Gallery Space


Shining new light on old masters

The world famous Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam re-opened on April 13th, offering the public access to some of the world’s most famous paintings including Rembrandt’s The Night Watch. The €375 million renovation project, which took ten years to complete, includes the world’s most advanced LED lighting system in a museum. Created by Philips, the system was designed to closely mimic the colour rendition of natural daylight, allowing visitors to see details of masterpieces that were previously not visible.

Using 750,000 LEDs and lighting over 7,500 artefacts across 9,500m2 of gallery space, Philips worked closely with the museum staff, the museum’s architects Wilmotte & Associés and Cruz y Ortiz to create a modern solution to the challenge of museum lighting: how to present the works of art in the best light possible whilst conserving and protecting them for future generations.

The result uses the latest LED technology from Philips to offer an overall effect similar to natural daylight. Moving away from the heavy amber tint that is characteristic of conventional museum lighting, Philips has used light with a neutral white tone that offers a greater range of colour visibility, giving an effect that is similar to viewing the painting in ‘high definition’. It meets international standards for art conservation and also emits no ultraviolet light and hardly any infrared light.

“We are very proud of working with the Rijksmuseum on this innovative and monumental renovation,” said Rogier van der Heide, Chief Design Officer and Vice President at Philips Lighting. “The lighting solution is the result of a unique collaborative effort with the Rijksmuseum and the architects, using Philips’ knowledge of the art and science of illumination to achieve a quality of light that truly brings out the detail of each masterpiece.”

World’s most advanced lighting solution in a museum of fine art

The new LED lighting illuminates artworks that date back to the Middle Ages. In total, the lighting illuminates 7,500 artworks spanning several centuries. Philips’ lighting solution consists of ¾ of a million LEDs, including 3,800 LED spots, more than 1.8 kilometers of LED lighting the ceiling and an advanced LED lighting control system via a mobile application for museum employees to use.

Philips’ LEDs light the museums public spaces including the shop, the atriums and the restaurant, as well as the outdoor area and building façade. Philips worked with the Rijksgebouwendienst (the Government Buildings Agency part of the Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations, the owner of the building) to realize plans for the outdoor lighting.

rjiksmuseum_infographic_1.5 -1

Trailer Trash at PACT Zollverein

Sam Breen joined a group of students and graduates presenting “CalArts Plays Itself” (September 29 – October 2, 2011) at PACT Zollvereinin Essen, Germany, one of Europe’s up-and coming culture centers. The show featured original, cutting-edge, cross-disciplinary work, including Breen’s “Trailer Trash Project: Life Meets Art in a Tin Can.” Using a 15-foot inflatable model of a travel trailer he told the story of how he lost his family home after Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans.  He explained how his mother—a former filmmaker for the United Nations refugee agency—was left without a place to live after the storm. A few years later, he took on unlikely

Musician Archie Carey presented at “CalArts Plays Itself,” part of PACT-Zollverein 2011

project: he began transforming a 33-foot long trailer into a green place to live (for his mother) and a moveable place for him and his fellow artists to showcase their work. Even in its un-restored state, the 1951 Spartan trailer soon became a emblem at CalArts for student-driven creative work, the backdrop and the catalyst for many cultural events around the

institution. In Essen, Breen’s gallery space was crammed with the oversized blow-up model, making it hard for guests to ignore his invitation to step inside. The inflatable served as a dominating yet fragile symbol, a reminder of those who turn to transient living as a last resort.

” Sam Breen’s inflatable trailer project … lays bare contemporary America’s white whale: the housing problem, its connections to the current economic crisis, and to Hurricane Katrina. Like Jonah in the Old Testament, Breen was swallowed up by the whale. Several months later, he has been vomited out: the whale has turned into a screen onto which new stories are projected. The contemporary state of collapse has turned into a space of play, where new individualities and collectivities emerge”

Breen, who recently received an MFA in acting from CalArts, considered his 10-

Sam Breen in Essen with his inflatable trailer by sculptor Michael Darling

day stay at the PACT-Zollverin festival as a residency, using the opportunity to develop his presentation with his audience. He invited fellow artists— musicians taking part in other performances at the festival— to impromptu jam sessions inside the trailer. Daily conversations with patrons helped shape the installation. Many noted how the inflatable, sustained by two household fans, appeared to “breathe” as people entered and exited. It had a similar effect on Breen, who returned to Los Angeles energized with a new perspective on his project. He is planning to conduct more residencies, this time inside his actual trailer, which he will bring to the parking lots of cultural institutions in and around Southern California to continue renovating the trailer and performing art.

The Trailer Trash Project is a recent recipient of an Investing in Artists grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation.

