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Thursday, 10 May, 2001, 18:28 GMT 19:28 UK
Hot air over breathy show
Custard Factory art gallery
Controvery also arose over Birmingham's 'imaginary art'
A council-funded gallery has come under fire - for displaying jars containing an artist's breath.

Pak Keung Wan's exhibition New Work at Nottingham's Angel Row Gallery started on Wednesday and goes on until 27 June.

But Nottingham City Council leader Graham Chapman, said: "We will be talking to the gallery about the content of the exhibition.

"Nottingham has an excellent reputation for art but I don't consider this to be appropriate."

Meditating

Mr Wan, 31, has spent up to seven hours a day in rooms and even a cave to create his works of art.


Breathing into a bottle is not art - it's breathing in a bottle

Keith Armstrong, artist

Among the exhibits are two jars containing condensed water from Mr Wan breathing into a tube while meditating in a shoe factory and an art department.

Mr Wan, a part-time lecturer at Northampton's University College Nene, is currently working on a new series entitled Inhaled Rooms, in which he sits in a cave beneath Nottingham Castle.

Mr Wan said the work was about pollution in the capital and about "getting to know your space".

But Keith Armstrong, a graphic artist from Nottingham, criticised the exhibition:

'Gimmicks'

"Breathing into a bottle is not art - it's breathing in a bottle.

"Too many people simply fall back on gimmicks and call that art.

"I have got nothing against modern art, but there should at least be something creative about it."

Last year Mr Armstrong made news by submitting a piece of scrap wood to the University of Nottingham gallery - where it was accepted until he told them it was a joke.

Deborah Dean, who manages Nottingham's publicly-funded exhibitions for the city council, spoke up for the gallery, saying they were keen to support local artists and to "get them to create something new".

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See also:

19 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Imaginary art show opens
04 Sep 00 | South Asia
Storm over nude art in India
07 Apr 98 | World
Bowie and Boyd "hoax" art world
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