past | GROUP EXHIBITION: READING

October 12th through November 17th, 2013

VIP reception: Saturday October 12th, 6-8pm

Artists: aaajiao, Chen Wei, Cheng Ran,Heman Chong, Simon Fujiwara, Ryan Gander, Guo Hongwei, Li Ran, Michael Lin, Henrik Olesen, Qiu Anxiong, Wang Taocheng, Werker Magazine (Marc Roig Blesa & Rogier Delfos), Ming Wong and Zhao Zhao.

 
LEO XU PROJECTS is pleased to present group exhibition “Reading”, featuring a selection of works from aaajiao, Chen Wei, Cheng Ran, Guo Hongwei, Heman Chong, Simon Fujiwara, Ryan Gander, Guo Hongwei, Zhao Zhao and Michael Lin among others. The show runs from September 9th through to November 27th.

Taking over both the gallery space and the Bund’s Le Space, the exhibition surveys the act of ‘reading’, exploring its role in history, in modern times as well as in present day. Throughout the development of mankind and human civilization, we have relied and depended on reading to gain, gather or communicate knowledge and information for all disciplines; for example, Chinese literati scholars required poetry to be shared through reading before it was considered a complete work, and reading became a means not only to express oneself but to understand others. Whether it be reading nature, reading the stars, reading technology, reading literature, reading performance, or reading art, the manner of reading has been vital not only for individuals, but for vital understanding of the people, objects, disciplines both closely and far away. Using this prompt, this exhibition displays the manifestations of reading in the selected artists’ practices, demonstrating the varieties of definitions and approaches to ‘Reading’.

Opening with two of aaajiao’s provoking works, are his two information installations GFWlist and BlogArchaeological (both 2010) both of which surround issues of ‘reading’ online. In playing homage to the dystopian futuristic world of Stanley Kubrik’s 2001: Space Odyssey, GFWlist finds a small printer set in the middle of a black monolith, continuously printing information in hexadecimal – an alien-like encrypted language unfamiliar to most. What is being produced by the printer in the metaphorical “gateway” are domains of websites blocked by the Great Chinese Firewall, but its ineligibility prevents the gateway from being open to its viewer. Thereby aaajiao’s ironic further blockage of what is already blocked, discusses the act of authoritative expurgation in relation to the development and evolution of culture and civilization in the digital age. In BlogArchaeological, aaajiao depicts yet again the present day common-practice of virtual reading, as he produces a personal collection of his own digital library. Set within a curio table are ten digital scales, each measuring a year’s worth of content in .jpeg and .html format collected from the web-culture revolutionary  who coined the term “blog”, Jorn Barger’s RobotWisdom.com on an SD card. With each archive weighing slightly differently, aaajiao questions the physicality of virtual information, as well as the notion of infinite and immeasurable data in cyberspace.

Interpreting the subject of ‘reading’ in a comparatively traditional manner is Chen Wei’s A Book with a Green Cover (2011). Made during his residency in Yokohama, after finding an old edition of one author Kōbō Abe’s books. Being Chinese and only able to read the Hanzi characters of the Japanese script, Chen Wei began to fill in the Kanji “gaps” with his own imagination. Physically manifesting his process of reading through this artwork, taking in turns with his assistant to add Chinese characters to the deleted sections, the book ends up as an exquisite corpse, based on the visualized foundation of the author combined with the varying imaginations of Chen Wei and his assistant. Thereby through this work, the viewer is able to gain insight into a form of “collective reading”. Also re-interpreting several modern classics popular amongst the youth of the 80s and 90s in China is Heman Chong, whose displayed selection of works arrive from an ongoing series interpreting various read fictions into an abstract expressionist book cover form.

In Beijing based Guo Hongwei’s It Must be a Good Work (2013), the artist creates a sixty-seven page manga-comic ‘book’, using manga books of his own collection. Choosing almost randomly pages from various books, he rids the pages of all but the content frames and text bubbles before placing them in order to recreate a foundation for a story of his own deciding. Giving only hints through the framing shapes and the pictured texts, Guo Hongwei invites the viewer to fill in the gaps with their own imagination. Guo’s other four works on show, such as Invitation to Wine (Jiang Jin Jiu) and Beauty (Mei Ren) (both 2011), are collaborative pieces between the artist and his father Guo Qiang, a renowned calligrapher based in Sichuan. Created by sending his father four blank sheets alongside four classical poems from the Tang and Song dynasties, Guo’s father transcribed the works in differing calligraphy scripts according to his interpretations of them. Upon return, Guo included his own interpretation of the poems by carefully picking out ‘keywords’ to be searched in Google Images, before illustrating the found images in accompaniment to his father’s work.

