Photo Tour of TRNZ’s ‘The Weight of Things,’ Jolene Lai’s ‘Secret Garden,’ and Tenser’s ‘Three Halves’

Thinkspace presents a photo tour of our sophomore show with artist TRNZThe Weight of Things’ in Gallery III. Gallery IV holds Jolene Lai’s ‘Secret Garden,’ a collection of oil paintings and drawings inviting viewers to gaze out of the window of their souls to see what lies within.  And in The Dog House, the debut exhibition from TENSERThree Halves,’ which was curated by Carmen Acosta

All exhibitions are on view at Thinkspace Projects now through October 28, 2023. The Thinkspace Projects compound is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 6pm. Please note the Dog House Gallery and our courtyard are only open for viewing on Saturdays.

Photos by @BirdManPhotos.

Continue reading Photo Tour of TRNZ’s ‘The Weight of Things,’ Jolene Lai’s ‘Secret Garden,’ and Tenser’s ‘Three Halves’

Virtual Tour of October Exhibitions at Thinkspace Projects | Exhibitions on view October 7, 2023 – October 28, 2023

Thinkspace presents a virtual tour of Langston Allston is in Gallery I with ‘A Passing Love.’ The show conveys real stories and experiences with striking colors. In Gallery II, Fajar Amali brings his new show ‘Among Our Existence.’ The artist’s collection explores the worth of things that are often underestimated. TRNZ is showing ‘The Weight of Things’ in Gallery III. The show assembles visual imagery in uncanny ways drawing from the artist’s own memories. ‘Secret Garden’ by Jolene Lai is in Gallery IV and is inviting viewers to gaze out of the window of their souls to see what lies within. In the Dog House Gallery, TENSER takes an expansive look at his life up to now drawing on studio work, graffiti, and street portraits with ‘Three Halves.’ Lastly our Viewing Room holds ‘Spirit Ditch’, a special installation from Al Marcano, that represents finding a new religion through skateboarding.

Explore the virtual tour here: https://players.cupix.com/p/cwNivItA

All exhibitions are on view at Thinkspace Projects now through October 28, 2023.

Virtual tour created by Birdman.

Video Tour & Opening Reception Party of October Exhibitions featuring works from Langston Allston, Fajar Amali, TRNZ, Jolene Lai, Al Marcano, Tenser at Thinkspace Projects

Many thanks to all of the art lovers that flowed through our space this past Saturday to celebrate the opening of our October exhibitions. Much love to all of this month’s exhibiting artists for delivering such stellar bodies of work, what a special celebration it was!

Langston Allston (@langstonallston) is in Gallery I with ‘A Passing Love.’ The show conveys real stories and experiences with striking colors.

In Gallery II, Fajar Amali (@fajaramalie) brings his new show ‘Among Our Existence.’ The artist’s collection explores the worth of things that are often underestimated.

TRNZ (@trnzwho) is showing ‘The Weight of Things’ in Gallery III. The show assembles visual imagery in uncanny ways drawing from the artist’s own memories.

Secret Garden’ by Jolene Lai (@jolenelaiart) is in Gallery IV and is inviting viewers to gaze out of the window of their souls to see what lies within.

In the Dog House Gallery, TENSER takes an expansive look at his life up to now drawing on studio work, graffiti, and street portraits with ‘Three Halves.’

Our Viewing Room holds ‘Spirit Ditch’, a special installation from Al Marcano, that represents finding a new religion through skateboarding.

Much love to all that rocked our courtyard as well including GoopMassta, Ms.yellow, Marisa Avila Sayler, Karpet Workshop, Anthony Patrick Manorek, The Cure Company, Zavalas Pies, Liquid Death, Venice Beats and Digital Debris Video Gallery.

On view through October 28, 2023. The Thinkspace Projects compound is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 6pm. Please note the Dog House Gallery and our courtyard are only open for viewing on Saturdays. Free and open to all.

Thinkspace Projects
4207 W. Jefferson Blvd + 4217 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Los Angeles, California 90016

Photos + Video courtesy Birdman.

Continue reading Video Tour & Opening Reception Party of October Exhibitions featuring works from Langston Allston, Fajar Amali, TRNZ, Jolene Lai, Al Marcano, Tenser at Thinkspace Projects

Interview with Jolene Lai for ‘Secret Garden’ | Exhibition October 7 -October 28, 2023

Thinkspace is excited to present Jolene Lai for ‘Secret Garden,‘ a collection of oil paintings and drawings that seek to ignite curiosity about the hidden stories we all carry within ourselves. What kind of magical landscape gets unfolded when you gaze out through the window of your soul?

