Opening Museo de la Cancillería México City
Noche de Museos 29 Marzo 2017
WALKING BLIND in México City 23th of March 2017
Walking Blind at The Modern Museum of Art Duolun, Shanghai 2017
Brenda Franco; Wandering in Silence
To select a sheet of paper is like beginning a journey. Like roads, each sheet of paper leads to different places. To grab hold of any of them is to also choose a destiny. This reflection probably dwelt deep in Brenda Franco´s heart some years ago as she stepped across the thresholds of so many paper shops in Shanghai. Following in the steps of a millenary tradition (a grand though simplistic phrase to summarize paths trodden in the face of reflection, history and human creations), oriental paper makers turned their backs on immediacy, denied the fleeting and opted instead for the eternal.
To hold on one´s hand a sheet of artisanal rice paper, is to hold between one´s fingers a centuries old encyclopedic knowledge, the weight of which, in simplified terms, has now become a monument to lightness and fragility. That delicate and complex extract is more a breeze than a gale.
The first thing to rest upon those sheets of paper is a glance, and to make the latter one´s own, there is touch. To give it foundation, there are other sheets of paper and to say something making use of its whiteness as language, there is ink which suddenly inhabits it. It is not about an intervention, it is a complement.
What is the sound of droplets falling on the paper? The sound is soft, velvety, fine, and only noticeable within the silent intimacy of a dialogue just started. These droplets have begun a long path which the paper cherishes silently. Thus begin the movements of repose and stillness.
To Brenda Franco those spread droplets, of different quality and size, are the people in her life´s wandering. Anonymous masses on eternal passages, barely glancing at each other to avoid collision. To follow en route is the watchword. There are no limits to these movements. There are no borders in sight. Humanity´s history is, as we well know, the history of its migrations.
This is a return to the ancestral origin, against the grain of new technologies. Whereas these last ones detect every movement and are capable of capturing us all in a web that makes us vulnerable, ink droplets, simple and powerful, give away humanity´s restless records. That is why they are now immobile, although in their stunning quietude there is still the movement which gave life to them.
There are no names or identities; there is existence, a collectivity caught in its random essence. Their wandering has been recorded, that is all. The path they will follow or their wandering´s origin matter not at all. They were there and that is what matters. They are passages from nowhere to unknown; pilgrimages towards the gregarious. That which unites us all and makes us commune now and throughout all of history.
The molecular is magnified in function of the detail. That which is tinniest of all gains suddenly an enormous proportion within the miniscule. Like in the work of Brenda Franco, we are the points of convergence in the temporal spaces of our lives. I can´t help but think about how, within that minimum which we all are, lies too the enormity of our discreet existence.
We are those millions of dispersed dots within communities united in a single moment in time, which is the only time we have here. We are the instantaneous portrait of a discreet and telltale passing of our most primitive human needs. To wander with no borders in sight is to be inside the appointed space of freedom.
Santiago Espinosa de los Monteros
The exhibition will display works of three Mexican artists, who belong to three different ages and have experienced various Mexican historic moments.
Being the representative for contemporary part of this exhibition, Brenda Franco displays series of works Walking Blind. Enlightened by the never-ending movements in the metropolis, she shows people’s daily track route in Mexico and Shanghai in an abstract way. Brenda gets her inspiration from delicate figure paintings and outlines those seemingly blind walking prints left behind by people using native Chinese material such as ink and xuan paper .
Versatile artist, Daniel Nierman, known as architect, photographer and graphic artist, will bring a series of samples of poster and advertisement design which reveals the development of graphic designing before digital media came into use.
The third part will be The Death Is Allowed by Jose Guadalupe Posada, famous modern Mexican artist. The engraving exhibition will display his woodcut and comic works on the theme of Revolucion Mexicana, reflecting Mexican once turbulent history and Mexican people’s optimism.
Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art has long been dedicated to promoting sino-foreign cultural exchange with art. On this special occasion of 45th anniversary of diplomatic relationships between China and Mexico, we are pleased to introduce Mexican Trilogy to you to have a better understanding of Mexican history and culture as well as making our own efforts to China-Mexico friendship.
By Sun Shuangjie Source:Global Times Published: 2017/2/19 17:38:39
Mexican artist Brenda Franco didn't foresee that she would come back to Shanghai so soon. From September to December of 2015, she visited the city for the first time as an artist in residence on a program initiated by Swatch Group Committee. Recently she returned with a group exhibition co-organized by the Consulate General of Mexico in Shanghai.
Held at Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art through March 14, the exhibition, Mexican Trilogy, displays three artists from Mexico, each from different eras and with distinctive artistic styles. The occasion celebrates the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Mexico.
Franco brings to the exhibition her latest art series, Walking Blind, which was created in Shanghai during her residency. Poetic and abstract, her paintings are made with only ink and rice paper, two of China's signature cultural heritage mediums.
"For me it was a completely new experience to be in Shanghai and to experience different materials," said Franco recalling three months of wandering around Shanghai visiting parks, temples, markets and museums.
"Both Mexico City and Shanghai are huge cities, and that's the most beautiful thing, as you have people from all over the world, you have these amazing museums and restaurants and local customs and culture," Franco said.
Staying at Shanghai Swatch Art Peace Hotel, Franco had a glorious view of one of the city's most famous landmarks, The Bund. There she derived inspiration for Walking Blind.
"The police were making lines - they opened like soldiers to let pass all the people and then they closed it. And for me it was like a dance, you know, you see just these waves of people and movement," Franco said, noting that she was curious about where those people were going and what they had in their minds at the time.
"I see this as walking blind, because you have dreams, you have expectations, and sometimes you just forget it all, you're just walking. And then at one point you ask yourself what I am doing here, am I really here because I was thinking about it or just going with the flow?" explained Franco, who clarified that her series is not a critique but just a reminder for people to pursue their goals.
In her works, people are ink dots taking shape under some natural yet mysterious power upon a white paper that could be said to resemble the universe. Compared with her previous series, Silence, which was based on her trips to European cities, Walking Blind is less intense in color, allowing the whiteness, or blankness as it were, of the paper to make up a large part of the visuals.
It was the first time Franco worked with an ink brush and rice paper, which she considers among the most beautiful inventions of the world. In order to adapt to the extreme texture of the rice paper and develop an ideal thickness for the ink, the artist first spent a large amount of time experimenting. Franco explained to the Global Times that she kept most of the paper white because she sees rice paper as a beautiful cultural symbol of China.
Globalization through art
The Shanghai exhibition also features copies of posters (pictured top) designed by Daniel Nierman and facsimiles of works created by famous Mexican printmaker José Guadalupe Posada in early 20th century.
"Nierman is more contemporary, and he uses a lot of different media to express," Franco commented. "Through José's works we can see how Mexicans celebrate death. He put it in a very beautiful way and also a very modern way for his generation."
While traveling across the world and now living in Munich, Franco thinks that globalization has brought people closer together by allowing them to share their knowledge and their art.
"At the end you find that people just want to live and be happy. We are making friends, we're having a family, we're human beings at the end, and all these things you can put into art and talk about it," she said.
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