Li Qing




Li Qing (b. 1981) was born in Huzhou, Zhejiang, and now lives in Hangzhou. Li Qing’s art practices embrace various media having began with oil painting, to now including video, photography and installation. The subject his works deal with also developed in depth. Standing in front of his works, audiences are led into a visual game, conversing with and reflecting on the artworks. 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, allowing concepts tell the story on their own.

Li Qing’s early series usually take form in diptych, such as his ‘Finding Differences’ series (2005-) and ‘Images of Mutual Undoing and Unity’ set (2007-) He borrows the form of the familiar video game “Find the differences”, adding pop culture motifs, such as politicians, celebrities, daily objects, everyday scenes and news. In his works, one of the two motifs will be altered at several spots to lead audiences into a visual game, starting up a conversation between the two works. His work also sees him pressing two wet paintings together face-to-face before separating them, playing between the truth and nothingness. In fact, the two juxtaposed paintings don’t show differences merely in form; they are a playful statement by the artist to deliver the differing concepts behind them. Every single brushwork or “Undoing” bears a unique gesture of the artist. The line between the absolute identical and the different thus is blurred, and the literal meaning of images is also absorbed into the surface of the canvas. By comparing the two paintings, audience come close to artist’s real intentions—connotations of complex humanity, changing social landscape, and shared experiences or collective emotions of a certain period. The entry point to understanding Li Qing’s paintings therefore switch from the surface of imagery as a representation of reality to the comparison between the two. And the image is merely a path to the more profound level of understanding.

Drifting, nothingness and disillusionment permeate most of Li Qing’s works. In his later photography, video and installation works, artist deals with several eternal themes or philosophical concepts, such as the presenting of things as a subject, humanity in social development and the feeling of anxiety extensively existing in the time the artist lives in. During the 80s, China went through huge social reform and opening-up as well as dramatic economic growth, bringing in an overwhelming expansion of consumerism. Everyday objects became distant to people. They are used and then abandoned very shortly. For the artist, objects are the embodiment of the living experience. They show a state of nothingness and detachment in people’s living conditions. The Fridge as a motif appears in many of artist’s works, including ‘White Group Portrait’ (2010) and ‘Black Group Portrait’ (2010). The Fridge in Li Qing’s works is like Van Gogh’s Shoes, standing solemnly like a group of tall buildings, with a sense of human dignity, not being consumed as daily objects anymore. In the video work ‘Drifting Floss’ (2010), floss covers every corner, becoming the subject matter in this clueless story. Textile workers wander around in trance, delivering to the audience a collective feeling of powerlessness and disillusionment.

For the solo show ‘Li Qing: In the Vicinity’ (2014, Leo Xu Projects), the artist created a group of site-specific works associated with the gallery’s location. An installation series ‘Neighbor’s Window’ (2013) borrows the trompe l’oeil technique, combining old wooden window frames with the paintings of colonial architecture behind glass. The visual illusion connects individual life with today’s modern metropolis of Shanghai, which comes along with the feeling of anxiety in the westernized culture and memory of the past revolutionary time. Other works in this show also show the development of Shanghai at a similar angle: the coexistence and mingling of different notions and ideologies, opening up dialogues between the past and the present.

Li Qing graduated from the Oil Painting Department of China Academy of Art in 2007. He has had solo shows at Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong, China; Tomás y Valiente Art Centre, Madrid, Spain; Duolun Museum Of Modern Art, Shanghai, China and Iberia Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China, among others. A number of prestigious art institutes have also included his works for group shows, such as the 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; and China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China.

Download the complete artist biography.

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LI QING, "Finding Differences-Big Shot (There are 5 differences in the two paintings)", 2006, Oli on canvas, 200 x 200 cm x 2

LI QING, "Finding Differences-Wedding (There are 6 differences in the two paintings)", 2006, Oli on canvas, 190 x 275 cm x 2

LI QING, "Finding Differences-Sand Table (There are 10 differences in the two paintings)", 2008, Oli on canvas, 170 x 255 cm x 2

LI QING, "Finding Differences-03 (There are10 differences in the two paintings)", 2005, Oil on canvas, 97 x 75 cm x 2

LI QING, "Finding Differences-09 (There are 8 differences in the two paintings)", 2005, Oli on canvas, 170 x 130 cm x 2

