AM: The building facade is a 17 x 10-foot projection surface
essentially. It’s outfitted with special frosted glass that allows the
image of our projector to shoot through the glass to the outside
of the space. We also have an LED feature that is repeated on
the pergola above, and it allows the building to glow and sort of
float. The artists are usually very excited about the opportunity to
program the exterior with an existing piece, or create an original
light treatment. Inside, the layout of the space allows for a great
deal of flexibility. We’ve projected live-energy meter readings in a
15-foot real-time circular data set onto the gallery floor. Tega Brain,
Kilowatt Hours, exhibited 12 video works in a solo exhibition for
Lauren Woods. In another exhibit, a 40-foot table sculpture served
as a programming opportunity to host a dinner series on. I’m
constantly amazed at what our artists bring to the table. They really
step up to the exhibitions we put on together; we’re so thankful. It’s
great to see the technological capabilities of the building pushed in
all sorts of directions.
ES: Tell us a little bit about selling new media art. Do you find it difficult
for local collectors to grasp the concept and make a purchase?
AM: The gallery focuses on art and technology, so we
have all mediums. You’d be surprised at how many artists
successfully incorporate technology into a larger practice of object
ragon Street glowed in 2014 with the opening of Zhulong
Gallery, with its slick, opaque, white-glass exterior and
rooftop patio that boasts some of the best nighttime views
of Dallas. Aja Martin, the gallery’s director, works with artists who
engage with the prevalence of technology in the everyday.
Offering video, digital, post-internet, new media, and all things
associated to Dallas, Martin says: “That’s what our space was built
for, and where we want to be on the cutting edge.” Other than the
Dallas association, this concept was largely new to the local collector
who may have seen occasional video installations at various local
galleries, but not a gallery dedicating its entire programming
to new media. Art collector Evan Stone caught up with Aja Martin
following a successful debut at the Dallas Art Fair.
EVAN STONE (ES): What does the gallery name Zhulong mean?
AJA MARTIN (AM): Zhulong is actually a Chinese deity of light.
He is a dragon who creates the light of day and the darkness of night
with his one vertical eye. Given our location on Dragon Street, our
glowing facade, and our focus on technology—think open eye “0”
and closed “ 1”; or binary code—the name has come to be really
ES: You mentioned the space and also specifically the façade; talk to us a
little more about the design of your space and why it is particularly relevant to
Above, left: Installation view from the Zhulong Gallery booth at the 2015 Dallas Art Fair. Above, right: Aja Martin, Gallery Director, Zhulong Gallery. Opposite: Evan Stone
ZHULONG, A CHINESE MYTHOLOGICAL DRAGON KNOWN FOR CREATING LIGHT AND
DARKNESS BY OPENING AND CLOSING HIS EYES, INFORMS A NEW MEDIA GALLERY.
AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT
WITH EVAN STONE