Ruins of Daedalus' Labyrinth, a newly commissioned installation by multidisciplinary artist Nuttaphol Ma, opens in the Armory Center for the Arts’ Mezzanine Gallery on Saturday, January 22 from 7-9pm.
Thai-born, Los Angeles-based artist Nuttaphol Ma combines elements of Greek myth, Western operatic form, and European weaving to create a maze-like installation based on a story of migration and survival in his installation Ruins of Daedalus' Labyrinth. Through a translation of the phrase “heroic couplet” – a structural form in English poetry commonly used for epic works – the artist uses Chinese meanings to deconstruct the relationship between eastern and western narratives.
Working from an autobiographical, six-act pseudo-operatic text that serves as a guide through his labyrinth, the work becomes a tapestry of myth, dream, and reality that seduces viewers into weaving in their own meaning. Employing the very material used to escape Daedalus' Labyrinth in the classic Greek Myth, Ma utilizes threads and yarn to carve multiple passageways through a maze. The passages of the gallery’s decayed labyrinth, filled with woven walls, sculptural props, and fragmented texts, guide viewers to the end of a personal odyssey of conflict, harmony, and restoration.
This new installation by Ma, organized by Armory Curator Sinéad Finnerty-Pyne, will open alongside two concurrent exhibitions at the Armory; Sympathetic Magic, a group exhibition of time-based work organized by guest curator Catherine Taft, and Café Kiss of the World, an installation by multidisciplinary artist Haruko Tanaka. With previous degrees in Economics, International Management, and Architectural Conservation, Nuttaphol Ma began studying art at the Mountain School of Arts, Los Angeles, CA and earned his MFA at Claremont Graduate University, Los Angeles, CA in 2009. He has shown at such venues as The Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA; Cal State Long Beach, CA; S1F Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; and 18th Street Art Center, Santa Monica, CA. He has had solo exhibitions at Lenzner Gallery, Pitzer College, Claremont, CA; Upstairs at the Market Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; and Bonelli Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA.
On view at the Armory Center for the Arts, 145 North Raymond Avenue, Pasadena. Gallery hours are Tuesday – Sunday, noon-5 p.m. $5 suggested donation. Armory members, students, and seniors are free. The Armory is easily accessible from the Gold Line Memorial Park Station in Pasadena. For information about Armory exhibitions and events, the public may call 626.792.5101 x122. or visit the Armory website at www.armoryarts.org.