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.

 

current | AAAJIAO: USER, LOVE, HIGH-FREQUENCY TRADING

aaajiao, Candy wrappers (twitter), 2017

AAAJIAO: USER, LOVE, HIGH-FREQUENCY TRADING

May 27th through July 2nd, 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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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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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.
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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 | 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 | 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 | 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 »

news | CHEN WEI: THE CLUB AT CCP MELBOURNE

CHEN WEI: The Club
March 24 – May 7, 2017
Opening: Thursday 23 March, 6–8pm
Centre for Contemporary Photography
404 George St, Fitzroy
Melbourne, Victoria 3065
Australia

Titled “The Club”, Chen Wei’s first institutional solo exhibition in Australia is to open on March 23, 2017 and runs until May 7 at Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne.

Beijing-based artist Chen Wei’s practice actively blurs the boundaries between reality and fiction through the construction of carefully staged scenes and handcrafted objects. The Club – his first solo exhibition in a public institution in Australia – comprises a series of photographs and installations that fabricate a visual archive of Chinese club culture. Chen has meticulously recreated the architecture, interiors and culture of nightclubs to celebrate this previously undocumented subculture and to provide a commentary on wider social changes that have been taking place in China.

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news | CUI JIE IN THE NEW NORMAL: ART AND CHINA IN 2017 AT UCCA

The New Normal:Art and China in 2017
March 19–July 9, 2017 
Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) 
798 Art District
No. 4 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District
100015 BeijingChina 

What is the place of art in China today? Or rather, in a world where the underpinnings of the post-World War II consensus have come suddenly loose, a world whose most prosperous corners find themselves in thrall to sectarian populism, a world increasingly unable to deny the changes wrought to its ecosystem by the last hundred years of human emissions, and a world in which, despite it all, China continues to grow in output and influence, what is to be done?

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news | GABRIEL LESTER IN KOCHI-MUZIRIS BIENNALE 2016

Gabriel Lester, Dwelling Kappiri Spirits, 2016

Kochi-Muziris Biennale:
Forming in the Pupil of an Eye
December 12th, 2016 through March 29th, 2017 

 

Gabriel Lester is featured among 97 artists who have been invited to create new works in this year’s Kochi-Muziris Biennale, the largest contemporary art biennial in South Asia. Curated by the eminent Indian artist Sudarshan Shetty, the third edition of the Biennale is titled Forming in the Pupil of an Eye. The Biennale will run from December 12, 2016 until March 29, 2017.
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news | HE AN, SOLO EXHIBITION AT ACCA, MELBOURNE

He An:
Do You Think That You Can Help Her Brother?
February 11th, 2017 through April 23rd, 2017 
Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA)
111 Sturt Street, Southbank VIC 3006, Australia

 

He An’s neon light installation, Do You Think You Can Help Her Brother?, will be presented on the northern façade of ACCA’s iconic architecture as a keynote public project for Asia TOPA, comprised of Chinese characters gleaned from shopfronts and various sites throughout the city of Beijing, telling a dark story about love, desire and power in.

Drawn from popular news stories and online social media, Do You Think You Can Help Her Brother? combines found texts to create a narrative poem that relays the experience of marginalized labour workers, popular Chinese novels, the sex industry and criminal underground networks in Chinese society.
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past | NINA CANELL: REFLEXOLOGY

Nina Canell: Reflexology

November 9th, 2016 through January 15th, 2017
Opening reception: Wednesday, November 9th, 5-8pm

Nina Canell: “Reflexology” is the first solo exhibition of Berlin-based artist Nina Canell (b.1979, Sweden) to take place in China. Set across all three floors of the gallery space, Canell’s characteristically concise sculptural works of found and functional objects explore the often-overlapping networks and natural phenomena that surround us, probing the connections between material objects and immaterial forces. For this exhibition, Canell presents a series of new and recent works, incorporating site-specific elements and objects that have been sourced locally in Shanghai.

Taking the practice of reflexology as her starting point, Canell uses the exhibition format to investigate how the varying meanings of the term might be interpreted through the relationship between the work and its viewer.
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news | GABRIEL LESTER SOLO EXHIBITION AT CONTEMPORARY ART CENTRE (CAC), VILNIUS

Gabriel Lester: The Nine Day Week
November 25th, 2016 through January 15th, 2017
Opening November 25th, 6pm

Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius
Vokiečių 2
LT-01130 Vilnius
Lithuania

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news | AAAJIAO IN TAKE ME I’M YOURS AT JEWISH MUSEUM NEW YORK

Take Me (I’m Yours)

September 16th, 2016 through February 5th, 2017

Jewish Museum
1109 5th Ave at 92nd St, New York, NY 10128

Aaajiao presents a new installation in “Take Me (I’m Yours)” at the Jewish Museum. “Take Me (I’m Yours)” was originally conceived by Christian Boltanski and Hans Ulrich Obrist in 1995. The New York show is curated by Jens Hoffmann, Deputy Director, Exhibitions and Public Programs, the Jewish Museum; Hans Ulrich Obrist; and Kelly Taxter, Assistant Curator, the Jewish Museum.
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news | LIU CHUANG IN THE MAN WHO NEVER THREW ANYTHING AWAY AT GUANGDONG TIMES MUSEUM

Times Heterotopia Trilogy III:
The Man Who Never Threw Anything Away
Guangdong Times Museum
January 8th through February 19th, 2017
Opening: January 7th, 2017

 

Liu Chuang is featured in the group exhibition “The Man Who Never Threw Anything Away” at Guangdong Times Museum. The exhibition is curated by Nikita Yingqian Cai and will run from January 8th through February 19th, 2017.

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news | CHENG RAN: DIARY OF A MADMAN AT THE NEW MUSEUM

Cheng Ran: Diary of a Madman

October 19th 2016 through January 15th 2017
New Museum, New York

Curated by Helga Christoffersen and Massimiliano Gioni.

news | AAAJIAO IN OVERPOP AT YUZ MUSEUM SHANGHAI

OVERPOP

September 4th, 2016 through January 15th, 2017

Yuz Museum
No.35 Fenggu Road, Shanghai

Details »

news | CUI JIE IN VITAMIN P3

Vitamin P3 – New Perspectives in Painting

Publisher: Phaidon Press, 2016
Hardcover: 352 pages
550 color illustrations
11.38 x 9.88 in
28.9 x 25.1 cm

Since the publication of the first Vitamin P in 2002, painting has continued to evolve and excite, with new generations responding to its historic importance and taking it in unexpected directions. A central pillar of artistic practice, painting also has enduring appeal, dominating the art market. Vitamin P3 takes the conversation forward, spotlighting more than 100 outstanding artists who are engaging with – and pushing the boundaries of – the medium of paint.

For the full article on Cui Jie, please [download pdf]