Voyage

Kalman Pool
2023

Emotion: Surprise

Voyage is an imaginary journey that unfolds in a mysterious, historical, and futuristic realm; one might find themselves in the depths of the ocean as well as in space, encountering a new alien civilization, and remining surprised by the new and unexplored. Upon entering the Vault, you step into an underground world where the fantastical creatures of Kalman Pool come to life. At the centre of the installation, a colossal and divine creature, the Cosmic Dragon, towers above the heads of visitors, suspended as if in a natural history museum. Continuing through the room, the spectator will also encounter ethereal inflatable phantasms seamlessly transitioning from invisibility to visibility. On the walls, fluorescent words in Luminous Opera, a new language created by the artist himself inspired by East Asian languages, which he has been exploring and developing for the first time presented in Europe. The inspiration for these artworks stems from the artist’s journey to the Mogao Caves, a divine Buddhist site with over a thousand years of history in northwestern China. Inside the cave, murals and statues depict celestial creatures and hieroglyphics. Light and sound play accompany the spectator for a multisensory and immersive experience: the mystery and journey begin here, marking a teleportation that transcends the boundaries of time and space, allowing entry into another dimension.

 

Biography

Kalman Pool completed his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2019, followed by his MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art in London in 2021. Concurrently, he attended the Swatch Art Peace Hotel as an artist-in-residence, where he was invited to create a Swatch X You artist special WATCH. In 2023, he was invited to create a large-scale installation, “WEAVVY 海宇,” for Lincoln China, showcased at the biennial Auto Shanghai Show and drew over one million visitors.

Inspired by BioArt and natural history, Pool’s interdisciplinary works examine the dialectical relationship between virtual and physical, seemingly reconciling both by means of fantastically inventing VR-made bio-mutated phantasms, inflatable simulacra and invented pictographic language installations. Kalman was inspired by the inflatable dummies used by the U.S. top-secret “Ghost Army” in WWII, combining VR techniques and inflatables to create installations and digital pieces. He uses mechanical reproduction knowingly to question the authenticity of the original, whilst the vibrant aliveness of the sculptures themselves goes beyond the mundanity of simulacra.
“Despite being an artwork made using a mechanical reproduction method and a simulacrum simulated through utopian VR, each of my inflatable sculptures gives life in virtue of its physically inflated body with the possibility of interaction with its natural surroundings.”
Kalman Pool has exhibited in both institutional and gallery shows in China, Europe and the US like Jupiter Museum of Art Shenzhen and Saatchi Gallery London.

A production