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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Wright Gallery welcomes ‘Thin Air’

Photo by Kevin Chou — THE BATTALION

Artist Beili Lui introduces her exhibit to the Wright Gallery in the MSC

One thousand laser-cut acrylic pieces form a meditative space in the newest installation at A&M’s Wright Gallery.


At a debut reception Tuesday, artist Beili Liu spoke about her experience creating the piece, titled “Thin Air.” Liu is a professor at the University of Texas and said she has been doing material-based installation work for around 15 years.


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“I work with a wide variety of materials and work with very different spaces,” Liu said. “For the show here, I was given images and information of the gallery’s space and based on that I started thinking about what material and what process would fit very well into this gallery’s space.”


Cecilia Giusti, College of Architecture associate dean for outreach and diversity, said because the installation was made specifically for the gallery, it takes advantage of the space’s features, such as the carpet and lighting.


“I think this is a fantastic exhibit that really brings a new perspective into our art gallery,” Giusti said. “It’s very appropriate for the conjunction that we try to achieve in our college between art and architecture, space and art and also technology and art. Put all of these things together and this is the result, one of the many results of that.”


Liu said she decided to use a light material because of the dark carpet and decided to use acrylic because it is a very stable material.


“It’s also really suitable for laser cutting, so I could have used paper or wood but acrylic has this really clean consistency and the line quality I needed for the piece is best articulated using acrylic,” Liu said.


Liu said she thinks each person will take away something different from “Thin Air” and invited students to come to the gallery and enjoy the piece in a calming and quiet environment. Liu also said she tried to capture a sense of movement and rising in the piece.


“I feel like it brings in a really quiet and fluid movement into the gallery space,” Liu said. “It can be a really meditative experience; it can be quite relaxing and calming.”


Carmen Torres, architecture graduate student, said she was fascinated by how the art and the lighting work together to create a second piece of art in the shadows.


“I think that it’s actually quite remarkable how she took something so simple and transformed it into a whole experience with so little material,” Torres said. “It feels like an open field with flowers.”


Maria Fuentes, environmental design sophomore, said the piece was very whimsical.


“I wish it would keep going,” Fuentes said. “I don’t know, I just want more.”


Giusti also said that she wants the gallery to be a part of the community so that they can enjoy the piece and have a moment of reflection.


“It’s not only for our students in the college of architecture and faculty and staff. It’s for the whole community,” Giusti said.


Liu said she was thankful for the opportunity and glad to work with the students and faculty.


“It’s a brand new project designed for the gallery so without the invitation, this piece might not exist,” Liu said.

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