In response to the question "where is poetry?" an Old Irish text suggests as an answer "i ndorchaidhéta"–literally, in darkness. 1 The multimedia installation Night by the artist Han Mengyun points to a similar inspiration, a notion of darkness as a paradoxical site of emotional illumination and possible emancipation.
In the installation, an atmosphere of night is created by a wooden ceiling structure covered with indigo-dyed fabric that was strenuously pounded with egg whites over a period of nine months by the Dong women of China. Screened under this artificial darkness is a film based on the artist’s recent poems. The multimedia exhibition attempts to concoct a nocturnal theater that reflects and intensifies the artist’s inner poetic vision and humanitarian concerns. Bewitched into a peculiar night mode, the viewers are prompted to reflect on versions of darkness: the unfathomable darkness of the womb that harbors life and wisdom; the veiled labor of women; those that are hidden, confined, abandoned, aborted, those who have never managed to weather the night and glimpse a beam of light.
Yet the night is not entirely terrifying as it also gives birth to poetry, which is hinted at in Han’s anthology of poems, published as part of the exhibition: the nightly presence of the moon suggests a possibility, even if it has never been fully seen.
1. “An Old-Irish Tract on the Privileges and Responsibilities of Poets.” Ériu 13 (1942): 38.
诗歌出自哪里？早期爱尔兰文本提出了一个答案：“i ndorchaidhéta” ， 即“在黑暗中”1。艺术家韩梦云的多媒体装置《夜》（Night）指出了类似的灵感，她将黑暗作为能够照亮及解放情感的矛盾场所。
About the Artist
Han Mengyun (b.1989, Wuhan, China) is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice spans painting, installation, text and video, as well as nodes of their intersections. Han primarily works with painting that combines various traditions by way of integrating craft and installations inspired by religious and vernacular architectures. In her work Night (2022), Han treats the space as the canvas, creating a multilayered installation that renders the poetic and emotional space of her mind in response to external turmoils that gave birth to her poems and film.
Han received her B. A in Studio Art from Bard College in the US in 2012 and has pursued the study of Sanskrit at various institutions such as Kyoto University before she completed her MFA at the University of Oxford with a research focus on Classical Indology and Indian aesthetic theories in 2018. She has worked at the British Museum and has previously taught at Rutgers University. Recent exhibitions: “The Glass Bead Game” (Art Basel, Basel, Switzerland, 2022); “The Pavilion of Three Mirrors” (Ad-Diriyah Biennale: Feeling the Stones, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 2021); “The Dwelling Place of the Other in Me” (Power Station of Art, Shanghai, 2021) etc.
韩梦云，1989年生于中国武汉，现居伦敦。2012年于美国巴德学院获得纯艺学士学位，后于京都大学研习梵文，并于2018年在牛津大学完成纯艺硕士学位，研究方向为古典印度学与印度美学。她曾就职于大英博物馆，曾任教于罗格斯大学。 近期展览：《玻璃球游戏》 (Art Basel, 瑞士巴塞尔, 2022）, 《三镜厅》 ( 迪里耶当代艺术双年展《摸着石头过河》 , 沙特阿拉伯，2021) , 《未有名目的言说》 （上海当代艺术博物馆， 2021)。