Just like oils, watercolors, granite, and marble, light is a medium for artists to manipulate into something beautiful. Beijing artist Li Hui will do just that that at Art Basel Miami this week. The Zadok Gallery in Wynwood is hosting his show, “Li Hui: Void and Substance”, during the city’s boisterous celebration of all things art.
Hui’s work is an ethereal combination of LED lights, cracked glass, and shocking blues and reds. His work seems to hang in the air, intangible and somewhat magical. This ice-blue battleship, for example, invites you to come close and examine its features, to look at it closely to ascertain whether it is solid or purely light. The sculpture, Ark2 (right), is constructed of acrylics, neon lamps, and stainless steel. Internet Explorer logos projected inside the boat’s bow make one consider the relationship between the Internet and an instrument of war.
Another work from Hui, Amber (below), which is constructed out of LED lamps, acrylic, and stainless steel, places a a skeleton inside the frame of a sports car. It glows with the same iceberg-blue neon as Ark2 and seems to ask the viewer to consider the relationship between mammal and machine, the organic and the inorganic. The shape of the ribcage within the sports car frame resembles that of a cheetah or a greyhound, animals built for speed, just like the car. Hui’s work shows that light isn’t just a necessity for living, but an essential part of contemporary art.