Anne Muntges: The Story of the Rock
Organized by Art in Touch
Exhibition Dates: 12.08.2021 - 06.01.2022
Location: 59 West 37th Street
Photograph by Weihan.
New York - (Dec. 8, 2021) Art in Touch is proud to launch the first of the Art Feed project series--The Story of the Rock exhibition, a collaboration between artist Anne Muntges and Café China. The exhibition featuring Muntges’ seven new works will run from Dec.8, 2021 to Apr.8, 2022. As the pace of New York midtown slowed down during the pandemic, the artworks and the restaurant’s new look hope to bring some small changes to the area and enhance a sense of serenity in a social hub.
The inspiration of Muntges’ works came from the adaptability of Chinese gardens to the local environment. In this show, the paintings and the mural feature scholars’ rocks, peonies, ginkgo, camelia, magnolia, witch hazel, and wisteria, conventionally found in a Chinese garden. Yiming Wang, the designer and owner of Café China, incorporated many Chinese-garden-inspired designs into the space. For Chinese gardens, there is no strict rule as to what kind of plants or how the plants should be arranged. Responding to this fluid interpretation of a Chinese garden style, artist Muntges used her sensitivity to follow the flow of Chinese gardens, feel the surface of scholars’ stone, and imagine a garden of her own on the wall and papers.
The appreciation of otherness is a central theme for Chinese gardens, for this exhibition, and also for the restaurant itself. Muntges broke with her tradition of drawing objects in the world she lives in. She imagined a garden on the mural after visiting the restaurant construction site. Her art is not the most ‘Chinese’ works that we could find; however, this might exactly be a message that Café China hopes to send. There is no easy definition for what “China'' means for Café China. Café China defies any rigid definition of what Chinese-ness is. It is left for people passing by, dining in, or exhibiting their works to enrich the meaning of Café China.
The show’s location in a restaurant emphasized the relationship between artworks and our everyday life as well as the history of a place. The restaurant context modulates the viewers’ relation with art through its surrounding interior design, the noise, and the lighting. Besides, the history of the location--once a video shop or SPA salon--further complicates the art appreciation experience.
History has passed and left us with only a little material evidence. These traces from the past are recycled by art and Café China’s interior design to continue to narrate stories in the following few decades.
Team Art in Touch with Yiming and Anne Muntges
Photograph by Weihan.
Artist: Anne Muntges
Artist Assistant: Katie Lee
Curator: Xiaorong Liu
Media Assistant: Mingzi Ma
Photographers: Weihan Zhou, Xi Zhou