LI QING, "Finding Differences-Mirror (There are 9 differences in the two paintings)", 2005, Oli on canvas, 170 x 130 cm x 2

LI QING, "Finding Differences-12 (There are 8 differences in the two paintings)", 2005, Oil on canvas, 170 x 130 cm x 2

LI QING, "Finding Differences-Come to Eat Cake (There are 11 differences in the two paintings)", 2007, Oli on canvas, 150 x 250 cm x 2

LI QING, "Finding Differences-Pavilion (There are 9 differences in the two paintings)", 2005, Oli on canvas, 170 x 130 cm x 2

LI QING, "Images of Mutual Undoing and Unity-Mating No.4", 2008, Oil on canvas, A set of two inkjet prints (left) and two oil paintings (right), Painting canvas: 150 x 285 cm each, Print dimension variable

LI QING, "Images of Mutual Undoing and Unity-Mating No.4", 2008, Oil on canvas, (A set of two inkjet prints, Print dimension variable), Detail

LI QING, "Images of Mutual Undoing and Unity-Mating No.4", 2008, Oil on canvas, Painting canvas: 150 x 285 cm each, Detail

LI QING, "Images of Mutual Undoing and Unity-Leslie Cheung", 2007, Oil on canvas, A set of two inkjet prints (left) and two oil paintings (right), Painting canvas: 170 x 127 cm each, Print dimension variable

LI QING, "Images of Mutual Undoing and Unity-Leslie Cheung", 2007, Oil on canvas, (A set of two inkjet prints, Print dimension variable), Detail

LI QING, "Images of Mutual Undoing and Unity-Leslie Cheung", 2007, Oil on canvas, Painting canvas: 170 x 127 cm each, Detail

LI QING, "Images of Mutual Undoing and Unity-Duchamp", 2011, Oil on canvas, A set of two inkjet prints (left) and two oil paintings (right), Painting canvas: 100 x 78 cm each, Print dimension variable

LI QING, "Images of Mutual Undoing and Unity-Duchamp", 2011, Oil on canvas, (A set of two inkjet prints, Print dimension variable), Detail

LI QING, "Images of Mutual Undoing and Unity-Duchamp", 2011, Oil on canvas, Painting canvas: 100 x 78 cm each, Detail

LI QING, "A Brand New Kitchen", 2012, Oil on canvas, 227 x 300 cm

LI QING, "A Buddha Factory at the Riverside", 2012, Oil on canvas, 240 x 408 cm

LI QING, "Trees in a Warehouse", 2012, Oil on canvas, 230 x 330 cm

LI QING, "Lighthouse", 2011, Wood, Oil on glass, metal, 89 x 107 x 19 cm

LI QING, "The Broken Window", 2011, Wood, Oil on glass, metal, 89 x 107 x 14 cm

LI QING, "Neighbour’s Window-Mosco Style", 2013, Wood, Oil on glass, metal, 148 x 103 x 7.5 cm

LI QING, "Manuscript on Window", 2013, Wood, oil on glass, metal, 66 x 114 x 10.5 cm

LI QING, "Neighbour’s Window-St.Peterburg Style", 2013, Wood, oil on glass, metal, 148x 104 x 7 cm

LI QING, "Rural Church", 2014-2015, Wood, Oil on plexiglass, metal, 600 x 560 x 500 cm

LI QING, "Rural Church", 2014-2015, Detail

LI QING, "Rural Church", 2014-2015, Detail


For more works and projects by the artist, download the portfolio in pdf.

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“All Happens After Sunset”, MoCA Pavilion, Shanghai, China, 2017
“Please fasten your seat belt as we are experiencing some turbulence”, Leo Xu Projects, Shanghai,2017
“Performing Time”, Leo Xu Projects, Shanghai, China, 2016
“The Mud of Compound Experience”, Mother’s Tankstation & Leo Xu Projects, Hong Kong, China, 2016
“Dissensus Agitation — The Painting to Language”, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China,2016
“Over the Wall — Paintings Tempted by installation”, Tang Contemporary Art Beijing, Beijing, China,2016
“Unrealities in the reality — The Intellectual Dimension of Daily Life”, Boxes Art Space of OCT Harbor, Shenzhen, China,2016
“A Suite of Eights Room” (solo), Arario Museum, Seoul, Korea, 2015
“Li Qing: Big Cathedral” (solo), Hive Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China, 2015
“Painting 20 x 20″, Poly Art Museum, Beijing, China, 2015
“Copyleft: Appropriation Art in China”, Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China, 2015
“Garden”, Splendors, Jinji Lake Art Museum, Suzhou, China, 2015
“Breaking the Image”, Sishang Art Museum, Beijing, China, 2015
“The System of Objects”, Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, China, 2015
“Blow Up: Li Qing Independent Projects” (solo), 9 M2 Museum in Goethe Institute, Shanghai, China, 2014

