Timothy Siciliano

Though his boldly colored new show, Donguguan Highways in Hot Pink, draws inspiration from that booming new manufacturing city north of Guangzhou, Timothy Siciliano explains, it’s not about China per se. As a designer of gifts and costumes, “I go at least once a year to visit factories and showrooms. It’s like you’ve landed in Tijuana or something. I love going there, just because it’s so bizarre and a little bit crazy. It’s like L.A. All the buildings lit up at night—it’s like Las Vegas.” Outside Hong Kong and Guangzhou, new industrial zones feed our insatiable Western demand, not just at Wal-Mart, but also the MoMA design store, which carries Siciliano’s wares. “They’re instant cities,” he says. “They didn’t even exist 10 years ago. The scale of things is way off. It’s just like this insane overgrowth of factories—but then a little village under a freeway.” In his bright, teeming acrylic canvases, Siciliano riffs on China’s growth, but also follows “a narrative of characters—the women and the bunny boys and the fish and the peacocks.” There are traces of Japanese anime, Bosch, Hindu temples, and traditional shrines for ancestor worship. (“I’ve always been interested in Eastern design.”) All of it mixes with the relentless engine of commerce; everything is happening at once in a giddy jumble—East and West, capitalism and Communism, past and future. Says Siciliano, “It’s not right. It’s not wrong. It just is.” BRIAN MILLER

Thu., Sept. 2, 6-8 p.m.; Wednesdays-Saturdays, 12-6 p.m. Starts: Sept. 2. Continues through Oct. 9, 2010

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