May 10, 2018 - Remai Modern - Paul Chan: Bathers At Night
May 10, 2018

Remai Modern

Paul Chan, Bathers at Night, 2018 (detail of Stormy). 9.45 m x 4.27 m x 4.85 m. Courtesy of the artist and Greene Naftali, New York.

Paul Chan
Bathers At Night
May 11–July 29, 2018

Artist's talk: May 11, 7pm
SaskTel Theatre, Remai Modern, Saskatoon

Remai Modern
102 Spadina Crescent E
Saskatoon SK S7K 0L3
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Remai Modern is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Paul Chan. The exhibition includes Bathers at Night (2018), the largest and most complex installation of the artist’s “breathers” sculptures to date.  

Each breather is composed of a fabric body, designed by Chan and attached to one or more specially modified fans. Incorporating techniques that combine fashion, drawing and physics, the artist directs the breathers’ movements through the manipulation of their internal architectures, directing airflow and pressure from the fans to create different types of motion. Simply by the means through which they are shaped and sewn, the breathers can be choreographed in ways unlike anything Chan has created to date. They are physical animations—images moving in all three dimensions. 

The figure of the bather has fascinated artists throughout history. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, artists like Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso took up this motif to express evolving notions about the body, one’s relationship to nature, and how longing for the new (in art) creates a broader and more inclusive understanding of what it means to live with or against societal changes. Chan takes up this age-old subject to renew the constellation of themes and ideas that the bather embodies in and for the 21st century. The animated and abstract forms in Bathers at Night call up a range of conflicting associations, such as leisure and survival, privacy and evasion, and freedom and marginality. Perhaps most of all, they evoke the pleasure and thrill of swimming at night, under soft moonlight.

Throughout his career, Chan has drawn on a diversity references from philosophy, literature, religion and pop culture to question societal structures and aesthetic conventions—often with a playful dose of absurdity and paradox. In recent years, he has focused on running Badlands Unlimited, a subversive publishing house he founded in 2010 that embraces the dissolving distinctions between books, files and artworks.

Chan will visit Remai Modern on May 11 for the exhibition opening and artist’s talk. The talk will be available for viewing on the “Field” section of Remai Modern’s website, a bridge between the museum’s activities and our regional, national and international audiences. 

About the artist
Paul Chan was born in Hong Kong, raised in Nebraska and now lives in New York. His work has been exhibited widely, including at documenta 13, Kassel (2012); Making Worlds, 53rd Venice Biennale (2009); 16th Biennale of Sydney (2008); 10th International Istanbul Biennial (2007); and the Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of Art, New York (2006). Solo exhibitions include: My Laws are My Whores, The Renaissance Society and the University of Chicago (2009); Paul Chan: Three Easy Pieces, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge (2008); Paul Chan: The 7, Serpentine Gallery, London and New Museum, New York (2007–2008). Chan is the winner of the Hugo Boss Prize in 2014, a biennial award that honours artists who have made a visionary contribution to contemporary art. 

About Remai Modern
Remai Modern is a new museum of modern and contemporary art in Saskatoon, Canada. It aims to be a vibrant, imaginative and prescient museum committed to affirming the powerful role that art and artists play in questioning, interpreting and defining the modern era. Remai Modern is home to the world’s foremost collection of Picasso linocut prints, and aspires to be a leading centre for contemporary Indigenous art programming. 

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