Winter Group Show
Place: Boers-Li Gallery (formerly UniversalStudios-beijing)
Dates: 2008.01.08 – 2008.02.29
Time: Tuesday through Sunday 11:00-18:00
Chen Shaoxiong, Gong Jian, Kan Xuan, Liang Yuanwei, Liu Wei, Qiu Anxiong, Qiu Xiaofei, Song Kun
In the opening months of 2008, the Boers-Li Gallery presents a group exhibition featuring the work eight young Chinese artists. The pieces on display range from older works created as early as 1990 through pieces created for this exhibition in 2008, created in media as disparate as oil painting and video installation.
Chen Shaoxiong, whose practice has included photography, installation, and painting, has three pieces in the show.
His work often deals with the rapidly urbanizing and constantly changing environments of his home province in southern China, the nature of the crowd, the superficiality of the the dominance of the image, the aesthetics of globalization, and public memory. Here, he exhibits a photograph, an early experiment in video installation dealing with the environmental background of perception, and a video addressing the sexuality, violence, and unreality of modern urbanity.
Gong Jian, a young artist working from Wuhan, presents two recent oil portraits of the European philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, both of which experiment with discourses of depth and authenticity by examining the relationship between style and content. The artist works in a diverse range of media from paintings to installations, and in this show offers a style quite divorced from the absurdist political-historical themes of his earlier work.
Kan Xuan, whose subtly humorous and thoughtful works have won her the attention of the European art world, offers a video installation commissioned for the Prix de Rome, a major Dutch competition. In the video, ten figurines of the Buddha are subjected to the plasticity of televisual embodiment, their classical forms twisted and disfigured by the playful gaze of the camera.
Liang Yuanwei is a young artist whose photography, painting, and installation work has mostly recently often focused on articulating the sites of both beauty and oppression in the semiotics of the everyday. For this group exhibition, she presents a meditation on discretion, secrecy, interpersonal communication, and the affect produced therein: a roll of toilet paper printed with the phrase “youmustbestrong” is fed through an old-fashioned manual typewriter.
Liu Wei's work includes oil and acrylic painting, photography, installation, and performance. These pieces often contain complex explorations of the seductions of urbanity alongside the fractured condition of the postmodern urban subject and the urban decay that often follows. The work presented in this exhibition, a large dioramic installation, interrogates memory, materiality, and the boundaries of the realm of the possible of artistic creation.
Qiu Anxiong, whose works range from highly conceptual installations to more aesthetically abstract paintings, presents a landscape of the latter style here.
His landscapes are quite fantastical and ephemeral, adapting the lyrical styles of traditional Chinese literati ink painting of the southern schools and reinterpreting them through the medium of oils and acrylics. The oneiric scenes are light and airy, though not without a pervading sense of irony or, occasionally, a vaguely foreboding quality. Qiu's work in this vein is strongly informed by his video practice, in which he creates animations out of thousands of ink paintings.
Qiu Xiaofei's artistic practice, which includes oil and watercolor painting, three-dimensional painting-sculpture, and installation, uniquely articulates the relationship between concept and aesthetics. His work is largely concerned with the role of materiality in perception, the relationship between memory and history, the subjective nature of lived experience, and the whimsical qualities of childhood. For this group show, he presents an installation piece consisting of a multitude of gas tanks and a soundtrack of leaking gas valves, recalling a story from his hometown in which a man committed suicide by surrounding himself with similar tanks.
Song Kun, whose paintings and installations deal with the passage of time, depict the romantic moments that make up the peak experiences of the everyday, and grapple the sense of movement that characterizes life in contemporary China, offers a painting-based installation here that touches upon all of these themes.
The piece depicts a series of paintings of groups of people traveling as if the viewer were peering through the windows into the train.
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