past | SWEET DREAMS (ARE MADE OF THIS)

Installation view. Photography: Justin.

 

September 9th through November 27th, 2011 VIP reception: Friday September 9th, 6-8pm

Artists: Chen Wei, Cheng Ran, Guo Hongwei, Gabriel Lester, He An, Liang Yuanwei, Liu Wei, Sun Xun, Wang Yuyang

 

LEO XU PROJECTS is pleased to present group exhibition “Sweet Dreams (are made of this)” for the gallery’s inaugural show, featuring a selection of commissioned works from Liang Yuanwei, Chen Wei, Cheng Ran, Guo Hongwei, Wang Yuyuang as well was pieces by Liu Wei and Sun Xun. Also on view are the re-staging of two classic pieces by He An and Gabriel Lester. The show runs from September 9th through to November 27th.

Referencing the 1983 hit from British music-duo Eurythmics of the same name, the exhibition takes the lyrics of “Sweet Dreams” as a foundation in which to explore and portray the oddities of both the utopian and dystopian-like elements of our everyday lives wherein “everybody’s looking for something”. In a time where the world feels increasingly small, this exhibition asks the presented artists to ponder the development of “relationships”, whether it be to themselves, to others, to society, from culture to culture or to their studio practices, especially with regards to the ever-changing visions of society, and of present reality.

The exhibition begins with a piece from Beijing-based installation artist He An, entitled “Do You Think That You Can Help Her, Brother?” (2008-2009). Using stolen signs from various neon marquees and metal billboards across China, He An creates an array of calligraphic delights, combining different radicals and characters to create his desired words and sentences. Displayed is the third section of a larger piece of work narrating a love story between an adult-film star and a working class boy, created through the re-appropriation of found sentences across various online platforms. Through the process in which the artist creates the story, combined with his method of juxtaposing the large variety of calligraphic content of China’s public signing, He An creates a new form of writing by deconstructing the viewer’s association with the familiar signs, styles and language, and in turn investigates the relationships between the artist or viewer with the public and virtual world.

In a similar process of production, a new ‘China-focused’ remake of Gabriel Lester’s “All Right” (2006-2011), originally commissioned for the 2006 Busan Biennale, sees once again the use and re-appropriation of found imagery to narrate the artist’s allegorical story. Set in the post Cold War era, the story follows a young boy from China on his journey of escape from his native country across to pre-1989 Berlin, and to Russia, before his return home by boat. By create a visual collage of unrelated .jpegs and footage, as well as placing it within the realm of self-discovery and reliance, Lester uses his studio practices to reflect on his own interpersonal relationships, reflecting the healing process of mourning.

Cheng Ran’s video “Chewing Gum Paper” (2011), in which he creates a hypnotic celestial dreamscape set against an equally mesmerizing soundtrack featuring an edited loop of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream”. Set into motion by the vibrations of a rock band’s performance, chewing gum wrappers shaped into small spheres dance atop a drum’s surface, mimicking the movements of a large gathering or demonstration of people. In the process of captivating the audience with his simplistic aesthetics, Cheng Ran employs his playfulness and satire to demonstrate a longing for an alternate universe.

Fuxin-born Sun Xun’s pastel on canvas works from the series 21 gram (2007) aims to twist the viewers’ understanding of familiarities as we are provided insights into his larger piece of video animation of the same title via his storyboards. The full work, which reimagines China’s modern history through a western capitalist eye, creates a world of dystopian madness, but to a storyline all to close to our own history. By doing so, Sun Xun examines the relationships between people, collective truths and absolute certainties.

Using humor as a means of examining relationships is also evident in the work of Liu Wei, who in “Untitled” (2011) creates for the viewer a deadpan perspective on daily objects, such as with that of the paper-cutter and the iPod speakers merged into the painting installation. Disregarding completely not only their functions but also their appropriate placement, Liu uses them simply for their forms, colors and shapes. With paint, the artist extends the geometric lines and shapes of the objects in order to unite all three elements of the work, and thus fetishizes the two used objects to an extreme degree of seemingly unnecessary admiration. As a result, he questions society’s ever changing understanding and fascination with material objects, and the easily manipulatable ways to affect them.

