Different Art

After being a member (a rather dormant one) for about 2 years, I finally attended my first Young Professionals in the Arts meet up on Wednesday.

Held at the James Hyman Gallery, it was the first time I spoke to professionals from the visual arts field – the very reason I kept putting off attending the group’s monthly event. The first term that got me puzzled was pop up show, and then names of various visual artists and galleries that I don’t have a clue. But I was learning.

The exhibition was Shai Kremer’s “Fallen Empires” – photographs of walls, taken in Israel. Owing my recent experience in wall-hunting, I was still excited by old walls I was interested to see how stories of old walls were told through the photographer’s lenses. The photographs were stunning, accompanied by the captions.

I didn’t get to really look at each picture to be honest, because essentially it was a networking event. I spoke to others whilst browsing casually. (And I refrained myself from saying “I will never be able to step on the soil of Israel”. Hurray!).

I only met no more than a handful of new people and exchanged zero contacts – it was not my intention anyway. This guy amused me though. When I introduced myself “I am not in the visual arts field. I work for a dance company”, he immediately commented, “Well, that means we will not cross path business wise right?” So I replied, “Is this when you ditch me?” To which he said, “Yes.”

This became a food for thought. Maybe that is why some people despise networking events because they don’t find people who are interested in people. Which is not a problem in itself, just preference.

Anyhow, I chatted the most with a girl whose background is in theatre and now works for a foundation with visual arts interest. An interesting comment that she made when I asked whether she would go back to theatre, “Yes, I miss the ‘messiness’ in theatre. Galleries are too clean.”

The unpredictability, the real energy exchange, and the beauty of imperfections in performances / performing arts.

Are visual arts and performing arts… really that different? Or am I just at the wrong occasion to make this judgement?

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