I’ve partied like an animal, but I don’t think I’ve ever partied with animals.
Last Thursday was the debut of Royal/T‘s newest exhibition Party Animals featuring works from the Susan Hancock Collection and curated by electronic media artist Lindsay Scoggins. The exhibit showcased a number of contemporary artists including Takashi Murakami, Mike Reynolds, KAWS, TM Sisters, and Yoshitomo Nara among others.
Artwork varied from the sculptural to whimsical and playful to jarring and puzzling. With each piece, I was invited to take on the artist’s view on anthropomorphic animals, be it a larger-than-life-sized dog, comatose squirrels, or a reconstructed doll. The childlike creativity juxtaposed with a crude and cruel innocence in some of the pieces were challenging, and I had to take a minute or two in order to sort through my thoughts and feelings.
Mingling throughout the gallery amidst the exhibition were waitstaff dressed in brown French maid outfits, serving food from The Dimsum Truck and Coolhaus. Face painters and balloon artists entertained children and adults alike while others sipped on themed cocktails. I had a BBQ pork bun, shrimp har gow, and a fried cheeseburger dumpling with my watermelon and basil soju cocktail as I listened to live music performances by Fidlar and Baseck and watched people in “cosplay” (costume play) greet each other and take pictures. Those who weren’t broke like my college self wandered over to the Friends With You pop-up shop to purchase goodies for their friends.
The art gallery had taken a life of its own. Balloons, people roaming around as animals, food to put in my mouth, music bumping: each of these elements culminated into an all-sensory-encompassing art viewing experience unlike any I have ever had before. The line between art and spectator was no longer clear.
Should I watch the cat lady lick her fingers free of soy sauce or reexamine Jim Lambie‘s record deck piece covered in glitter and decorated with women’s jewelry?
The balloon dog in Jeff Koons piece looks like all the other floaty helium balloons, but it’s really made of white glazed porcelain?
Both the art pieces and art space had transformed one another to create a truly indulgently imaginative environment.
You have till September 24 to enter the world of Party Animals. It’s free of charge, so I encourage all animal and art aficionados take a walk in it and have a look-see.