In focusing on the artists’ relationships between their own artistic practices and the wider world, are artists Chen Wei, and Liang Yuanwei who in all works displayed, clearly reference their creative influences. Liang Yuanwei, a young Beijing based painter known primarily for her floral patterned paintings, takes her own art and creations into question, as evident in a rare sculptural piece titled “A Piece of Painting” (2011). As the name suggests, Liang approaches, as if almost intuitively, the displayed burned mattress immediately as a painting. Through this work, the artist exemplifies her relationship with habitual processes of artistic creation, as well as reflecting on her internal relationship with aesthetic forms and figures that surround her.

In contrast, Chen Wei uses his five staged photographs to focus more so on the relationship between external influence of knowledge on his artistic practice, evidently referencing his art historical understanding and recognition of 20th century performance and conceptual art. For example, his 2010 photograph “A Grey Suit” undoubtedly reference Joseph Beuy’s “Felt Suit (Filzanzug)” (1970), while “He Ran Against a Lamp Post in the Dark” (2010) hints to the work of Robert Gober. However, Chen shines his own dark-cinematic light on the references, taking his photography back from the referees to making them inherently his own creations, thereby examining the relationship the role of the artist within the larger realm of art and art history.

 

Installation view. Photography: Justin.

Installation view. Photography: Justin.

Installation view. Photography: Justin.

Installation view. Photography: Justin.

Installation view. Photography: Justin.

Installation view. Photography: Justin.

Installation view. Photography: Justin.

Installation view. Photography: Justin.

Installation view. Photography: Justin.

 

For further information, please email the gallery info@leoxuprojects.com or phone +86 21-34611245.

 

upcoming | TAUS MAKHACHEVA: SECOND WORLD, THIRD ATTEMPT

Taus Makhacheva:
Second World, Third Attempt

November 10th through December 23rd, 2017
Opening reception: Friday, November 10th, 6-8pm

past | SONGS FROM THE BIG CHAIRS

SONGS FROM THE BIG CHAIRS

September 30th through October 31st, 2017
Closed on National holidays, October 1st through 8th.

Participants: Bu Bing, Chen Wei, Cheng Ran, Michael Lin, Liu Chuang, Liu Shiyuan, Liu Yichun, Wang Yan, Zhang Ke and more.
 

offsite | A NEW BALLARDIAN VISION

CINDY SHERMAN, "Untitled", 1987

A NEW BALLARDIAN VISION
Organized by Leo Xu
June 29th through August 4th, 2017
Metro Pictures, New York, USA 
 
As a part of CONDO Complex New York, a gallery swap between New York galleries and national and international partners, Metro Pictures hosts Leo Xu’s two-part exhibition A New Ballardian Vision. The show brings together a selection of works that reflect recent social, technological and environmental developments through the lens of author J.G. Ballard’s (1930–2009) writings. Xu conceived the exhibition as two distinct chapters; the first features Metro Pictures artists Nina Beier, Camille Henrot, Martin Kippenberger, Oliver Laric, Robert Longo, Trevor Paglen, Jim Shaw and Cindy Sherman. The second chapter focuses on a younger generation of Chinese artists represented by Leo Xu Projects, including aaajiao, Chen Wei, Cheng Ran, Cui Jie, Li Qing, Liu Shiyuan and Pixy Liao.
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past | AAAJIAO: USER, LOVE, HIGH-FREQUENCY TRADING

