Symmetry in a Thousand Hands

The coordination and tight symmetry in this performance of The Thousand-Hand Guan Yin is truly stunning to watch. Beautiful performance art. I wonder if those pointed apparatuses on their fingers are sharp?

This came in an email to me and it’s worth sharing:

There is an awesome dance, called the Thousand-Hand Guan Yin, which is making the rounds across the net.

Considering the tight coordination required, their accomplishment is nothing short of amazing, even if they
were not all deaf.  Yes, you read correctly.  All 21 of the dancers are complete deaf-mutes. Relying only on signals from trainers at the four corners of the stage, these extraordinary dancers deliver a visual
spectacle that is at once intricate and stirring.

Its first major international debut was in Athens at the closing ceremonies for the 2004 Paralympics. But it had long been in the repertoire of the Chinese Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe and had traveled to more than 40 countries. Its lead dancer is 29 year old Tai Lihua, who has a BA from the Hubei Fine
Arts Institute.  The video was recorded in Beijing during the Spring Festival this year.

I’m actually not a big Muse fan but here’s a video that I think is appropriate for this Kick Start Your Weekend post, “Bliss” from their Origin of Symmetry album:

Beijing Buildings

Beijing’s bursting architectural boom, due to the upcoming 2008 Summer Olympics, is either an example of “authoritarian architecture” or a proliferation in architectural advancement.

According to Philip Kennicott, the Washington Post architecture critic, who writes this “Towering Ambition” article, much of China’s current architecture is meaningless. Here’s a video by Travis Fox for you to decide:

WP Documentary_Olympic Green

The United Kingdom’s take in The Times isn’t so great either; although, I happen to like some of the structures and their contemporary feel, particularly the stadiums and the gigantic video facade, which remind me of other light show postings.

I find Beijing’s “Bird’s Nest” stadium very similar to Martin Puryear’s “basketry-like” sculpture, particularly “The Old Mole” and the “Thicket,” which are on view in an exhibit at the National Gallery of Art (June 22 – September 28th). His work has been compared to a modern day Brancusi and even I.M. Pei’s architectural abstraction — therein the similarities with China’s National Stadium perhaps but in sculptural form.

However, it’s his “Ladder to Booker T” featured here above the Hermes Statue in the Rotunda of the National Gallery of Art’s West Wing that gets prominent attention. The West Wing is primarily reserved for more traditional art, so I have to give the museum kudos for featuring this ladder to nowhere where it would be least expected.