The work of Arthur Huang and Mary V. Marsh, perfectly calibrated for this age of confessional eating and exhibitionist documentation, examines the minute rituals of food. Currently on exhibit at Mercury Twenty Gallery in Oakland, the two artists explore our culture of consumption, how we ingest ideas, relationships and expectations along with a few basic nutrients and our daily dose of caffeine.
2002 Diet as Periodic Table
What do you get when you combine an MFA from RISD with a degree in biochemistry and molecular cell biology? If you throw in a healthy dose of OCD and lots of wall space, you wouldn't be surprised to find Arthur Huang's elaborate works of dietary classification. Using data-collecting systems of the scientific method, Huang recorded with painstaking detail what he eats for a year. The display of this information in ordered columns and rows, with their evocative colors shading obscure terminology, reveals beautiful patterns. His chart spans an entire wall. You can step back and take in the amazing human endeavor, or you can step close to study his precise data. He provides a helpful key so you can decipher the information in the table. I was delighted to see that Huang had included among his ten categories of food elements a few of my own favorite edibles: Salty Foods, Sweet Foods and Condiments.
His periodic chart is part of an elegantly curated show, "Inscribere," at Chandra Cerrito Contemporary, a gallery within the same complex as Mercury Twenty.
The Coffee Diary