Juha van Ingen
Juha van Ingen’s 60th-anniversary exhibition at Galleria Sculptor includes i.a. an augmented reality lo-fi sculpture ORB that extends beyond the gallery space and a series of new Stripe works.
Alongside independence, artistic integrity and concentration are among the avant-garde’s aspirations. They have also been central to Juha van Ingen’s laconic artistic thinking since the 1990s. He follows the beat of his own drum, an observer of everyday life with the ability to crystallise the phenomena he perceives. He deals with them mainly through the means of moving image. Small things found nearby, or seemingly obvious structures and mechanics appear in his works in a novel way, with new meanings, without explanations or visible drama.
Juha van Ingen makes art in a minimalist manner, with serial repetition and chance playing a central role. In his early experimental films, he condensed his observations into concentrated fragments, marked by time. The virtual world of the internet has since become an inexhaustible source for his art. From the complex technical layers, van Ingen peels back the essential, the visual density of abstraction and the inescapable progression of time. The result is an aesthetic of geometry, a hypnotic dialogue of lines and squares. In the loops, monochrome colour fields follow each other gesturally, beyond the reach of image and text. Or the number slowly increases, digit by digit, until eternity.
The paintings, found online, are condensed in essence into strictly minimalist stripes of varying widths. In these transformations, which suggest an aesthetic of scarcity, their original content and time are ever present, as a conceptual dimension. This kind of pruning and re-visioning makes the everyday and the increasingly commercial reality of the internet into poetry, a visual contemplation. At the same time, it incorporates the idea of equity, a chance for all to see.
-Leena Kuumola, Art Critic
About the sculpture ORB:
ORB is a series of site-specific, lo-fi augmented reality (AR) sculptures. It is a pilot project of an upcoming series of AR artworks, The Primitives. The Primitives use specific regional/national traffic signs as pedestals. ORB happens first in Finland but can be experienced in other countries soon.
In computer graphics and design, primitives refer to basic geometric shapes such as squares, cones, spheres, lines, curves, and other basic symbols. These primitives are used as a starting point for creating more complex and recognizable visuals.
Traffic signs communicate important information and are essential for ensuring safety and regulating the flow of traffic. They are designed to be easily recognizable and understandable at a glance. By using simple and universally understandable shapes and symbols (i.e. primitive symbols), these signs effectively convey their message to all road users, regardless of language or cultural background.
The artwork is designed to be viewed on a smartphone.
- Read the QR code with your phone’s camera OR go to www.primitives.fi on your phone’s web browser: Chrome with Android, and Safari with iPhone.
- Allow the web browser to use the camera of your phone.
- Point your camera at “Shared path for pedestrians and cyclists” traffic sign and let the browser scan the image.
- ORB is visible if the traffic sign is within the camera image and viewed close enough.
- Take a screenshot and share your picture.
Juha van Ingen (b. 1963) is a visual artist working in a variety of media, from objects and spaces to moving image and the Internet. He is best known for his structured video work (Dis)Integrator, 1992 and the 1000-year-long GIF animation As Long As Possible, ASLAP, 2015. Van Ingen’s works are included for example in the collections of Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, the French Museum of Modern Art and the Victoria & Albert Museum.
The exhibition is supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation. The artist’s work has been supported by the Uusimaa Cultural Foundation. Thanks to sound artist and developer Janne Särkelä for technical assistance!