“The unbearable tossing and turning from insomnia in the dead of the night led me to gradually sit up. I got out of bed and walked to the window in the room. The still night was immediately interrupted by flying insects spiraling towards the light from the street lamps outside of my window. From across the street, a flicker of light from another house drew my attention. I could see the silhouette of a woman… I watched her deliberately take long drags on her cigarette, as if she was sucking in the marrow of life. My mind was transfixed by this enigmatic figure that was becoming more familiar with each inhalation, hers and mine. The smoke drifted up into the night air and I traced it with my eyes and imagined that they were carrying along all of her secrets with it. Secrets that I longed to know… I gazed until her silhouette was a blur… I tried to retrace her shape and for a brief moment seized a quick glimpse of her face in my mind again, before that fragment of her faded away. I knew that I would never forget her, the stranger in the night.”

Our interview with Lai reveals who her creative influences are, her dream collaboration, and what was in her musical rotation during the development of this collection.

What themes were you exploring in this body of work? Did you have a piece that was particularly challenging?

During the thought process of creating this ‘Secret Garden’ collection, the 1992 film ‘That Night’ starring Juliette Lewis, kept surfacing in my mind. There is a particular scene of a ten year old girl staring out of her window at night and into a teenage girl’s (Juliette Lewis) window from across where she lived. The child witnesses and attempts to imitate the teenager’s every alluring move of slow dancing to the music that’s playing on the record player, brushing her shoulder length blonde hair and spraying perfume on her neck in front of a spinning fan.

That moment from the film captivated me when I was a kid myself watching it and proceeded to linger in my mind. I wanted to capture the sense of a fleeting moment like that – a place in time wherever one might be, alone in their mind where they are connected with their inner selves.

‘Secret Garden’, which is also the highlight of the collection, was probably the most challenging piece of them all because of the intricate botanical details in the background. I really wanted to emphasize the landscape but at the same time still make sure that the ghostly character of the painting was commanding the utmost arrest.

What does a day in the studio look like for you? How do you structure your days?

I always try to find something interesting to watch or listen to before I start painting. I only listen to music if I am working at night, so daytime programs often consist of stories that might fuel my imagination. Lately it’s been crime and urban legends of Hong Kong from the early 70s to 80s.

I have to say my working days are pretty routine and I try to approach the day like any 9 to 5 job, clocking in and out to measure how much time I have allocated to each artwork.

Do you have any rituals that help you tap into a creative flow?

I am a creature of habit but I don’t think I have a specific ritual when it comes to searching for inspiration. I often reference some random film I’ve seen, or a lit up window at night while I am out walking could spark my curiosity.

What is your most favorite and least favorite part of the creative process?

I do not particularly enjoy the sketching process since I am so meticulous about details even when it is just outlines for oils. But I do love when all is completed because it means I get to throw the first layers of color on a blank surface.

Who are some of your creative influences? Why do they inspire you?

I must have mentioned this before but Wong Kar Wai’s films are still for me timeless and empowering, not just in cinematography but also the writing. His works age like fine wine.

If you could have any skill or topic downloaded into your brain, what would you want to be able to do / be an expert at?

Contortion skills. I have this ache on my left shoulder blade that possibly developed over years from my bad posture while painting. It would be really nice to be able to reach that dull pain with my right hand and give it a good massage.

What do you hope viewers take away or experience while viewing your work?

I try to not have any expectations. I think that hinders possibilities of the work and halts the magic that the viewers themselves create.

How do you like to enjoy your time outside of the studio? Do you celebrate the completion of a body of work?

I try to enjoy the greenery around me when I am out and about. I used to think about work even on my way to get coffee in the mornings, but have recently been putting a curb on that behaviour.

I actually do not have the habit of celebrating when a collection has been completed. Brainstorming about the next idea comes naturally for me.

If you could collaborate with any artists in any sort of medium (i.e. movies, music, painting) who would you collaborate with, and what would you be making?

I think a collaboration with a chef would be interesting. It would be a 12 course meal, each dish paired with a complementing artwork. I’m so familiar with painting in vivid colors that I think it would be a challenge to limit the series to nothing but just shades of white. Similarly I think it would be challenging for a chef to come up with a 12 course meal consisting of a limited color palette.

Who would be on the guest list if you could throw a dinner party for five people, dead or alive? What would be on the menu? What would be the icebreaker question?

Five people is too big a group for me, I think I would just invite Van Gogh and serve us apple pie with vanilla ice cream. And then ask, “was it really suicide?”

What was in your musical rotation during the development of this body of work?

At the start of this collection, Taiwanese artiste Wu Bai’s 夏夜晚风 (Summer Night Breeze), and towards the end, music from London singer Puma Blue.