aaajiao, Candy wrappers (twitter), 2017

AAAJIAO: USER, LOVE, HIGH-FREQUENCY TRADING

May 27th through July 22nd, 2017
Opening reception: Friday, May 26th, 6-8pm

“User, Love, High-frequency Trading” marks the second solo exhibition with the gallery by Shanghai and Berlin-based young new media artist aaajiao. Aaajiao, the artistic persona of Xu Wenkai, was first created as his internet handle. As a user of many websites, social media and applications, aaajiao has been exploring the notions about such role and new identities and personalities a user may assume through his or her operation of one specific medium. This two-year long research has crystalized into the exhibition “User, Love, High-frequency Trading”. It goes through multiple aspects—for instance, user’s alter ego, social media communication, and new economies driven by algorithms and networking of users—and arrives at a particular moment in current social and technological development, which has both resonated and contrasted with many of Sci-fi cinema and literature’s Ballardian or cyberpunk fantasies of an early 21st century.

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fair | LISTE – ART FAIR BASEL 2017

Booth: 1-7-G3
June 12th through 18th, 2017

The gallery’s debut in LISTE – Art Fair Basel 2017 will feature a solo presentation by Copenhagen-based young Chinese female artist Liu Shiyuan.

Born in 1985 in Beijing, Liu Shiyuan lives and works in Copenhagen after having studied in New York and Beijing. Traveling and living between cities and across multiple cultures, Liu has developed an artistic sensibility to the new forms of language and expressions on cybersphere and its ensuing patterns of everyday communication across the globe. The works on view at the booth also underlines the nuances and influences of the new internet rhetoric between different regions and media.

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past | PLEASE FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELT AS WE ARE EXPERIENCING SOME TURBULENCE

Please fasten your seat belt as we are experiencing some turbulence

March 18th through April 30th, 2017
Opening reception: Friday, March 17th, 6-8pm

David Kordansky Gallery and Leo Xu Projects are pleased to present “Please fasten your seat belt as we are experiencing some turbulence”, a collaborative group exhibition held at Leo Xu Projects, Lane 49, Building 3, Fuxing Xi Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai. The show will be on view from March 18 until April 30, 2017. An opening reception will take place on Friday, March 17 from 6:00pm until 8:00pm.

Featuring artists from both of the galleries’ programs, Please fasten your seat belt as we are experiencing some turbulence will examine how a wide and heterogeneous array of aesthetic positions can reflect, refract, and bear witness to an uncertain state of global affairs. The exhibition will include work by Kathryn Andrews, Andrea Büttner, Chen Wei, Heman Chong, Sam Gilliam, Zach Harris, Evan Holloway, Rashid Johnson, Gabriel Lester, Li Qing, Liu Shiyuan, Pixy Liao, Jonas Lund, Tala Madani, Chris Martin, Torbjørn Rødland, Sissel Tolaas, Tom of Finland, Wei Jia, Ming Wong, and Betty Woodman.

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news | CHEN WEI: THE CLUB AT HORSHAM REGIONAL ART GALLERY

Chen Wei, "Disco #1004", 2015

CHEN WEI: The Club
Horsham Regional Art Gallery, Horsham, Australia
24 June 2017 - 13 August 2017

Chen Wei’s solo exhibition “The Club” is to open on June 24, 2017 and runs until August 13, 2017 at Horsham Regional Art Gallery.

Being one of China’s leading artists exhibiting in London, New York, Melbourne and numerous cities across Europe, Chen Wei is presenting photographs and installations that fabricate a visual archive of Chinese club culture in Horsham, Australia. Curated by Elias Redstone, The Club explores an undocumented subculture, reflecting on wider social changes that have taken place in modern China.

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news | LIU SHIYUAN IN .COM/.CN AT K11

Group Exhibition: .com/.cn
K11 Art Foundation, Hong Kong 
21 March through 30 April 2017

Liu Shiyuan is selected to be included in the group exhibition .com/.cn, co-presented by the K11 Art Foundation and MoMA PS1. Co-curated by Klaus Biesenbach and Peter Eleey of MoMA PS1 in New York, this project is part of an ongoing research partnership of two institutions.

