Art on theMART’s Fall 2022 program is slated to premiere Thursday, Sept. 8 at 8:30 p.m., and will feature two new projections highlighting the city of Chicago’s Year of Chicago Dance: Love Letters by internationally-renowned, Chinese-born, Chicago-based artist Yuge Zhou, and Trap Moulin Rouge, a commissioned piece by local performing artist Jasmin Taylor.
“The Year of Chicago Dance is in full swing and Art on theMART is pleased to continue our alignment with this City of Chicago initiative,” said Cynthia Noble, Art on theMART Executive Director. “As a large-scale, centrally-located platform, Art on theMART is a new kind of stage for performing artists and shows the world the breadth and depth of Chicago’s creative talent.”
Love Letters by Yuge Zhou - Photo courtesy of Art on theMART
Love Letters, a video projection by Chinese-born, Chicago-based artist Yuge Zhou, portrays a lively courtship dance between two urban dwellers searching for each other through a labyrinth of colorful geometrics with growing curiosity, electricity and affection. Love Letters features original choreography by Hannah Santistevan, performances by Rebecca Huang and Joffrey dancer Xavier Nunez, computational animation by Mary Franck and Patrick Steppan and sound by Ori Zur. Zhou won the juried ArtPrize 2021, Honorary Mention in the Prix Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria and a fellowship in Media Arts from the Illinois Arts Council. Upcoming exhibitions include a solo show at the Chinese American Museum of Chicago which opens in September, 2022.
“While my solo works often depict simultaneous and ephemeral encounters amidst the rush of contemporary life, Love Letters tells a singular story of connection through dance and technology within my video art,” said Zhou. “I have assembled a team in a variety of arts as a way to connect with others during the pandemic and diversify my practice. The technical component of the project magnifies the push and pull of the characters in this story as they explore each other’s presence on the larger-than-life canvas of theMART.”
Trap Moulin Rouge by Jasmin Taylor, in co-production with Motion/Pictures Dance Project, takes audiences to Chicago’s South Side to showcase the vibrant Black culture and dance that emanate from it. Taking sonic and aesthetic inspiration from the 2001 film “Moulin Rouge,” Trap Moulin Rouge combines classical, R&B and jazz melodies with a variety of dance styles with the aim of creating and promoting equity in Chicago through the performing arts. Trap Moulin Rouge’s production team is 95% Black and 100% women, with funding for the project going directly to the collaborators.
“We want to create and promote more equity in the city of Chicago, and Art on theMART has partnered with us to do so,” said Taylor. “The production of Trap Moulin Rouge supports all of the Black and POC cast and crew members involved in the project, more specifically, the artists, animators, musicians, editors, photographers, performers and digital artists that bring the piece to its full potential.”
Art on theMART’s Fall Program will be on view twice nightly at 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. from September 8 through November 16. Art on theMART is free and can best viewed on the Chicago Riverwalk between Wells Street and Franklin Street, where accompanying audio can be experienced. For more information, visit artonthemart.com.
About Art on theMART
Art on theMART, presented in partnership with Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), is the largest permanent digital art projection in the world, projecting contemporary artwork across the 2.5-acre river-façade of theMART. This expansive permanent piece of public art continues Chicago’s legacy of providing both residents and visitors with exceptional art that is both free and accessible to all. Projections are visible to the public from Wacker Drive and along the Chicago Riverwalk.
The program content rotates seasonally and is selected with the assistance and expertise of the Curatorial Advisory Board. The City of Chicago and theMART work in partnership to manage and curate the projected artwork over the course of a 30-year agreement. Privately funded by Vornado Realty Trust, owner of theMART, Art on theMART marks the first time a projection of its size and scope is completely dedicated to digital art with no branding, sponsorship credits or messaging. The permanent projection system illuminates theMART with 34 state-of-the-art projectors totaling almost one million lumens. For more information, visit www.artonthemart.com.
theMART (formerly The Merchandise Mart), located in the center of the sought-after River North submarket, is interwoven into the fabric of Chicago as an innovator in business, technology, culture, art, media and more. As the largest privately owned commercial building in the United States, it is also one of the world’s leading commercial buildings, wholesale design centers and the preeminent international business location in Chicago. Encompassing 4.2 million gross square feet, theMART spans two city blocks, rises 25 stories, and is visited by an average of 30,000 people each business day and nearly 10 million people annually. Offering continuous innovation and creativity from leading manufacturers and design forward showrooms, theMART serves as the home to Chicago's most creative and technologically innovative companies including Motorola Mobility, 1871, Yelp, PayPal and MATTER, as well as Fortune 500 companies ConAgra Brands, Allstate, Medline Industries, Beam Suntory and Grainger. For more information, visit themart.com.