Oct. 9 2015 01:30 PM

Lansing Art Gallery exhibits works by MSU Professor Xia Gao

Xia Gao sets up a piece for her exhibit, "Dwell" at Lansing Art Gallery.
Courtesy photo

FRIDAY, Oct. 9 — Downtown’s Lansing Art Gallery is set to premiere its latest exhibit, “Dwell,” which features a variety of works by artist Xia Gao. A native of China, Gao works in several mediums, creating works that address the living conditions of people under the threat of air pollution.

“This is one of the more thought provoking exhibits we’ve had in a long time,” said Barb Whitney, Lansing Art Gallery director. “We’re really proud to be a part of it.”

“Dwell” features works that can adapt specifically to the space they are exhibited, such as two large-scale scrolls that can be unfurled to whatever length the exhibition space will allow. It also includes a site-specific exhibit entitled “Dwell-rest.” The piece features a bed and a chair that guests can choose to situate themselves in to look at a complex pattern of near-invisible threads that the artist created with simply a needle. The piece represents the ever present threat of pollution in densely populated areas and the relative ease with which it can be overlooked.

“The piece is really quite beautiful as you approach the installation,” said Whitney. “Yet as you get close, you can start to feel the oppression that the piece represents.”

Gao comes from a background of textile work, having obtained her MFA in textile art and design from the University of Wisconsin in 2006. After graduating, Gao worked as a professor at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. She is currently is an assistant professor at in the Department of Art and Art History and Design at MSU.

The exhibit will hold its opening reception tonight, but a planned artist talk will be held on a date that has yet to be determined. (Gao had to fly back to her native China due to the sudden death of her father and will not be in attendance tonight.) Whitney assures guests that she and gallery coordinator Sara Pulver will be able to answer any questions guests may have about the works until Gao is able to give her presentation. Until then, a visit may be in order based on Whitney’s enthusiasm for the show alone.

“I’ve never seen anything like this anywhere,” said Whitney. “Her work is truly extraordinary.”

“Dwell” will be on display until November 11.

Opening reception for Xia Gao’s “Dwell”

7-9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9

Lansing Art Gallery

119 N. Washington Square, Lansing

(517) 374-6400