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Frieze Week, “Looking Forward”, by Anne Ellegood, Omar Kholeif, Jenny Jaskey, Jens Hoffman, Stefan Kalmár, Yung Ma, Fernanda Brenner and Pavel Pys, 2017 [download pdf]
NATIONAL ARTS, “Artist”, by Huang Shengqing, January, 2017 [download pdf]
Vanity Fair On Art, “Li Qing”, by Fabien Fryns, November, 2016 [download pdf]
Flash Art, “Li Qing”, by Michele D’Aurizio, March & April, 2016 [download pdf]
Hi Art, “Things are not what they may seem”, by Hu Tingting, June, 2015 [download pdf]
The Art Newspaper, “More Than Brand Names and Biennial Favourites”, by Melanie Gerlis & Gareth Harris, March, 2015 [download pdf]
Iart, “Li Qing: Tranquility After Absurdity”, by Wang Yinbo, May, 2014 [download pdf]
ArtChina, “Li Qing at Leo Xu Projects”, by Wang Jing, January, 2014 [download pdf]
Art Face, “Art is Channel”, by Wen Jia, January, 2014 [download pdf]
Blouin Artinfo, “Slideshow: Li Qing’s “In the Vicinity”", by Sam Gaskin, December, 2013 [download pdf]
Global Times, “In the Vicinity”, by Hu Bei, December, 2013 [download pdf]
Vision, “Falling in LiQing’s Painting”, by Zhou Yi, Issue 131, August, 2013 [download pdf]
Numéro, “Klimt – A Revolutionist”, by Li Qing, December, 2012 [download pdf]
Arts Magazine, “Li Qing: Intellectual Painting (cover story) “, by Chen Mengzhe, Issue 2, June, 2012 [download pdf]

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Taus Makhacheva:
Second World, Third Attempt

November 10th through December 23rd, 2017
Opening reception: Friday, November 10th, 6-8pm



September 30th through October 31st, 2017
Closed on National holidays, October 1st through 8th.

Participants: Bu Bing, Chen Wei, Cheng Ran, Michael Lin, Liu Chuang, Liu Shiyuan, Liu Yichun, Wang Yan, Zhang Ke and more.


CINDY SHERMAN, "Untitled", 1987

Organized by Leo Xu
June 29th through August 4th, 2017
Metro Pictures, New York, USA 
As a part of CONDO Complex New York, a gallery swap between New York galleries and national and international partners, Metro Pictures hosts Leo Xu’s two-part exhibition A New Ballardian Vision. The show brings together a selection of works that reflect recent social, technological and environmental developments through the lens of author J.G. Ballard’s (1930–2009) writings. Xu conceived the exhibition as two distinct chapters; the first features Metro Pictures artists Nina Beier, Camille Henrot, Martin Kippenberger, Oliver Laric, Robert Longo, Trevor Paglen, Jim Shaw and Cindy Sherman. The second chapter focuses on a younger generation of Chinese artists represented by Leo Xu Projects, including aaajiao, Chen Wei, Cheng Ran, Cui Jie, Li Qing, Liu Shiyuan and Pixy Liao.
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aaajiao, Candy wrappers (twitter), 2017


May 27th through July 22nd, 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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fair | LISTE – ART FAIR BASEL 2017

Booth: 1-7-G3
June 12th through 18th, 2017

The gallery’s debut in LISTE – Art Fair Basel 2017 will feature a solo presentation by Copenhagen-based young Chinese female artist Liu Shiyuan.

Born in 1985 in Beijing, Liu Shiyuan lives and works in Copenhagen after having studied in New York and Beijing. Traveling and living between cities and across multiple cultures, Liu has developed an artistic sensibility to the new forms of language and expressions on cybersphere and its ensuing patterns of everyday communication across the globe. The works on view at the booth also underlines the nuances and influences of the new internet rhetoric between different regions and media.