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fair | FRIEZE NEW YORK 2017

Li Qing, "Window · The Sea in the Museum", 2016-2017

Frieze New York
Booth B23
Randall’s Island, Manhattan
May 5th through 7th, 2017
Preview: Thursday, May 4th, 2017

Located at booth B23, the gallery will be exhibiting a solo presentation of Shanghai-based artist Li Qing, who was recently shortlisted for the sixth edition of Prix Jean-Francois Prat (2017), a prestigious international contemporary art prize mainly focuses on painting.
Details »

news | AAAJIAO IN BODY MEDIA II AT PSA

Group Exhibition: Body·Media II
Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China
April 29 through July 30, 2017

 

Artist aaajiao is selected along with other 23 artists/art groups from 12 countries to be included in the group exhibition “Body·Media II” at Power Station of Art, Shanghai,  co-curated by Gong Yan (China) and Richard Castelli (France). The exhibition continues the theme of 2007’s exhibition Body Media, re-discusses the close ties between new media and body within the new era context totally revolutionized by advancing technologies. It contains installation, performance, photography, video, and other hard-to-be-defined art forms, introduces cross-disciplinary cooperative patterns and exceeds boundaries of interactive art exhibitions.

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news | PIXY LIAO IN NSFW: FEMALE GAZE AT MUSEUM OF SEX

 

NSFW: Female Gaze
June 21, 2017
Museum of Sex, New York, USA

Pixy Liao is participating in the group exhibition “NSFW: Female Gaze” at Museum of Sex on June 21.

NSFW: Female Gaze, co-curated by VICE Media’s Creators, showcases over 25 emerging female artists from various disciplines dedicated to powerful feminine narratives. From Instagram and GIF platforms to textile and photography, these artists bring a fresh, eclectic, and unconventional approach to sexuality.

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news | LIU CHUANG IN CHINESE SUMMER AT ASTRUP FEARNLEY MUSEET

Chinese Summer 
02 June 2017 – 10 September 2017
Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo, Norway
 

Liu Chuang is selected to be included in the group exhibition “Chinese Summer” in Astrup Fearnley Museet, curated by Gunnar B. Kvaran and Therese Möllenhoff.  The name Chinese Summeris a metaphor for the nation and art scene that have seen explosive growth over the last two decades.

Acknowledging the importance of cultural and artistic production in China that has taken its position on the global stage, Astrup Fearnley Museet is presenting 2 generations of artists in the large group exhibition of Chinese contemporary art.

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news | AAAJIAO, CHENG RAN, LI QING IN MOCA PAVILLION


Group exhibition: All happens after sunset…
MOCA Pavilion, Shanghai, China
April 22nd through May 25th, 2017

Artists aaajiao, Cheng Ran and Li Qing participate the group exhibition “All happens after sunset” at MOCA Pavilion, Shanghai, curated by Xⁿ Office, a contemporary art curating group launched by researcher of art history Penny Xu and artist Ni Youyu. The exhibition is also part of the first phase of MOCA’s 2017 “+Follow+” young artist group exhibition project, to follow young Chinese artists in their development, observing them as they mold through their early stages and blossom into maturity.

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fair | ART BASEL HONG KONG 2017

 
Art Basel Hong Kong
Stand C20
Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center
March 23rd through 25th, 2017
Preview Wednesday, March 22nd
 


news | AAAJIAO IN HEART OF A TIN MAN

aaajiao, “Email Trek”, 2016  
Group Exhibition: Heart of the Tin Man
June 20th through October 8th
M Woods Art Museum, D-06, 798 Art Zone
Beijing, China

Artist aaajiao is selected along with other 11 artists to be included in the group exhibition “Heart of the Tin Man” in M Woods Museum, Beijing, dedicated to the digital age. Heart of the Tin Man brings together works consciously revealing, investigating or subverting current Internet or technological practices. Drawn predominantly from the M WOODS Collection and the post-internet focus of co-founder Michael Xufu Huang, the exhibition includes virtual reality, digital mechanics, and interactive works to stimulate our senses of sight, smell, touch, and sound, and to register emotion within a contemporary world increasingly governed by algorithms, measurements, and marketing.

