ChimaTEK Beta Launch

In a large, darkened gallery space I was transfixed and nearly hypnotized by Saya Woolfalk’s gallery installation—an otherworldly atmosphere filled with colorful patterns of light, calming, melodic tunes, sculptures and videos. The music, swelling and receding with the low chatter and bustling of patrons, was contemplative, reflective and at times uplifting, as though something magical and mysterious were being revealed right then and there. Indeed something truly remarkable was being revealed—a spectacular vision of mythological space-time, as part of Saya’s fictional narrative (and species) called Empathics, an on-going project that has taken many shapes in various museums and galleries around the world.

Saya Woolfalk, ChimaTEK Beta Launch – Installation photographs by Amanda Bauer

The gallery space had several large concrete pillars, which divided the room, and Saya used six of them to mount her human/bird-like sculptures several feet above the floor. These six, seemingly angelic figures, made mostly of cloth, created symmetry and a path to an altar-like stage where a video monitor hanged between two more figures.

The video, a mix of photography, animation and graphics, portrayed a blue-faced, gender-neutral character with multiple arms that undulated and danced like a Hindu deity, while colorful patterns moved behind and above the figure. On the far left wall, perhaps twenty feet tall, were two animations projected side by side, in which arms and legs of bright blues, yellows, greens and reds danced in circular, kaleidoscopic patterns. One would think the complexity and combination of media would be too much to comprehend at once, but it was a spectacle so thoughtful, so beautifully crafted, with all its components it moved like a visual symphony. ChimaTEK Beta Launch, an installation by Saya Woolfalk, displayed at Smack Mellon, was by far, my most favorite show at the Dumbo Arts Festival this past weekend, in Brooklyn, NY.


to learn more about the exhibition click here

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE artist visit her website HERE