Chen Shaoxiong

Opening: 29 Oct., 2016, 4–6pm

Exhibition Dates: 29 Oct. – 04 Dec., 2016

*Extension to 26th Feb., 2017

Opening Hours: Tues–Sun, 11am – 6pm


Boers-Li Gallery is honored to announce the solo exhibition of "Chen Shaoxiong" opening on the 29th of October, 2016. This is Chen Shaoxiong’s 3rd solo with BLG, dating back his first exhibition “Visible and Invisible, Known and Unknown” in 2007 and second solo “Seeing is Believing” in 2009. This exhibition will feature his works over 30 years of his career, with early installations, videos, photographys and works based on ink painting.


Chen Shaoxiong (born in Shantou, Guangdong) has been a driving force in the experimental art circle in Guangzhou since the early 90's. Explorations in urban life of the most dynamic place in those days, Guangdong, have permeated his creative output since his early involvement with the “Big-Tail Elephant”group(Liang Juhui, Xu Tan, Lin Yilin). Acting as the creative “City Guerrillas”, members of this group maintained independence under collective action—intervening untypical development space within the city such as construction sites, streets, parking lots etc. Over the past 30 years, Chen Shaoxiong's profound engagment in the urban life and influential works has redefined the way people observe things.


Chen Shaoxiong's thoughtful approach to research into the Chinese as well as western thinking positioned him as an explorer of conceptual reflection and contemporary art production. In 1991, he defined his position in the art world by taking a seven days period of silence to work himself in the format of a performance and distance himself from painting. The works are meant to be a research in redefining space and time in relation to how perceive these dimensions. In Sight Adjuster, he uses two cameras to redirect the viewer’s eye, leading the eyes in two independent directions to two monitors that play related yet disruptive and incoherent scenes. The redirection of the eyes is challenging the mind of the viewer by forcing together various sequential streams of information. This procedure of "adjusting"changes the ways people see by putting into question our accepted ways of “seeing”. As the artist puts it: “what we see is not what we think, and what we want to see is not what we are meant to see.” Just like in his other works, overlapping or sometimes disturbing imageries, may cause the first sight a sense of absurdity, at the same time generating an alternative way of interaction between social-cultural dynamics and the individual composure. This is dramatically visualized in the “Streetscape series. In these series of photography and photographic installations, Chen Shaoxiong intermixes fragments of his daily life - sometimes very personal -with various global urban scenes. He captures the changing landscape, or better to say “city scape” into an imagery and collaging them to reconstruct a new, portable landscape.


This perspective shift on human activity plays throughout Chen Shaoxiong's so-called "Ink video" in which he transforms traditional Chinese ink painting - concerning its subject as well as its technique - into contemporary animated video. In his work Ink Thingshe categorizes his surroundings as a continuously changing decor in which typical scenes disappear as time passes. In this way the artist "portrays" our daily objects: a passport, a water tap, a bra or an art magazine etc. In these iconic "ink series", Chen Shaoxiong stresses on the means of time and traditional materialistic proposition by using traditional ink painting to reflect on the current reality while integrating new media and technology.  


Chen Shaoxiong has kept redefining the way of perception, and reflecting how the impact of time has exerted on individuals. The way of perception and narrating he develops—various people and things under his lens, a collective imagery of historical architectural sites reproduced by a series of finger pressing on canvas, or the combination of city landscape and perverse images, brings the puzzling questions about the reliability of people’s perceptions towards the “real world”.