RANIA HO, Verduodus Suburbanus Bucolia
Jan 19th -Feb 2018
Opening Reception: January 19th 6-9pm
Verduodus Suburbanus Bucolia is an installation inspired by landscaping and garden topiary, featuring a series of stand-alone inflatable suits that awkwardly camouflage wearers among domesticated shrubbery; with a video projection of the suits interacting with nature, and a small working fountain made of common household items . Arranged as a small garden environment, the inflatable suits periodically puff and swell to their own rhythm as the steady sound of running water permeates the space.
New towns and landscaped gardens featured prominently in post-war residential housing development in California as well as in other parts of the nation. The social and economic climate of the era informed their design and realization. With an emerging middle-class, building racial tensions and need for housing, the landscaped gardens embodied unattainable ideals of the indoor-outdoor utopian reverie of single-family living. Verduodus Suburbanus Bucolia plays with this paradoxical relationship between between the built environment and nature; clumsily negotiates the tension between individualism and conformity; and inelegantly manoeuvers between modern austerity and agrarian fantasy. The work engages in what progressive architects of the era condescendingly referred to as the “conspicuous blooming performance.”*
* The Sea Ranch, p. 24. Donlyn Lyndon, James Alinder, Donald Canty, Lawrence Halprin. Princeton Architectural Press
Rania Ho: (b. San Francisco 1968, USA; currently resides in Beijing) is a multidisciplinary artist working in installation and performance. She often employs a humorous, unexpected approach to everyday objects and situations in her works. Her work often considers ‘users’ in response to their surrounding environment. Ho’s works can be seen to resemble games that often carry socially critical observations that are produced or reproduced through the performative action of the viewer. Ho received her B.A. in Theater Arts from UCLA and a master’s degree from the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at New York University. Her un-monumental works often employ absurdity as a means of interrogating broader social or cultural concerns.
Ho has participated in solo and group exhibitions throughout Asia, Europe and the United States. Recent projects include residencies at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, Scotland, UK (2012), Far East Contemporaries, Yokohama, Japan (2009), Ssamzie Space, Seoul, Korea (2007) and collaborations with artists and collectives such as Quarantine (UK) and Art Lab OVA (JP). Her work has been exhibited at Capsule Gallery, Shanghai (2017); CASS Sculpture Foundation, UK (2016); BANK, Shanghai (2014); Meta Gallery, Shanghai (2015); Observation Society, Guangzhou (2013); St. Andrews Museum, UK (2013); Shanghai Gallery of Art, Shanghai (2011); Collective Gallery, Edinburgh (2011); Platform China, Beijing (2010); San-Art, Ho Chi Minh City (2010) and the Long March Space, Beijing (2008); ISEA2006/Zero One Festival, San Jose (2006), Beyond 2nd Guangzhou Triennial (2005), and Playgrounds of Authorship at the University of Rochester, NY (2005). She is one of the co-founders of Arrow Factory (www.arrowfactory.org.cn) an independently run, alternative, storefront art space in the center of Beijing.