because the Malcolm Smith Gallery used to be a church, the set up is quite special and has its own character," he says.

"I had to think about how I can use my light work to respond to these special qualities."

Xiong is a Master of Fine Arts student at Elam School of Fine Arts and has been using light as a medium for about four years.

His most recent work aims to create a special atmosphere and give the viewer an immersive experience.

"This installation is three dimensional and the viewer needs to raise their head to see and feel the light," he says.

The 27-year-old moved here from China after training at Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts.

Relocating was a chance to explore contemporary practices, he says.

In the last two years alone Xiong has been a finalist in eight different awards, including the Uxbridge Estuary Art Awards.

Visual arts manager and curator Balamohan Shingade says Reaching the Horizon and Beyond is one of the last exhibitions to be held in the Malcolm Smith Gallery, with Uxbridge undergoing redevelopment.

He says artists were chosen based on their ability to exploit and explore the space.

"The most important thing for me was responding to the fact we are going through redevelopments and that there is an underlying sense of change," he says.

The show spans across two locations, with a second set up at Ponsonby's Studio One Toi Tu.

Shingade says the two sites were chosen because of the unique changes they have been through.

"What we are trying to do is link the ambitions of the two centres and highlight the fact we are trying to respond to the potential of our communities," he says.

Reaching the Horizon and Beyond, an exhibition curated by Philip Tse, will be on show from August 5 to September 5.

Go to uxbridge.org.nz for more information.

 - Stuff

Link: http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/eastern-courier/71049896/artwork-gives-contemporary-touch-to-old-church