The Intersection of Art and Music: An Immersive Experience in Linling Lu’s Soundwaves

Marketing and Communications Detail Amity Chan shares her experience in Linling Lu‘s Soundwaves, on view through April 30.

Linling Lu’s Soundwaves, the first Intersections project of 2023, is a response to Philip Glass’s Etude no. 16 played on piano by Timo Andres during a Phillips Music program in 2015. Trained as a pianist from a young age, Lu uses her knowledge of classical piano and music theory to explore the intersection of art and music in this exhibition. Soundwaves features Lu’s collection of 12 circular paintings, each representing a note played by Andres on the piano. Linking art and music together, Lu offers the ultimate meditative experience.

Upon entering the gallery, visitors are greeted by a life-sized circular painting that transports them to the world of music. Looking to the left, six additional life-sized circular paintings are displayed on the wall as parts of the seven notes played by the pianist’s left hand. While on the right wall, five paintings of varied sizes are installed as a hand shape to represent the five notes played by the right hand. Despite the absence of a piano, the entire gallery space feels like a massive piano. As viewers, we are standing inside the piano enveloped by Andres’s performance.

As Lu mentioned in an interview, “If you read a book a hundred times, you can read something behind the texts. I think for painting, it has the same process.” In Soundwaves, Lu’s paintings mirror the repetitive phrases in Glass’s Etude no. 16 with the use of recurring circular patterns. The gradient circles on the twelve canvases resemble the pressure from the fingertips, slowly wrapping the viewers in the musician’s hands as they tap on piano keys. This leads to a thought-provoking question: who is the real musician here? Is it Lu, Timo Andres, or Phillips Glass?

Lu’s art practice centers around the concept of repetition, and this exhibition is no exception. The experience of Soundwaves is designed to be savored over time. Don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind immersive exhibition, and be sure to bring your earphones so you can listen to Glass’s music while you savor!

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