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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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Chen Wei, "Disco #1004", 2015

CHEN WEI: The Club
Horsham Regional Art Gallery, Horsham, Australia
24 June 2017 - 13 August 2017

Chen Wei’s solo exhibition “The Club” is to open on June 24, 2017 and runs until August 13, 2017 at Horsham Regional Art Gallery.

Being one of China’s leading artists exhibiting in London, New York, Melbourne and numerous cities across Europe, Chen Wei is presenting photographs and installations that fabricate a visual archive of Chinese club culture in Horsham, Australia. Curated by Elias Redstone, The Club explores an undocumented subculture, reflecting on wider social changes that have taken place in modern China.

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Group Exhibition: .com/.cn
K11 Art Foundation, Hong Kong 
21 March through 30 April 2017

Liu Shiyuan is selected to be included in the group exhibition .com/.cn, co-presented by the K11 Art Foundation and MoMA PS1. Co-curated by Klaus Biesenbach and Peter Eleey of MoMA PS1 in New York, this project is part of an ongoing research partnership of two institutions.

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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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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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NSFW: Female Gaze
June 21, 2017
Museum of Sex, New York, USA

Pixy Liao is participating in the group exhibition “NSFW: Female Gaze” at Museum of Sex on June 21.

NSFW: Female Gaze, co-curated by VICE Media’s Creators, showcases over 25 emerging female artists from various disciplines dedicated to powerful feminine narratives. From Instagram and GIF platforms to textile and photography, these artists bring a fresh, eclectic, and unconventional approach to sexuality.

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Chinese Summer 
02 June 2017 – 10 September 2017
Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo, Norway

Liu Chuang is selected to be included in the group exhibition “Chinese Summer” in Astrup Fearnley Museet, curated by Gunnar B. Kvaran and Therese Möllenhoff.  The name Chinese Summeris a metaphor for the nation and art scene that have seen explosive growth over the last two decades.

Acknowledging the importance of cultural and artistic production in China that has taken its position on the global stage, Astrup Fearnley Museet is presenting 2 generations of artists in the large group exhibition of Chinese contemporary art.

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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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Art Basel Hong Kong
Stand C20
Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center
March 23rd through 25th, 2017
Preview Wednesday, March 22nd


aaajiao, “Email Trek”, 2016  
Group Exhibition: Heart of the Tin Man
June 20th through October 8th
M Woods Art Museum, D-06, 798 Art Zone
Beijing, China

Artist aaajiao is selected along with other 11 artists to be included in the group exhibition “Heart of the Tin Man” in M Woods Museum, Beijing, dedicated to the digital age. Heart of the Tin Man brings together works consciously revealing, investigating or subverting current Internet or technological practices. Drawn predominantly from the M WOODS Collection and the post-internet focus of co-founder Michael Xufu Huang, the exhibition includes virtual reality, digital mechanics, and interactive works to stimulate our senses of sight, smell, touch, and sound, and to register emotion within a contemporary world increasingly governed by algorithms, measurements, and marketing.

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aaajiao,"Limited Landscape, Unlimited Floating", 2017

Group Exhibition: unREAL. The Algorithmic Present
Haus der elektronischen Künste, Basel, Switzerland
08 June through 20 August 2017 
Aaajiao is selected to be included in the group exhibition unREAL. The Algorithmic Present in House of Electronic Arts Basel. 
unREAL examines the complexity of our digital age, it is an exhibition that attempts to confront the digital present through the very means of technological intervention both as critical examination as well as alternative prospects. The twenty-four works in the exhibition by international artists underscore the often-hidden materiality of bits and bytes, bringing to the fore the algorithmic processes that constitute our digital present.



Leo Xu Projects and Art Project CZ co-presents
Group Exhibition: City of Stars
April 19th through June 19th, 2017
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.



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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PIXY LIAO, "Family sushi", 2011

Lady and Gentleman
24 March – 22 April 2017
Galleri Vasli Souza, Malmö, Sweden

Pixy Liao’s solo show “Lady and Gentleman” is running at Galleri Vasli Souza, Malmö, Sweden from 24th of March through 22nd of April 2017.

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.

Lady and Gentleman showcases the alternative possibilities of heterosexual relationships and inscribe how a man and a woman can exchange their roles and question the whole concept of “normal relationships”.

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CUI JIE, S House #5, 2016

Past Skin
April 6 – September 10, 2017
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 »