April 23rd through July 20th, 2016
VIP reception Saturday April 23rd,6-8pm
Artists: Chris Huen Sin Kan, Li Qing, Elizabeth Neel, Ken Okiishi, Shahzia Sikander, Taocheng Wang
“Performing Time” is the second curatorial collaboration between Pilar Corrias Gallery (London) and Leo Xu Projects (Shanghai), following a critically acclaimed exhibition in Hong Kong “The Tell-Tale Heart” (2015) where the relationship between narrative and new media was addressed. The new group exhibition otherwise steers its focus to painting as a medium that has recently gained vigor and repertoire from new ways of image-making, data, and performative languages in a world constantly reshaped by digital media. A product of the galleries’ ongoing opinion exchange on the gestural and time-based nature of Chinese calligraphy and ink painting, the show evaluates the boundaries of painting by and through time: How the notion of time in its physical and metaphysical sense has influenced artist’s respective practices.
The exhibition commences with new works from New York-based abstract painter Elizabeth Neel whose manipulation of acrylic on canvas brings abstraction to traverse time and space. Highly dependent on both a substantial degree of chance and the insistence of direction and control, Neel’s paintings draw on techniques that can be linked to a history of gestural abstraction but also to much more ancient forms of calligraphic painting that constitute both image and language for the purposes of informational and emotional communication. The paintings on view summon up a notions of mapping, economy, social dynamics and relationships between intention and space, luck and design.
Immediately abstract, Ken Okiishi’s works bound together the painterly traces of a brushstroke on surfaces of flat-screen monitors to play mash-ups of 1990s VHS home recordings of sitcoms and advertisements partially recorded over with sequences from new, digitally broadcast television. Entitled “gesture/data (feedback)”, these glitchy image-objects on the one hand suggest connections between the physical traces of gestural painting and the swipes, taps, and pinches through which we now access digital images, subject to infinite redistribution, and on the other, highlight the fragility and absurdity of our attempts to document human presence—while at the same time affirming that presence. “The tensions between silence and sound, painterly and digital, flickering brushwork and flickering light parody the ideal of ‘presence’ of painting while providing a lively literal substitute. The eye is pulled back and forth between the layers of information and gesture, and among seeing, watching and looking,” – Roberta Smith commented (New York Times, March 14th, 2014).
Personal memories and traces of histories unfold on the dimension of time, measuring the velocity of brushwork and art of representation. Hangzhou and Shanghai-based Li Qing projects critical spirits of Chinese literati painting on his painted objects. Exquisitely painted landscapes and collaged prints inside time-worn window frames removed from average local houses, Li’s painting installations embody a time-based intensity in interweaving fictions and realities, sublimities and absurdities. Chris Huen Sin Kan, an emerging artist from Hong Kong, paints with austere color and simple yet determined brushworks on his yellow canvas, resembling the ancient line drawings on rice paper. In so doing, Huen introduces warmth, tranquility and subtlety to the everyday life fully detached from the urban hustle and bustle.
The show, as its title suggests, looks at the broadened horizon of paintings where paint, ink, time and performance come into play. Having been based in Amsterdam for years, young Chinese artist Taocheng Wang is known for her hand scroll and performance that tell stories set in various stages in the past and present, exploring the notions of sexuality, identity, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background. The video “Reflection Paper No. 1” is the first episode from the series and based on the personalities and writings from Eileen Chang, a legendary female writer from the 20th century Shanghai. It cuts and edits from footages of Wang’s performance and various filmed resources and materials, only to be dubbed by her uncanny whispering and reading of Chang’s bitter-sweet essays “Written on Water” and “The Gold Cangue”.
A critical figure in contemporary miniature painting Shahzia Sikander and her animation ‘The Last Post’ enquires into the concept of time as a mix of historic and political markers. Sikander’s practice itself is rooted in the hierarchy within the practice of labor and time, issues of scale, precision and gesture. Developed from hundreds of animated drawings, ’The Last Post’ animation explores the British colonialism of the subcontinent, the British opium trade with China, military rhetoric, news media, identity and other contemporary issues through an aesthetics that draws primarily from Indo-Persian miniature paintings. “I construct most of my work, including patterns of thinking, via drawing”, – Sikander’s ideas housed on paper are put into motion in the video animations and create a form of disruption as a means to engage.
Elizabeth Neel’s paintings and sculptures blur relationships between architecture and the body, memory and action. Drawn from specific, real world subject matter—from anonymous images sourced from the Internet to found objects—Neel’s ‘fictive situations’ trace excavations of life, along with its contamination through death and decay. While ostensibly abstract, Neel’s paintings have an uncanny insistence on the representational residue of mark making. Her smears and punctuations of tape hint towards the reconstructive narrative potential of abstraction. Her sculptural assemblages extend the sensibility of perspective and proximity between disparate gestures into three dimensions, using a diverse array of materials including clay, wood, wax, tape, inkjet prints and found objects. Through stimulating relationships between her paintings and sculptures Neel returns to architecture as a narrative tool for framing objects and images.
