past | CHENG RAN: WHAT WHY HOW

CHENG RAN, "1971 - 2000", 2012, Single channel video with sound, 7 min 47 sec, Edition of 6

April 22nd through May 27th, 2012

“Cheng Ran: What Why How” is the first solo exhibition in Shanghai of Hangzhou-based Cheng Ran, a young artist critically acclaimed for his distinctive visual language and style that connects the cinema with relevant cultures of the time. The show runs from April 22nd through May 27th 2012, and will be accompanied by a catalogue and off-site projects initiated and produced by the artist.

Titled after a video Cheng Ran made in 2010, the exhibition “What Why How” premieres four latest videos produced over the past year. “What Why How”, as the artist observes, refers to both a pattern for study and the analytical thinking adopted in the stock market. Parodying the way Western films’ titles are translated into Chinese in Hong Kong, Cheng Ran transliterated this three-word term and lends it identity of a fictional male character. As the video “What Why How” examines the significance of life and belief through the protagonist repeatedly questioning and conversing with himself, the show—with a deliberate absence of this eponymous video—continues the artist’s recent probe and narrows the focus onto his philosophy of motion pictures.

For this exhibition, the ground floor gallery is transformed into a cinema with presentation of two single-channel videos that mark the centerpieces of the show. “1971-2000” (2012) opens up a box of memories of the cinematic classics that have left enormous impact on Cheng and his peers who would access contemporary cinema through second-hand resources, bootleg products and much recently the internet. Appropriating iconic elements from “A Clockwork Orange” (Stanely Kubrick, 1971) and “The Million Dollar Hotel” (Wim Wenders, 2000), the artist created a new film of a young man throwing himself off the rooftop, which however reconciles the contradicting beliefs and viewpoints in these two classics.

The other video “Angels for the Millennium (#6)” (2012) filmed an unlikely rescue in deep water. When projected upside down, the whole process—the drowning man ascends peacefully and slowly, later attended by lifeguards—only makes for a tranquil and sacred rite. Mimicking Bill Viola’s historic video installation “Five Angels for the Millennium” (2001), the work voices the response of Cheng Ran as a young Chinese artist to the parameter of video art set by Western pioneers, whose works are more read and heard about among the Chinese. The video also references the British thriller “The Prisoner” (Patrick McGoohan, 1967), in which the protagonist a secret agent named “Number Six” makes every effort of escaping the mysteriously isolated dystopian “village” he is held captive in. Confessional and redemptive, Cheng’s Angel Number Six marks the line between belief and indoctrination.

Also on view are two other videos projected in the white and well-lit second-floor gallery, both containing eruptive moments of drama. “Lostalgia” (2012), as the title suggests, plays a word game on Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Nostalghia” (1983). The story develops from the opening act of the latter, with a fabricated scene of fire and Cheng’s reinterpretation of lines. “The Eclipse” (2011) filmed the hypnotizing light effects caused by the vibrating cymbals in a three-minute drum play at his friend’s studio.

Concurrently, Cheng Ran is included in various exhibitions. On view at Rockbund Art Museum Shanghai is his ten-channel video installation “Dark Red (The Deepest Red)” commissioned for the museum’s ongoing exhibition “Model Home: A Proposition by Michael Lin”. A presentation of his installation “Midnight Art Museum” in the foyer of Bund 18 runs for three months. This installation was featured in “Immersion and Distance”, a two-person show curated by Yang Fudong at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art Beijing in 2009. Also a selection of Cheng Ran’s videos is included in the exhibition “Day and Night: Between Reality and Illusion” at The City University of New York, presented by BMCC (CUNY)/ Center for Ethnic Studies in collaboration with Art21: Season 6.

Cheng Ran (b. 1981, in Inner Mongolia) graduated from China Academy of Art in Hangzhou. Cheng’s videos project the innermost world of young Chinese and capture the living experience shaped by the globalized cultures and cultural policies. They integrate elements of the performative, the visual from electronica and rock’n’roll music, and in a few cases, the aesthetics of Chinese ink painting into his cinematic language that is informed by the late 20th century cinema.

