The Zuzushii Art Laboratory’s recent show, Functional Dysfunctional invited visitors to challenge preconceived notions of objectivity and the every day. Gallery curators Tim Can and Fumico Azuma extended an open call for local artists to contribute work in keeping with an inverted utilitarian brief of stripped back aesthetics, transformation and recycling.
Twelve artists (including Can and Azuma), from a variety of backgrounds and creative disciplines, presented a plethora of varied and unquestionably zany artistic creations, as oversized cutout human ears sat alongside sculptural canines with flashing light bulbs for noses.
Heavy Feathers by Tim Can
Guests were able to strum on instruments forcibly attached to chairs, whilst admiring re-rendered car wing mirrors, carefully positioned alongside elegant, oriental style lamps. A clock face, emblazoned with the image of a tomato, was but one of many curious, yet reassuringly familiar items on display.
Perhaps my favourite work on show was Soldier by Tim Riddihough, a sculptor renowned for his prodigious and often abstract constructions. A strategically positioned helmet instantaneously set the context of Riddihough’s expressive design, whilst additional items such as a computer motherboard, imposing wooden framework and phallically placed bathroom tap, remained hauntingly redolent.
Soldier by Tim Riddihough
Another standout design piece was A Great British Tradition by mosaic artist Emma Harding, who presented a gleefully sardonic take on imperialism and empire. Harding’s meticulously handcrafted table, complete with a series of rather formal looking tea cups carefully positioned on top, seemed to exemplify the overwhelmingly surreal tone of the rest of the show.
In-house artists Tim Can and Fumico Azuma are keen to emphasise the need for art to be ‘Accessible to all, completely free from any notions of
pretence’ and thus devoid of the usual constraints of a more mainstream, dare I say superficial arts scene. Their disarmingly open philosophy is certainly embodied in the rich assortment of work featured in Functional Dysfunctional. The gallery is free to visit and the aim to engage one and all in the arts is truly admirable .
What Zuzushii lacks in terms of literal exhibition space, it more than makes up for with its eclectic series of ongoing exhibitions and events. Functional Dysfunctional continues to maintain the latter, whilst also upholding the socially conscious ethos of previous shows held at the gallery.
Slapstick by Jim Roseveare
The Zuzushii Arts Laboratory is a treasure trove of mixed media deities and injects a much needed sense of anarchic defiance into the local arts scene. So take a break from the mono-tony of reality and step inside the unique world of Zuzushii Arts Laboratory, today!
• Functional Dysfunctional runs until 7th March 2020
• Zuzushii Art Laboratory Zuzushii is 26, White Rock, Hastings . For more
information on future events visit www.zuzushiiartlaboratory.com
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