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The Smart Museum of Art and Wrightwood 659’s presentation of The Allure of Matter may have closed earlier than planned, but this site remains a home for digital content that builds upon the exhibition. In the coming weeks, it will host an array of virtual experiences and at-home activities. We will engage with our community of scholars, students, and artists to present new digital extensions of cancelled programs, remote chats and material stories, creative challenges, virtual experiences, and more.

Be sure to check back often for updates!

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The Allure of Coloring: Ai Weiwei

This week’s coloring page features Ai Weiwei’s Tables at Right Angles, which uses mortise-and-tenon joints to seamlessly reconfigure two tables collected from a Beijing antique market into a nonfunctional object.

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Materiality and Art

A remote symposium on themes of materiality in art, featuring presentations from undergraduate, masters, and PhD students and a panel discussion. Happening via Zoom on Friday, May 22, 2 pm.

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Score for an unfinished dance

A unrealized, proposed tour of Wrightwood 659 and The Allure of Matter with dancers and guides, designed by Irene Hsiao as an intimate experience of the works and the spaces that invites participation and active sensing.

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From Soil, Sand, and Salt Crystals

Coated with chemicals and exposed to sunlight, dragged through the mud, buried in radioactive soil—the films gathered in From Soil, Sand, and Salt Crystals: Films and Natural Processes emerge from material interactions between film and natural processes.

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Material Stories: Hair

Join Lori Tharps and HAIR CLUB for a conversation about hair as a material carrier of identity and social meaning. Happening via Zoom on Wednesday, May 20, noon.

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Cardboard Caves

Learn how to build a cool cave and construct bulbous boulders out of cardboard boxes in this hands-on project inspired by Zhan Wang’s Gold Mountain!

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The Allure of Coloring: Huang Yong Ping

This week’s downloadable coloring page features one of Huang Yong Ping’s “book washing” projects, Devons-nous encore construire une grande cathédrale? (Should We Construct Another Cathedral?).

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Material Stories: Fat

Ros Holmes, Presidential Fellow in Chinese Art at the University of Manchester, gives a talk on Sun Yuan and Peng Yu’s Civilization Pillar and its meaning as a monument to contemporary culture.

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Object chat: Chains: The Unbearable Lightness of Being

In this object chat, Simone Levine takes us on a virtual visit to see Liang Shaoji’s Chains: The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Nature Series, No. 79

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The Allure of Coloring: gu wenda

This week’s downloadable coloring page features gu wenda’s united nations: american code (1995–2019), a house-like structure composed of braided and felted human hair.

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Material is the Message

Exhibition co-curator Wu Hung introduced The Allure of Matter and defined some of the major characteristics of material art during this keynote lecture at the US-China Forum 2020.

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The Allure of Coloring: Chen Zhen

This week’s coloring page features Chen Zhen’s Crystal Landscape of Inner Body (2000), a work that evokes the centuries old Daoist concept of “internal alchemy” by rendering internal organs in crystal.

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Pop Bottle Boats

Turn recycled plastic soda bottles into floating toy boats in this hands-on artmaking project inspired by He Xiangyu’s Cola Project.

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The Allure of Coloring: Gu Dexin

Introducing…the Allure of Coloring! Interact with The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China from the comfort of your living room through a special series of coloring sheets drawn by Erik L. Peterson.

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