October Exhibitions featuring works from Langston Allston, Fajar Amali, TRNZ, Jolene Lai, Tenser, and Al Marcano open October 7, 2023

Thinkspace Projects presents:

LANGSTON ALLSTON
A Passing Love
(Gallery I)

FAJAR AMALI
Among Our Existence
(Gallery II)

TRNZ
The Weight of Things
(Gallery III)

JOLENE LAI
Secret Garden
(Gallery IV)

TENSER
Three Halves
(The Doghouse Gallery)

AL MARCANO
Spirit Ditch
(Viewing Room)

Opening Reception:
Saturday, October 7 from 6-10pm

On view October 7 – October 28, 2023 at:

Thinkspace Projects
4207 W. Jefferson Blvd + 4217 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Los Angeles, California 90016

Collector Preview will be shared on Monday, October 2.

LANGSTON ALLSTON
‘A Passing Love’
(Gallery I)

In the Main Gallery, Thinkspace Projects is pleased to present ‘A Passing Love,’ the gallery’s sophomore solo exhibition with artist Langston Allston. Allston conveys real stories and experiences with striking colors. He addresses his work with hope, with curiosity, and with the quiet sadness of knowing nothing is ever going to be the same.

Artist Statement:
The show is sort of a return to some of the themes and ideas that I was working on in my 2020 show ‘No Peace.’ That body of work featured tight compositions with flames reflected on the relatively serene faces of the figures in my paintings. The summer of 2020 was full of fire and chaos for me, and I couldn’t help but dive into those feelings and visuals in the work I was creating during that time. 

This summer has felt like a return to that pervasive feeling of chaos. With fires erupting in the swamps, and smoke clouding the skies across the country, it’s impossible not to wonder what the world will look like when the heat of summer passes and we are left to pick up the pieces yet again.

The title pays tribute to the Langston Hughes poem ‘Passing Love’

Because you are to me a song
I just not song you over-long.

Because you are to me a prayer 
I cannot say you everywhere.

Because you are to me a rose –
You will not stay when summer goes.

About Langston Allston:
Langston Allston is a painter and muralist based in New Orleans, Louisiana. He splits his time between New Orleans and Chicago, Illinois and finds inspiration for his work in the everyday moments that make each city unique and beautiful. His work has been featured at the Contemporary Art Center, in New Orleans, the Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Art, in Brooklyn, and is in the permanent collection of the City of New Orleans. Allston has also created public art throughout Chicago for community organizations like the Blocc, and the Mural Movement, and for major brands like the Chicago Bulls.

FAJAR AMALI
‘Among Our Existence’
(Gallery II)

In Gallery II, Fajar Amali’s debut solo show ‘Among Our Existence’ fills the space. The Indonesian artist explores a post-apocalyptic setting, featuring pop figures in the still life painting approach. Seeing how still life painting can bring an impressive depth in various times, Amali views it as a method of recording the momentum of time. Using iconic figures in popular comics as toys in still life style works, Amali explores the worth of things that are often underestimated. 

About Fajar Amali:

Fajar Amali was born in Surabya in 1992, Fajar currently lives and works in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He droped out from Hassan II Universite, Casablanca, Morocco, North African. Then he moved and studied in Indonesian Art Institute (Institut Seni Indonesia) Yogyakarta, Indonesia. His work mainly is a painting and Mix Media.

Fajar has graduated from art institute, Institut Seni Indonesia Yogyakarta and continues his career as an artist in Yogyakarta.

He has two tendencies in his work, first he uses the “What if the Multiverse exists?” pattern to see exixting perspectives as new possibilities. And another tendency in his work to use iconic robot figure in each of his work, these figure are deformation of Dwarapala form as a form of his local culture. Dwarapala is a statue of a gate or door guard in the teachings of Shiva and Buddha, in the form of a human or a monster. Usually the dwarapala is placed outside a temple, shrine or other building to protect a sacred place or sacred place inside.

For now he is deeply intrigued by Sci-Fi reality after apocalypse and relates it to our empirical experiences in popular culture. The pop culture style that accompanies his work for now is taken from adapting and appropriate the cyberpunk genre of comics and cartoons.

TRNZ
‘The Weight of Things’
(Gallery III)

In Gallery III, Thinkspace Projects presents their sophomore show with artist TRNZ. A few years ago, TRNZ developed a fascination with using mundane things and figures, arranged to loom over his work, presenting an awkward mystery. The artist from the Philippines uses ‘The Weight of Things’ to navigate the same process with an exceedingly charged relationship between the figures and the objects surrounding them. Taking cues and motifs from his own memories and experiences, he assembles visual imagery in uncanny ways.