Born in 1975, Neel lives and works in New York. She graduated from Columbia University with an MFA in 2007. Recent solo exhibitions include: Lobster with Shell Game, Susanne Vielmetter, Los Angeles Projects, Los Angeles (2015); The People, the Park, the Ornament, Pilar Corrias, London (2014); 3 and 4 before 2 and 5, Sikkema Jenkins & Co, New York (2013); Routes and Pleasures, Susanne Vielmetter, Los Angeles (2012); Sphinx Ditch, Pilar Corrias, London (2011); Leopard Complex, Sikkema Jenkins & Co, New York (2011); Stick Season, curated by Fionn Meade at SculptureCenter, New York (2010). Recent group exhibitions include: Paradigm Store, Howick Place, London (2014); Speaking Through Paint, Lori Bookstein Fine Art, New York (2014); I Mean Orange, STUDIOLO, Zurich (2012); Modern Talking, curated by Nicola Trezzi, Cluj Museum, Cluji-Napoca (2012); Painting overall, Prague Biennale 5 (2011); Going Where the Weather Suits My Cloths – A fall of light on fabric, Mother’s Tank Station, Dublin (2011).
CHRIS HUEN SIN KAN
Chris Huen Sin Kan was born in 1991, Hong Kong. He obtained BA in Fine Arts at The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2013. With an emphasis in painting, Huen’s practice explores the minute and exquisite experiences of everyday daily life. The artist believes that the essence of existence should not be constructed nor constricted by conventions that are the result of a collective cognition. Thus his works avoid grandiose topics of human constructs such as history, religion and politics. Instead, he believes that life should be informed by intuition on a personal level. He is particularly drawn to fanatical behaviours and trivial moments that carry immense vitality such
as a small dog or an ordinary lawn.
Huen’s art is the modern style of en plein air – hereto indoor. Each particular in an interior scene of a frozen moment is a unique object to the artist’s intuition. He demonstrates adroit sensitivity towards the indefinite and indistinct relationship between object and space in order to capture the specific physical aura hovering each particular interior scene.
Ken Okiishi works in disparate media systems. His works hover over and within relationships between matter and memory, perception and action, image-networks and language-systems, often confronting our digitally and materially entwined culture with hesitation. Working through and with multiple mediums in fused simultaneity (video/painting, writing/video, object-circulation/image-circulation, currency/sculpture, etc.), he incites moments when the “real world” loses its material coherence and where languages and images fall apart. As Okiishi subverts the material claims of the media systems he works with, the glitches that occur illuminate spaces for the production of something other than what has already been.
Ken Okiishi lives and works in New York and Berlin. Recent solo exhibitions include: Porous Feedback, Arbeiterkammer Wien, Vienna (2015); Gestures, data, feedback, Take Ninagawa, Tokyo (2015); Screen Presence, Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Reena Spaulings, New York (2014); gesture/data, Pilar Corrias, London; (List Projects) Ken Okiishi, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts (2013); The Very Quick of the Word, Hessel Museum of Art, Bard Center for Curatorial Studies (2013); Gino/Marcel Duchamp on Streeteast.com, Mathew, Berlin (2012); (Goodbye to), Take Ninagawa, Tokyo (2012); (Goodbye to) Manhattan, Alex Zachary, New York (2010); and (Goodbye to) Manhattan, Mehringdamm 72, Berlin (2010). Recent group exhibitions include: MashUp: The Birth of Modern Culture, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver (2016); Over you/you, 31st Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana (2015); Cut to Swipe, The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2015); Whitney Biennial 2014, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2014); Frieze Projects, Frieze Art Fair, London (2013); Speculations on Anonymous Materials, Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel 2013); Version Control, Arnolfini, Bristol (2013); Frozen Lakes, Artists Space, New York (2013); Liebe ist Kälter als das Kapital [Love is Colder than Capital], Kunsthaus Bregenz (2013); Perfect Man II, White Columns, New York (2012); The Log-0-Rithmic, GAMeC, Bergamo (2012).
Major solo exhibitions of Sikander’s work include: Shahzia Sikander: Apparatus of Power, Chantal Miller Gallery, Asia Society Hong Kong Center, Hong Kong (2016);Parallax, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (2015); Parallax, Bildmuseet Umea, Sweden (2014); The Last Post, Linda Pace Foundation, San Antonio (2012-13); Kogod Courtyard at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC (2012);Transformations, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2010); Para/Site, Hong Kong (2009); Intimate Ambivalence, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2008); daadgalerie, Berlin (2008); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2007); Shahzia Sikander,Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2007); Miami Art Museum, Miami (2005); Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield (2004); Flip Flop, The San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego (2004); Acts of Balance, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2000); Directions, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C (1999); and the Renaissance Society, Chicago (1998).