Cheng has exhibited at many galleries and institutions in China and abroad, such as “Moving Image in China: 1988-2011” (Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, 2011), “Farewell to Post-colonialism: The Third Guangzhou Triennial” (Guangdong Art Museum, 2008), “Immersion and Distance” (Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, 2009), “Yi Pai–Century Thinking” (Today Art Museum, Beijing, 2009), “The Tell-tale Heart” (James Cohan Gallery Shanghai and New York, 2010 and 2011), “In A Perfect World…” (Meulensteen Gallery, New York, 2011), and “Boy: A Contemporary Portrait” (Leo Xu Projects, Shanghai, 2012), etc. Cheng Ran has recently been awarded Best Video Artist of 2011 by the online art journal Randian.

Cheng Ran lives and works in Hangzhou.

 

The exhibition is supported by WTi & CP Denmark Aps.

 

CHENG RAN, "Angels For The Millenium (#6)", 2012, Single channel video with sound, 7 min 45 sec, Edition of 6

CHENG RAN, "Lostalghia", 2012, Single channel video with sound, 11 min 45 sec, Edition of 6

CHENG RAN, "The Eclipse", 2011, Single channel video with sound, 3 min, Edition of 6

 

Installation view. Photography: Justin Jin.

Installation view. Photography: Justin Jin.

Installation view. Photography: Justin Jin.

Installation view. Photography: Justin Jin.

Installation view. Photography: Justin Jin.

Installation view. Photography: Justin Jin.

Installation view. Photography: Justin Jin.

Installation view. Photography: Justin Jin.

 

current | 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, SOLO INSTITUTIONAL EXHIBITION IN AUSTRALIA

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]

fair | ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH 2016

Art Basel Miami Beach
Stand N13
Miami Beach Convention Center
December 1st through 4th, 2016
Preview Wednesday, November 30th

LEO XU PROJECTS is pleased to announce its participation for the first time at Art Basel | Miami Beach. Located at stand N13, the gallery brings a group presentation of three artists; aaajiao, Cui Jie and Liu Shiyuan, each articulating a different vision of their experiences living, working and exhibiting in the city of Shanghai.
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fair | ART021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair 2016

ART021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair
Stand W28
Shanghai Exhibition Center, 1376 West Nanjing Road, Jing’an District, Shanghai 

November 10th through 13th, 2016
Preview Thursday, November 9th

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fair | WEST BUND ART & DESIGN 2016

West Bund Art & Design
Stand C2
West Bund Art Center, 2555 Longteng Avenue, Xuhui District, Shanghai

November 9th through 13th, 2016
Preview Tuesday, November 8th

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news | AAAJIAO AND CUI JIE IN HACK SPACE AT CHI K11 ART MUSEUM

Cui Jie, Building of Cranes #1, 2014. Oil on canvas. 150 x 110 cm.

HACK SPACE

November 9th, 2016 through December 8th, 2016
Opening: November 8th, 2016 | 5pm

chi K11 art museum, Shanghai
Level B3, K11 Art Mall, 300 Middle Huaihai Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai

Aaajiao and Cui Jie are included in the new edition of the group exhibition “Hack Space” in chi K11 art museum in Shanghai, co-curated by Amira Gad and Hans Ulrich Obrist. The K11 Art Foundation (KAF) and the Serpentine Galleries are pleased to continue their collaboration, which begun with the presentation of the group exhibition HACK SPACE during Art Basel Hong Kong 2016, by presenting a new edition of the HACK SPACE exhibition at the chi K11 art museum in Shanghai. The exhibition runs from 9 November to 8 December 2016.

