Monday, February 21, 2011
Upon walking into David Zink Yi's "Horror Vacui" exhibit at Midway Contemporary art, it doesn't take long for the pink elephant in the room to catch your eye. In this case the pink elephant is not pink or an elephant at all. It is a giant squid.
An eighteen foot long ceramic squid lies all alone in the center of the first room at Midway. At first glance he appears to be lying in some sort of black liquid. It is shiny like patent leather but has begun to crack and crystalize like sugar. At the very edge of the actually dry puddle it drifts off into some clear blue that shows maybe this is actually the ocean water she comes from.
Along the walls are 3 photographs of Cedar trees. To most the thought of photographed trees is quite elementary and boring, but these are neither. One could almost shiver at the eeriness conveyed by the lonely branches. A bright light shows only a small portion of the otherwise dark-as-night photos. This leaves you wondering just what is in the distance. A similar feeling you note when looking at the dark puddle underneath the lone squid.
"Horror Vacui" in English translates to "Fear of Emptiness." A fear of loneliness seams to also rise to the surface when staring at the poor giant squid. One can't help but picture how beautiful such a large creature would look like swimming through the dark ocean. It feels so vulnerable and exposed. It is hard to know just how such a large, heavy creature found it's way into the cold gallery, but it seems hard not to tell people to stop looking.