news | LIU CHUANG: LOVE STORY IN SALON 94

LIU CHUANG, "Love Story", 2008, Mixed media installation (used books), dimension variable

LIU CHUANG
Love Story
SALON 94 (Freemans), New York
May 7th through June 21st, 2014

The first US solo exhibition of conceptual Chinese artist Liu Chuang 刘窗 is presented in Salon94. Known for his critical projects that engage the social, economic, and political realities of contemporary China, his practice is made up of quiet interventions and accumulations into the public sphere. Often Chuang sites and gathers specific personal details in order to reveal voices and inner secrets, dreams and daily routines.

Love Story 愛情故事 presents 3,000 used pulp fiction novels rented or borrowed by migrant workers in boomtown Dongguan, China, and the anonymous notes accumulated within them. What Chuang calls Love Stories includes the romantic popular fiction of proletariat China, read mainly by teenagers, students, and young workers – mostly female. These novels were mostly written by Taiwanese and Hong Kong writers in the 1980s to the 1990s. It was a golden age for Taiwan and Hong Kong and new social classes were created, these books met the cultural needs of these new social classes. After the Chinese economic reform in the late 1980s, the books were imported to China and became popular. As contemporary China developed and the industrial revolution took hold, a large number of workers became readers of this new pulp fiction. This literature had low rental fees (1/2 Chinese dollar per book per day) and had the largest readership in mainland China by 2010. Rarely translated into other languages, these books were mainly circulated within China.

LIU CHUANG, "Love Story", 2008, Mixed media installation (used books), dimension variable

As if the notes of the Love Story readers were written directly to him, Chuang has culled, translated and painted them onto the gallery walls. Chuang has identified six types of notes scribbled into the collection of books:
1. Draft for a letter
2. Personal diary
3. Contemporary poems (this includes short non-sense notes written poetically)
4. Home address and contact information, biographical info (perhaps an attempt to become pen pals as the books are exchanged)
5. Phone number
6. Daily memo (lists of what the person did, ate, or bought that day)
7. Doodles

Copied in different hands, the scrawled passages become a portrait of working class China. Each entry is coded with a hand painted rock that relates to the color of text written on the gallery walls. While the love stories are written in a Taiwanese dialect, its readers are from mainland China and speak a different vernacular of Mandarin. Their notations revealing their identities – background, gender and place. Thus, the language acts as a kind of portrait. Chuang is interested in understated and idiosyncratic meanings of mainstream language, the way it interacts as a palimpsest in the public sphere. More, the inaccuracies and transfigurations that occur through the act of translation.

LIU CHUANG, "Love Story", 2008, Mixed media installation (used books), dimension variable

Like a micro network or an analogue internet, users comment individually and do not engage with one another—there is no mutual communication. Like a blog or the app Secret, the notes posted are often personal, with no specific readership. They reveal intimate feelings, like a monologue, meant for a stranger to see. Connection between voices is mute. The readers who rent and return the books – writers themselves – are in a constant monologue. Like the mouse trap – or the play inside a play – there is a new kind of story that circulates and connects the readers.

LIU CHUANG, "Love Story", 2008, Mixed media installation (used books), dimension variable

In his 36 years, Chuang has been witness to the unprecedented industrial and urban growth of China, and his practice interacts with this ever-evolving environment. For his 2010 performanceUntitled (Dancing Partner) in Beijing, he altered the flow of traffic using a pair of cars on the road in a slow synchronized drive. He replaces one traffic barrier with another, modifying it, or inserting everyday objects in the space like an air conditioner, apparel or second-hand books, the flow of daily life is his medium.

In another project, shown at Younger than Jesus at the New Museum (2009), he paid job seekers in line at a workers market in exchange for everything they were wearing. Like a contemporary archaeologist trying to capture the personal identities of his generation, he displays the belongings on low plinths. The clothing and personal effects resonate with a strange bodily absence. They convey a varied portrait of the contemporary working class, societal infrastructures and status quo.

Liu Chuang (刘窗 b. 1978 Hubei, China) is a Chinese conceptual artist who lives and works in Beijing, after developing his early practice in Shenzhen. His work Buying Everything on You was featured in The Generational: Younger Than Jesus exhibition at the New Museum in 2009, and in The Rubell Family Collection, Contemporary Arts Foundation, Miami in 2013. The artist’s work has also been shown at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Shanghai, Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo, and National Art Museum of China, Beijing. He has had solo exhibitions at Taikang Space, Beijing in 2010 and at Leo Xu Projects, Shanghai in 2012. This is the artist’s third solo presentation.

upcoming | 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: May 26th, Friday, 6-8 pm
 

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.

Details »

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.

Details »

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.

Details »

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.

Details »

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.

Details »

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?

Details »

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.
Details »

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.
Details »

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.
Details »

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

Details »

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.
Details »

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.

Details »

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]