» Archive for 19 September 2008
No. 319-1 East End Art (A), CaoChangDi Village, Chaoyang District｜朝阳区草场地村319号艺术东区内
August 30-October 12
Chinese culture is steeped in delicate intimations sometimes so slight they can be easily missed. In “Subtlety,” curator Karen Smith presents a thoughtful selection of nine Chinese artists—of divergent generations, media, and creative thought processes—who demonstrate this historical refinement. Wang Wei creates site-specific installations that transform their exhibition spaces. For this exhibition, he has enlarged a dozen pieces of the tiny furniture used in real estate mock-ups. These life-size wardrobes and kitchen sets have an odd effect on the space, causing double takes. The artificiality of these stunningly white wooden sculptures is enhanced by their epoxy-resin edges, which give them the appearance of having been pulled from plastic molds. Hu Xiaoyuan and Qiu Xiaofei, who are a couple, present independent works in adjacent rooms; each artist uses a combination of found objects and conventional artistic media to evoke nostalgia. For Permanent Address, 2008, Qiu has assembled from flea-market goods a complete domicile, its corridor entrance flanked by towers of discarded electronics, as well as rice cookers realistically re-created in painted wood. Hu’s Summer Solstice, 2008, is more symbolist and organic: a battered, lift-top school desk is filled with cicada husks; everyday objects fashioned from coarse papier-mâché are displayed on small wooden shelves above it. From the open drawer of the desk, a roll of blank paper spills out onto the floor. The cicadas represent years of gestation in a harsh, survival-of-the-fittest educational system that the surrounding desk and school supplies intimate. In another room, Jia Aili, a young painter known for barren landscapes and ominous figures wearing gas masks, presents a video filmed out the window of a train. Using charcoal pencil, he has covered the nearly sixteen-foot-high adjacent wall with realistic cracks, flimsy nightgowns, and blank canvases. An otherworldly light casts shadows on this crowded wall of nonexistent, two-dimensional objects in the dim room, and a trademark demonic gas mask stares at viewers from its center.
read more critics’ picks at artforum.com
Some of us look forever, others never seek––perhaps they’re already found “ME.” New September 2008 publication
These artists included are among the most outstanding of their generation, they represent Mainland China’s up-and-coming talent in the visual arts. Although often called the “Post 70s” generation, the artists here are mostly born after 1975. The book is a compliment to the exhibition of the same name, curated by Fang Fang (art director of Star Gallery and 2006 exhibition “Naughty Kids”), but is meant to stand on its own, and become a resource tool for those interested in this younger generation of artists, a browsing book.
If you’re like everyone else I know, you’re thinking: What does the name mean?
After spending a summer on this book, researching these artists, writing texts, translating and pondering the very same question I can only say: It means what ever you want it to. Whatever looking for you might entail. May you find it within!
Artists: Ouyang Chun / Li Jikai / Wei Jia / Qin Qi / Huang Yuxing / Xiong Yu / Wen Ling / Wang Guangle / Liu Ding / Li Hui / Qiu Jiongjiong / Song Kun / Wang Yaqiang / Liang Yuanwei / Cao Fei / Wang Yifan / Li Chaoxiong / Chen Ke / Xu Maomao / Jia Aili / Gao Yu / Li Qing / Qiu Xin / Wen Chuan / Yan Cong / Ha Migua / Chen Fei / Jin Nv / unmask
Book design: Liu Zhizhi MEWE
Authors: Lee Ambrozy / Jing Xiaomeng / Gong Jian / Huang Shan / Helen Li / Pauline J Yao / Chang Chang
Sui Jianguo’s piece above, Untitled, spills into the nave at Linda Gallery’s inaugural exhibition in 798, “HANGING IN THE SKY, DRIFTING ON THE SURFACE.” The Chinese title expresses a similar sentiment of this piece more nicely, with …bu neng kaojin (cannot approach). The exhibition was curated by Zhu Qi, and features some quite respectable artists, Zhan Wang 展望, Wang Jianwei 汪建伟, Gao Lei 高磊, Wang Luyan 王鲁炎, and others I feel particular repulsion to, aka (Zhang Peng 张鹏).
This latest Sui Jianguo installation truly fooled me; its haphazard placement in what could very possibly be a half-finished gallery almost makes it look like management had a little problem with concrete machine. One can’t help but wonder, is this work masking a more cynical implication, or perhaps hinting at exhibition fatigue?