Major group exhibitions include: Our Land / Alien Territory (part of the special program of the 6th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art), Manege, Moscow (2015); Infinite Challenge, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul (2014); Dhaka Art Summit (2014); Mom, Am I Barbarian?, The 13th Istanbul Biennial, Turkey (2013); If you were to live here…, The 5th Auckland Triennial, Auckland (2013); Sharjah Biennale 11, Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah (2013);Marking Language, Drawing Room, London (2013); Doris Duke’s Shangri La: Architecture, Landscape and Islamic Art, Museum of Art and Design, New York (2012-13); Guangzhou Triennial, Guangzhou (2012); Women In-Between: Asian Women Artists 1984-2012, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka (2012); Patria o Libertad! On Patriotism, Immigration and Populism, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto (2011); Future Pass: From Asia to the World, 54th Venice Biennale, Venice (2011); Gifts of the Sultan: The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2011); Monumental ‘Miniatures’: Large-scale Paintings from India, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia (2010); One Image May Hide Another: Arcimboldo-Dali-Raetz, Galeries Nationals du Grand Palais, Paris (2009); Order. Desire. Light. : An Exhibition of Contemporary Drawings, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2008); Take 2: Women Revisiting Art History, SFMoMA, San Francisco (2007).
Amongst her many awards is the Medal of Art by the US Secretary of State, Hilary Rodham Clinton (2012), John D. and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation Achievement ‘Genius’ award (2006-11), SCMP Art Futures Award, Hong Kong International Art Fair (2010); The Inaugural Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Creative Arts Fellowship, Italy (2009), Performing and Visual Arts Achiever of the Year Award presented by the South Asian Excellence Awards, New York City (2008), Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, the National Pride of Honor by the Pakistani Government (2005), Louis Comfort Tiffany award (1997), Shakir Ali award (1992), and Haji Sharif award (1992).
Shahzia Sikander lives and works in multiple locations across the US, Europe, and Asia
Li Qing graduated from Oil Painting Department of China Academy of Art in 2007. His art practices embrace various media from oil on canvas in the early time to installation, photography and video etc. later on. The subjects his works deal with also develop in depth. Standing in front of his works, audiences would be led into a visual game, conversing with them and reflecting upon them. The imagery created by Li Qing is no more just a means of representing reality. As a pioneer of “Intellectual Painting”, he presents his audience a familiar context and let concepts tell the story on its own.
He held solo shows at Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai, China; Tomás y Valiente Art Centre, Madrid, Spain; Duolun Museum Of Modern Art, Shanghai, China and Iberia Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China, etc. A number of prestigious art institutes also include his works for group shows, such as 55th Biennale Di Venezia Special Invitation Exhibition, Arsenale di Venezia, Italy; National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia; Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan; ART COLOGNE 2013, Cologne, Germany; São Paulo Museum of Contemporary Art, São Paulo, Brasil, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, San Francisco, USA and Square Gallery of Contemporary Art etc.
His works are collected by many art institutes and foundations, such as M+ Art Museum, Hong Kong, China; Deutsche Bank, Germany; Institut Valencia d’Art Modern, Valencia, Spain; Art & Culture Foundation (IAC) of Spain, Madrid, Spain; Logan Foundation, San Francisco, USA; Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai, China; Long Museum, Shanghai, China; Yuz Foundation; Budi Tek Collection, Shanghai, China; Square Gallery of Contemporary Art, Nanjing, China; China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China, etc.
Taocheng Wang’s art practice derives from painting, which she had done for over 10 years while in China. She continued her education in Germany (Städelschule) and the Netherlands (De Ateliers). During this time, Wang started experimenting with video, film, and performance, which resulted in work that combines a straightforward, at times confrontational, tone with highly emotional, poetic, and uncanny undercurrents. Wang is interested in how ostensibly fixed notions of sexuality, identity, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background constitute our behavior, social class, and interpersonal relations. Her work is best considered as a collage, showing a mirror of intimate images, trying to make explicit what otherwise remains lurking in the shadows.
Taocheng Wang (1981, Chengdu, China) lives and works in Amsterdam. She has been exhibited in ‘Up Close and Personal’ at De Hallen Haarlem (2014-2015); ‘Off Spring’, De Ateliers, Amsterdam (2014); Johan Berggren Gallery, Malmo; ‘I love you, Me either’, Project Native Informant, London, UK (2013); ‘Reading’, Leo Xu Projects, Shanghai, CN (2014); Living Room, Shanghai Goethe Institute, Shanghai, CN (2012) AMNUA Drawing Show Series, Art Museum of Nanjing University of the Arts, Nanjing, CN; How are you otherwise, Rongwrong, Amsterdam, NL (2013); Reactivation – The 9th Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai, CN (2012).
Wang has recently performed at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and her new work will be featured in Manifesta Biennale 2016.