The Allure of Matter Website


Each artist page includes the artist's name in both English and Chinese as well as an audio pronunciation in order to be more inclusive and accessible to a larger audience
Exhibition checklist overview also serves to show which work is on view at which institution
Interactive maps were added after the Covid-19 pandemic forced an early closure of the exhibition

The Allure of Matter was an exhibition co-organized by the Smart Museum of Art with Wrightwood 659 and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Peabody Essex Museum. The exhibition offered the first serious consideration of 26 contemporary Chinese artists’ groundbreaking material explorations, coining the term Material Art to describe works that use “matter” itself as the primary vehicle of investigation and expression. In Chicago, the exhibition was divided into two unique halves, taking up the entire footprints of the Smart Museum of Art on the South Side and Wrightwood 659 on the North Side. To fully experience the exhibition, guests were encouraged to visit both locations. Online, the structure of the site reflected the site-specificity through visually splitting the artworks, artist interviews, writing, and installation images into two organization-specific columns. This visual separation still allowed for the content of the site to be explored both in the exhibition’s entirety but also relative to the organization where it was located.

Due to COVID-19, in March of 2020 the site was expanded to continue to offer digital content that built upon the entire exhibition, including virtual tours of Wrightwood 659 and the Smart Museum of Art, object chats, at-home activities, online programs, and behind-the-scenes videos and photos.

Designer, Developer
Tobey Albright
Designer, Developer
Mollie Edgar
Video Producer
Anna Chiaretta Lavatelli
Smart Museum of Art
Project link