Thursday, January 8, 2009

Intrude 366 at the Zendai MoMa : Eye to Eye

Photos by Alicia Hunsicker

The Eye to Eye project for The Intrude 366 at the Zendai MoMA in Shanghai, China took place on December 18th in Thumb Plaza, Pudong. It was wonderful success and an incredible personal experience. You can view the official Intrude 366 site

or the artist/project blog at http:/

We are anxiously awaiting the December Intrude Magazine article about our project.

About Intrude:

Intrude: Art & Life 366 is an unprecedented event in the city of Shanghai. Starting January 1, 2008 and ending on December 31, 2008, Zendai MoMA will present a cultural event to the people of Shanghai every single day of the year. This cross-cultural and interdisciplinary project is called Intrude: Art & Life 366 and aims to intervene in people’s daily lives, engage them to take part in art happenings and stimulate the public debate on art.

An event of this scale and influence has never taken place in China before.

About Eye to Eye:
“Eye to Eye” is a North American expression that means two individuals (or groups)
agree to acknowledge each other’s viewpoints. It is a courageous act to see “Eye to Eye”. It
causes one to open oneself to the possibility of new thinking. It is a step towards standing on
common ground and arriving at mutual understanding.

In this time of cross cultural exchange, it is more important than ever that this concept of
seeing “Eye to Eye” be promoted. For Intrude 366, four American artists using the simplest of
means, and drawing on over 2000 years of Eastern and Western art history, will construct a strand comprised of 734 visual representations of eyes sourced from centuries of evolving culture. (366 on front and 366 on back)

In “Eye to I”, we will use standard 4.25 inch long shipping tags as surfaces. Onto the
front and backside of each tag’s surface we will print or paint image of eyes culled from the
canons of art history: From anonymous portraits painted in 3rd century c.e. Central Asian cave
paintings to the expressive eyes of Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, to the stylized eyes of
Warhol’s celebrities, and to the piercing eyes of Frida Kahlo’s self-portraits, each of the
participating artists will select eye imagery, enlarge them to fit the each side of a standard tag and transfer them to the surfaces using traditional and non-traditional painting and printing techniques such as linoleum block prints and Xerox transfers. Strong visual impact and unity will be produced through the use of the standard surface and by maintaining a restricted palette of
blacks, reds, and golds. Each tag will have one Eastern eye and one Western eye - adding another layer of the original concept of Eye to Eye.

The resulting Eye to Eye strand will be held out at chest level with one of the
participating artists holding the first tag at one end and a partner artist based in Shanghai holding the first tag at the other end. This will result in approximately 650 meters of these historic images being exhibited. Once the entire strand is on display, pedestrians will be invited to cut a tag from either end. As this performance takes place the three accompanying artists will be documenting the performance through video and photography and inviting the public to participate, facilitating the cutting away.

Each cut tag that people take away will serve as a talisman towards seeing eye to eye.
And with each tag that is cut, the two representatives from the East and the West will take one
step closer to each other. When all 366 tags have been cut and given away, the two artists will
stand firmly and confidently, physically and emotionally: Eye to Eye.

In Summary, the Eye to Eye project collapses the past with the future. It places us in the
present to combine images that may be obscure with images that have saturated contemporary
culture. Eye to Eye underscores the commonality between East and West.
Using the simplest of means, Eye to Eye offers profound possibility for forging a rich
collaborative cultural vision for the future.

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Alicia Hunsicker's art is undeniably beautiful. She is an expert at extracting the highly-detailed textures and fibers of the human body, bringing them from darkness, into the light, with a technical precision that rivals any modern-day master.
David Aquino, Brattleboro Reformer