This post is part of a series documenting Sam Breen’a Spartan Restoration Project. Please see his first post here and check out the archive here. The CSPA is helping Sam by serving in an advisory role, offering modest support and featuring Sam’s Progress by syndicating his feed from as part of our CSPA Supports Program.

TWO DEGREES Produced by Artsadmin – 12–18 June 2011

Cycle Sunday: House of Hot Breath, photo by Erica Earle


Sitting between art and activism, performance and protest, this year’s Two Degrees festival takes over the streets of East London

Two Degrees is the first ever festival to bring together over 30 radical and political artists to respond to and intervene in the public debate on climate change and government cuts.

Transcending the gallery space and traditional definitions of ‘art’ this festival is about audiences actively taking part. From bike rides and haircuts to sharing food and stories, Two Degrees is a unique series of performances, films, installations, walks and interventions by artists and activists that offer a positive, alternative response to the current financial and climate crises.

Our consumption of food is increasingly a high-profile political issue, from food miles to fair trade. For one week only a pop up café created by Clare Patey will draw attention to some of the lesser known problems we face. Crayfish Bob’s stylish eatery invites dinner party conversation whilst highlighting the damage caused to London’s waterways by the invasive American Signal Crayfish. Elsewhere in the festival, Rebecca Beinart investigates herbal medicine and natural poisons in a performance that gathers powerful plants from London’s streets and the Otesha Project lead a food foraging cycle tour.

Finding new ways of sharing ideas and creating dialogue can mobilise change. The Haircut Before the Party is a hair salon with a difference. Customers at this temporary Whitechapel salon will be offered a free haircut in exchange for swapping their opinions, experiences and thoughts with their hairdresser.  Future Editions, an alternative human library at Toynbee Studios will allow you to actively engage with leading climate change specialists. Visitors to the library are met by a maverick librarian who selects for them a human book. Your book will then offer you a 10 minute conversation – a rare opportunity to ask questions or exchange views. Glasgow based artist and activist Ellie Harrison looks at our increasingly fragmented and precarious labour market in Work-a-thon; an attempt to break the world record for the most self-employed workers in one space, creating a social environment for workers to combat issues of isolation, lack of solidarity and unregulated hours.

Green transport is also part of the programme and Cycle Sunday (in collaboration with Arcola Theatre) invites audiences to participate in a range of performances, events and workshops, all made for bikes. From a grafitti tour of London to a bingo bike ride and bike powered smoothie maker – artists, campaingers, engineers and designers explore the possibilities of green technology and low carbon lifestyles.

Across the UK, protest and activism have hit the headlines in recent months, but what is the link between the economic crisis and climate change? Two Degrees asks this question, bringing together artists and activists working outside of the mainstream, proposing alternative and inspiring solutions to the problems we face today, bridging the gap between art and activism.

For further information and images please contact Penny Sychrava PR on 0796 791 5339 or or Sam Scott Wood at Artsadmin on or 020 7247 5102.

Crayfish Bob, photo by Dan Houston



Two Degrees is Artsadmin’s weeklong festival of art and activism, climate and cuts. Following the first festival in 2009, Two Degrees 2011 takes place from 12-18 June in and around Artsadmin’s Toynbee Studios home.

Two Degrees takes place as part of the activities of the Imagine 2020 Network of European arts organisations who are working together to encourage arts organisations and artists to engage more with the subject of climate change. The current partners in the network are Artsadmin; Lift, London; Bunker, Ljubljana; Le Quai, Angers; Kaaitheater, Brussels; Domaine d’O, Montpelier; New Theatre of Institute of Latvia, Riga; Transforma, Torres Vedras; Domino, Zagreb, Rotterdamse Schouwbourg, Rotterdam; and Kampnagel, Hamburg.

Two Degrees is supported by the European Commission Culture Programme and by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.


Artsadmin is based at Toynbee Studios and is a unique producing and presenting organisation for contemporary artists working in theatre, dance, live art, visual arts and mixed media, also offering various support services for artists, including a free advisory service, mentoring and development programmes and a number of bursary schemes. Toynbee Studios is Artsadmin’s unique centre for the development and presentation of new work.  The studios comprise a 280-seat theatre, five studio spaces and the Arts Bar & Café, all of which host performances and events throughout the year.

Mediterranee / e-flux

20 November 2010 – 20 May 2012

The Oceanographic Museum unveils a site-specific commission by Huang Yong Ping as part of a major exhibition dedicated to the Mediterranean Sea
The Oceanographic Museum in Monaco hosts a unique exhibition dedicated to the Mediterranean Sea, bringing together contemporary art and science. The exhibition presents a monumental installation by the celebrated Sino-French artist Huang Yong Ping and features an exceptional collection of maritime objects that illustrate the rich biodiversity of the Sea. The exhibition, which is on view from 20 November 2010 to 20 May 2012, is presented with the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco.
Huang Yong Ping’s 25 metre installation, “Wu Zei”, is a site specific commission for the Museum’s Salon d’honneur and alludes to the 9 metre octopus from the Museum’s collection that is exhibited on the floor above (1st Floor).

