Seeing through art: creatives visualise ‘translucency’ in Tallinn

Seeing through art: creatives visualise ‘translucency’ in Tallinn

The 8th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial’s headline exhibition is a cross-disciplinary exploration of optics and the ambiguity of translucent materials

There are many ways for one to see art, but a cross-disciplinary show in Tallinn, Estonia is dedicated to seeing through it. Well, partially. Translucency, which occupies the strange middle ground between opacity and transparency, is an elusive starting point for a show. 

In the main exhibition for the 8th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial, artists and designers are exploring the creative and critical potential of translucency. ‘Translucency is neither one nor the other but can be approached as a metastable state full of potential energy. It is not dichotomous; it is a chiastic movement through pluralities and nuances of visibility and lack thereof,’ says Danish glass artist and exhibition curator Stine Bidstrup.  

Exhibition view/ Wang & Soderstrom, Flatscreen, ’Translucency’, 8th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial at Kai Art Center, until 15 August 2021. Photography: Hedi Jaansoo
Exhibition view/ Wang & Soderstrom, Flatscreen, ’Translucency’, 8th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial at Kai Art Center, until 15 August 2021. Photography: Hedi Jaansoo

Staged within the Kai Art Center, the show includes 21 artists from the Nordic countries, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Estonia, the UK and the US. Much like the phenomenon of translucency, the show is all about the liminal spaces between two poles: presence and absence, private and the public, individuality and collectivity, time and temporality.

The exhibition spans disciplines, techniques and materials, from glass, textile art, garments, photography, sculpture, installation, ceramics, jewellery, video, furniture, 3D printing and digital design. Participating artists include  Sissi Westerberg, Linda Aasaru, Andrew Bearnot, Erin Dickson, Ditte Hammerstrøm, Heidi Bach Hentze, Sandra Kosorotova, Eeva Käsper and Helen Lee. 

Exhibition view/ Sissi Westerberg, Uthangt, ’Translucency’, 8th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial at Kai Art Center, until 15 August 2021. Photography: Hedi Jaansoo
Exhibition view/ Sissi Westerberg, Uthangt, ’Translucency’, 8th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial at Kai Art Center, until 15 August 2021. Photography: Hedi Jaansoo

In tandem with the main exhibition, the triennial is also staging an extensive satellite programme that includes jewellery and glass art, site-specific installations, and events across the arts. 

As Bidstrup continues: ‘Translucency promotes ambiguity, a sense of mystery and complexity that allows multiple understandings of what a space, an object or an idea can be. Translucency creates depth by taking advantage of the natural assumption of a destination beyond and behind a perceived surface. Perhaps above all, the use of translucent materials enables a kind of uncertainty, a vagueness that reinforces the need to seek out visibility.’ §

Wallpaper* Newsletter

© TI Media Limited. Wallpaper* is part of TI Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.