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news | AAAJIAO IN UNREAL. THE ALGORITHMIC PRESENT AT HEK

aaajiao,"Limited Landscape, Unlimited Floating", 2017

Group Exhibition: unREAL. The Algorithmic Present
Haus der elektronischen Künste, Basel, Switzerland
08 June through 20 August 2017 
 
 
Aaajiao is selected to be included in the group exhibition unREAL. The Algorithmic Present in House of Electronic Arts Basel. 
 
unREAL examines the complexity of our digital age, it is an exhibition that attempts to confront the digital present through the very means of technological intervention both as critical examination as well as alternative prospects. The twenty-four works in the exhibition by international artists underscore the often-hidden materiality of bits and bytes, bringing to the fore the algorithmic processes that constitute our digital present.

news | CITY OF STARS

 

Leo Xu Projects and Art Project CZ co-presents
Group Exhibition: City of Stars
April 19th through June 19th, 2017
MINGO
No. 1690 Huaihai Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai

 

The collaborative group exhibition “City of Stars” between Leo Xu Projects and Art Project CZ runs from April 19th to June 19th, 2017. The exhibition aims to capture the nightlife and living experience in the former French concession area in Shanghai, and to project a broader encapsulation of the Chinese youth’s status quo. Artists on view include aaajiao, Chen Wei, Cheng Ran, Guo Hongwei, Li Qing and Liu Shiyuan.

 

news | AAAJIAO AND LIU CHUANG IN SHANGHAI PROJECT CHAPTER 2

Shanghai Project Chapter 2
Envision 2116
Exhibition: “Seeds of Time”
April 22 – July 30, 2017

Venues: Shanghai Himalayas Museum, Envision Pavilion, Zendai Zhujiajiao Art Museum

 

Artists aaajiao and Liu Chuang are invited by Shanghai Project to participate in the exhibition’s second chapter as researchers. Curated by Yongwoo Lee and Hans Ulrich Obrist, the Shanghai Project Chapter 2 exhibition ”Seeds of Time” will be inaugurated on April 22, 2017. Taking its title from the documentary of the same name, which shares the project’s call for action regarding the climate situation, the exhibition seeks to explore sustainability so as to better understand possible solutions for urgent environmental and social problems.

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news | PIXY LIAO: LADY AND GENTLEMAN AT GALLERI VASLI SOUZA

PIXY LIAO, "Family sushi", 2011

Lady and Gentleman
24 March – 22 April 2017
Galleri Vasli Souza, Malmö, Sweden
 

Pixy Liao’s solo show “Lady and Gentleman” is running at Galleri Vasli Souza, Malmö, Sweden from 24th of March through 22nd of April 2017.

Having studied photography at University of Memphis and lived in the States for over a decade, Liao is highly influenced by the style of New American Color Photography in her practices.

Lady and Gentleman showcases the alternative possibilities of heterosexual relationships and inscribe how a man and a woman can exchange their roles and question the whole concept of “normal relationships”.

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news | CUI JIE IN PAST SKIN AT MoMA PS1

CUI JIE, S House #5, 2016

Past Skin
April 6 – September 10, 2017
MoMA PS1
22-25 Jackson Avenue, Queens
Long Island City, NY 11101

Cui Jie will participate in the group exhibition “Past Skin” at MoMA PS1, New York, running from April 6 to September 10, 2017. In today’s technological environment, we can style, extend, and broadcast ourselves at will, projecting into digital realms that in turn shape us. The six artists in ”Past Skin” take up science historian and cyber-feminist Donna Haraway’s provocation, “Why should our body end at the skin?,” testing the growing porosity between our bodies and habitats in a contemporary world where virtuality is ubiquitous and surreality is increasingly normalized. As much as we exert influence on our bodies and surroundings, the technologies that enable this influence also influence us. Details »