About TRNZ:
Born in Manila, TRNZ (pronounced ‘Terence’) was introduced to art through dubbed Japanese anime which aired daily on his family’s local television. After receiving a BFA Major in Advertising, he spent his early years as an art director at TBWA/SMP, a global network advertising agency. In 2017, he shifted directions and started dabbling in visual art. His time in advertising taught him to embrace a multimedia approach in his work. Now, he creates a world with alluring narration while keeping characteristics that are unique to him and his style.

JOLENE LAI
‘Secret Garden’
(Gallery IV)

Gallery IV holds Jolene Lai’s ‘Secret Garden’, a collection of oil paintings and drawings that seek to ignite curiosity about the hidden stories we all carry within ourselves. What kind of magical landscape gets unfolded when you gaze out through the window of your soul?

“The unbearable tossing and turning from insomnia in the dead of the night led me to gradually sit up. I got out of bed and walked to the window in the room. The still night was immediately interrupted by flying insects spiraling towards the light from the street lamps outside of my window. From across the street, a flicker of light from another house drew my attention. I could see the silhouette of a woman, a willowy shadow framed with hues of bright tangerine illuminated from behind her. I saw her light up a cigarette and caught a fleeting glimpse of her face in the glow of the flickering flame. She rested her arms on the window sill and began to casually run her fingers through her seemingly tousled hair.

I watched her deliberately take long drags on her cigarette, as if she was sucking in the marrow of life. My mind was transfixed by this enigmatic figure that was becoming more familiar with each inhalation, hers and mine. The smoke drifted up into the night air and I traced it with my eyes and imagined that they were carrying along all of her secrets with it. Secrets that I longed to know.

I stood there for a long time, etching her contours into my mind, until finally she stubbed out her cigarette and turned away from the window. I gazed until her silhouette was a blur and the window turned into another gaping hole that was interwoven with the darkness of the street.

Everything was still again, lest for the insects that were still hurling themselves against the burning bulbs. I laid in bed, glancing at a window that now framed a lonely crescent in the sky. I tried to retrace her shape and for a brief moment seized a quick glimpse of her face in my mind again, before that fragment of her faded away. I knew that I would never forget her, the stranger in the night.”

About Jolene Lai:
After studying painting at Lasalle-SIA College of the Arts in Singapore, Jolene studied graphic design at UCLA and spent a year working at movie-poster design house, The Refinery Creative, before returning to focus on fine art.

She works primarily with oil on canvas or mixed media on water color paper. With bold use of color, shape and intricate detail, she creates images with a seductive aesthetic and subject matter that weaves in emotions of whimsy, melancholy, irony and absurdity.

Lai seeks to engage her audience in works that are approachable, newly imagined spaces that the viewer is invited to explore on their own terms.

Lai is inspired by everything from mythologies, Asian culture, and children’s stories, to fashion editorials, cityscapes, and illustration. She is always seeking new “sets” and stages for her characters and their outlandish encounters. Aesthetically, her work combines the beautiful and the grotesque with the quiet and the excessive in fluid and unexpected ways, just as innocence in her imagery tends to be shadowed by the suggestion of something sinister or dark. Her previous work has included strangely faceted, marionette-like figures, faceless characters, doubles, automatons, and stylized doll-like girls. Her imagery remains universally accessible in its psychologically motivated nuance.

TENSER
‘Three Halves’
(The Doghouse Gallery)

In the Dog House, Thinkspace Projects presents the debut exhibition from TENSER. ‘Three Halves,’ curated by Carmen Acosta, is a true depiction of the life he has lived thus far, drawing on studio work, graffiti, and street portraits to highlight a theme he has developed over the last 13 years. TENSER’s work is expansive yet approachable enough to appeal to a wide audience. His classically trained background brings a level of refinement to all aspects of his work including his large-scale portraits on public structures to the elaborate yet temporary graffiti on billboards, rooftops, and alleyways.

About TENSER:
Born and raised in Los Angeles, TENSER is an active figure in the Los Angeles street art culture and has been producing work locally and nationally for the last 13 years.

TENSER’s work is expansive yet approachable enough to appeal to a wide audience. His classically trained background brings a level of refinement to all aspects of his work including his large-scale portraits on public structures to the elaborate yet temporary graffiti on billboards, rooftops, and alleyways.

AL MARCANO
‘Spirit Ditch’
(Viewing Room)

Our viewing room holds a special installation from Al Marcano, an American contemporary artist currently working in the Joshua Tree area of Southern California. Marcano is inspired by his love of collectibles, his devotion to all things kitsch, and his love of skateboarding.

Marcano’s vibrant work is best described as modern day folk art. This new body of work features a vast array of small and medium scale pieces brought together to form his ‘Spirit Ditch’ installation.