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fair | ASIA NOW 2016

PIXY LIAO, "A Collection of Penises", 2013-present

Asia Now
Stand A207
9 Avenue Hoche, Paris

October 19th through 23th, 2016
Preview Wednesday, October 19th

LEO XU PROJECTS is pleased to present “Girls: Portraits, Fantasies and Troubles”, a group exhibition curated for gallery’s second-year participation in Asia Now. The booth includes a selection of photographs, installations, sculptures and videos created by Chen Wei, Cheng Ran, Guo Hongwei, Pixy Liao, Liu Chuang, Liu Shiyuan, and others, which carefully study individual and collective emotions, experiences and expressions of young female Chinese in their everyday and professional life.

New to the gallery stable, Shanghai-born Brooklyn-based young female artist Pixy Liao attempts to smash the stereotypes of hierarchies in relationship and gender roles by presenting a body of bold and experimental works — “A Collection of Penises” (2013-present) shows a collection of nineteen pink soft fabric models of male genitals in various possible shapes created by the artist’s partner; “Start your day with a good breakfast” (2009) is a selfie of the artist and her partner interacting in explicit and provocative manners. Having studied and lived in Beijing and New York, Copenhagen-based Liu Shiyuan presents a playful sculpture “But My Apple…” (2015) that captures a subtle second-thought on female’s sensibility.
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past | PIXY LIAO: VENUS AS A BOY

September 24th through October 25th, 2016
Opening reception: Saturday, September 24th, 6-8pm.

“Pixy Liao: Venus As A Boy” marks the first solo exhibition of Shanghai-born Brooklyn-based young female artist Pixy Yijun Liao with the gallery, running from September 24th through October 25th, 2016. 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, yet spinning off from the critique of “the American dream” to focus on the contemporary lives of Asian immigrants in the western society, presenting portraits and relationship hierarchies of the youth and the minorities with a rare observational wit.

The title of the exhibition is taken from one of the greatest hits of Icelandic musician, singer, and actress Björk Gumundsdottir, in which she questions masculine and feminine gender identities as socially constructed and breaks down the popular conceptions of gender binaries. Sharing a similar objection against the conventional assumptions of gender roles, Pixy Liao uses language of contemporary American photography of deadpan portraits, seemingly unmemorable objects, and staged scenes in her photographic practices to challenge the preconceived notions about characteristics and behaviors of different genders in heterosexual relationships in the Asian American society, throwing tradition out the window in an often humorous effect.
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fair | FRIEZE LONDON 2016

Frieze London
Stand H20
Regent’s Park, London

October 6th through 9th, 2016
Preview Wednesday, October 6th

Titled after Arthur Rimbaud’s eponymous poem, “Le Bateau Ivre (Drunken Boat)” is young Chinese artist Chen Wei’s solo project that features his photographs of various formats and installations across multiple media. A time capsule on China’s disco and relevant youth cultures since the early 1990s onwards, the project outlines the growth of Chen’s generation through artist’s fabricated visual and literal materials which are informed by then British publications like i-D and the Face (once circulated underground in Beijing and Shanghai). Chen explores the mystery of Chinese disco, an apparition in most celebrated films by Jia Zhangke and Lou Ye, but barely made to the discourse of Chinese visual art. An unlicensed institution of Chinese youth cultures and generational concerns, Chen commented.
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news | LIU SHIYUAN IN YINCHUAN BIENNALE 2016

Museum of Contemporary Art Yinchuan

Yinchuan Biennale
For an Image, Faster Than Light

September 9th through December 18th, 2016

Museum of Contemporary Art Yinchuan
No.12, HeLe Road, Xingqing District, 750101 Yinchuan, China

The first edition of the Yinchuan Biennale which will open on September 9, 2016 with the participation of 74 artists from 33 countries including China and will culminate on December 18, 2016. The YC Biennale 2016 is contextualizing some of the most important issues confronting the world from the scientific to the spiritual, from the psychic to the philosophical, from the catastrophic to the celebratory.
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