Two works tackling very personal stories and recounts are by artists Cheng Ran and Ryan Gander. In Cheng Ran’s video Existence Without Air, Food or Water (2013), the artist creates a visual accompaniment for his self-produced song based on a salvaged anonymous diary detailing a young girl’s life. Split into two parts and two larger scenes and filmed entirely on his smartphone camera Cheng Ran offers two various interpretations of the incredibly individual story; first in the form of a ‘music video’ in which we see the protagonist singing and strumming a bass guitar in sync to the music, and secondly in the form of a road trip, created through combining collected footage from the artist’s personal travels. In Ryan Gander’s The Book of ‘The Sitting’, the viewer sees an open book lying face down inside a vitrine. Whilst open, the book and thus story is completely unreachable, and never to be read. The artist, while literally giving his life away like ‘an open book’, remains closed, and his confessional story never to be read.

Alternating the perspective to that of a child with little ‘reading experience,’ Michael Lin creates two sets of diptychs of children’s kindergarten books. Enlarging works by his children and their classmates’ educational drawing books, he pairs a ‘normal’ object, such as a Computer in Dian Nao and an umbrella in Yu Sai (both 2012), with two examples of specifically named warfare airplanes. Through these works, Lin points out to the information we are given and taught, and the need to question when reading materials of any kind.

Tackling the act of reading through its more abstract definition, Zhao Zhao depicts for us the manner in which he reads into various artworks and objects around him. In the mixed media installation of Euro and Toothpick (2007), which displays for the viewer the photographic process from which the artist creates to his final products of a set of wooden toothpicks and metal coins, Zhao Zhao shows us his vandalism of both Ai Weiwei and Anselm Kifer’s works, taking parts as materials to create his own. Through these works, Zhao Zhao explains his own reading of art history and of other artists’ works, as well as the practical manifestation of his ‘readings’.

In a special commission for the exhibition, Simon Fujiwara’s Lucky Dip, which stems from his much celebrated project Welcome to the Hotel Munber (2008-2010), uses the topic of reading to discuss history. The site specific installation which depicts objects often found in a Spanish bar, such as a leg of ham, a terra-cotta pot or a guitar, uses paper mâché to shape the hanging items. Using pulped homosexual literature and texts as its main material, Fujiwara utilizes his work to reflect Spain under the Franco dictatorship, placing its’ then very illegal publications ironically into some of the nation’s most prized possessions.

In Mont Sainte-Victoire (2012), Li Ran employs a myriad of sound layers and dubbing as a means of reading his script in hand. Using this artwork, Li Ran explores the art of dubbing, and the way in which reading can be utilized as performance.

Ming Wong’s three-channel video installation The Life and Death in Venice (2010) reinterprets both the 1912 novel Death in Venice by Thomas Mann and the 1971 film adaptation by Luchino Visconti. Filmed during his time at the 53rd Venice Biennale, the artist places himself into the role of the protagonist, Ming Wong uses elements from his reading of both versions of the fiction to create a confessional piece on his own personal crises.

Henrik Olesen’s employs 4 posters (2008) as tribute of sorts to Alan Turing’s life as a tragic hero, who, as homosexual in the early 20th century looses his happiness, life and body due to the boundaries of the period he lived in. Using Turing’s own scientific publications, Olesen re-appropriates text to create a work on the philosopher’s life.

Two literature-reactionary pieces in the exhibition come from Wang Taocheng and Qiu Anxiong. In video Reflection Paper No.2 (2013), Wang Taocheng contemplates her reactions towards an Eileen Chang novella, and how through reading she relates to a person a century ago. Similarly, Qiu Anxiong’s work also compares itself to Chinese literature of the past, through its’ illustrative observations and ‘new’ recreations of the mythical Classics of Mountains and Seas (Shan Hai Jing).

Also on show are a series of publications titled Werker Magazine (2009-ongoing) created by artist Marc Roig Blesa and  Rogier Delfos, who collect and assembled edited historical materials of workers from a range of photography archives.

 
 























 

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

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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]