“Wu Zei”, a gigantic hybrid animal—an octopus and a cuttlefish—is inspired by the sea and refers to the maritime disasters caused by man. While its head is suspended around the Medusa chandelier, designed by the German biologist, philosopher and free thinker Ernst Haeckel, its tentacles invade the gallery space. One of the tentacles circles around the column, another stretches out towards the first room of the exhibition, and others reach out towards the sea and the statue of Prince Albert I.

The hybrid animal’s head is red like that of an octopus; its tentacles are black like those of a cuttlefish. One of the tentacles looks set to suck in, like a vacuum cleaner, the different objects and blackened animals lying on the floor.

Wu Zei’s body and tentacles are made of a flexible material around a metal frame. The bulb-like head is slightly transparent to allow for the light of the chandelier to shine through in the evening.

By calling his installation “Wu Zei”, Huang Yong Ping creates ambiguity in the meaning of his work. The title “Wu Zei” (乌贼) is the Chinese name for a cuttlefish. “Wu” (乌) is the character for the colour black and “Zei” (è´¼) is the symbol for stealing. Huang Yong Ping plays with language and semiology juxtaposing cuttlefish ink to oil spill and corruption to regeneration.

The Mediterranean is a major reservoir for the world’s biodiversity. The increasing urbanization of the coast, overfishing, exploitation of the natural resources, proliferation of invasive species, maritime transport and pollution of different kinds such as toxic waste are daily dangers facing the Mediterranean Sea and can lead to biodiversity impoverishment, with irredeemable cultural, economic and ecological consequences.

“Méditerranée” is accompanied by an illustrated book, produced by the Oceanographic Institute, Albert 1st Foundation, Prince of Monaco and published by Les Editions Rocher.

An artist’s book is co-edited by Galerie kamel mennour and the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco including a text by Jessica Morgan, Daskalopoulos Curator International Art at the Tate.

Huang Yong Ping: Biography

Born in 1954, Huang Yong Ping participated in the seminal exhibition “Magiciens de la Terre” at Centre Pompidou, Paris in 1989, and represented France at the 1999 Venice Biennale. In 2006, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis organized and premiered his retrospective “House of Oracles,” which travelled to Mass MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts; Vancouver Art Gallery; and Ullens Center, Beijing. Other solo exhibitions include: CCA Kitakyushu, Japan; De Appel, Amsterdam; Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Paris; Atelier d’Artistes de la Ville de Marseille; Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo; Barbican Art Gallery, London; New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; and Musée des Beaux Arts, Paris. In 2007, Huang Yong Ping participated in the exhibition “Why Sculpture, Why Here?” at the Tate Modern, London.

Huang Yong Ping is represented by Galerie kamel mennour, Paris, and Gladstone Gallery, New York.

For further information, please contact:

Roya Nasser/Maïwenn Walter
Roya Nasser Communication
Tel : + 33 (0) 1 42 71 25 46
Mobile : + 33 (0) 6 24 97 72 29

Pauline Herouan
Institut océanographique,
Fondation Albert 1er, Prince de Monaco
Tel +377 93 15 36 39 /+ 33 (0) 6 27 33 71 6

via Mediterranee / e-flux.

Video | Feral trade cafe: buying a narrative with your coffee.

Feral Trade Cafe, London from RSA Arts & Ecology on Vimeo.
A Flip camera video.

It’s interesting to see how the best media art moved on from the idea of creating networks in the virtual world, to seeing how those networks could affect the real world. Early net communities were full of idealism; how far does that ability to change the way we interact with each other spill over into the physical?

Earlier this year I talked to Amy Francheschini about the way ideas from her art practice asFuturefarmers informed the creation of Victory Gardens 2008+ in San Francisco. On Friday I dropped into North London’s HTTP Gallery, where media artists/gallerists Ruth Catlow and Marc Garrett have created the Feral Trade Cafe implemeting artist Kate Rich’s Feral Tradenetwork in their gallery space.

The cafe is sourced by real personal trade networks – artists bringing back Turkish Delight from Montenegro or discovering a source of honey in Rotherhithe. By using virtual space to record each trade route, every item you consume in the cafe comes with a  narrative. the bland, impersonal act of trade can suddenly come alive with stories, showing us how the items we buy under the normal rules of trade disconnect us from the world in which we live.

Read Ruth Catlow discussing Catlow and Garrett’s we won’t fly for art at the RSA Arts & Ecology Centre.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology