past | SHANGHAI SURPRISE

Dates: March 1st through April 10th, 2013

Venue: chi K11 Art Space, B3, K11 Art Mall
300 Huahai Zhong Road, by Huangpi Nan Road

Artists: Aaajiao (Xu Wenkai), Birdhead, Chen Wei, Cheng Ran, Ding Yi, Gao Mingyan, Gabriel Lester, Liang Yue, Liao Fei, MadeIn Company, Michael Lin, Liu Jianhua, MadeIn Company, Qiu Anxiong, Shi Yong, Song Tao, Xiao Jiang, Xu Zhen, Yang Fudong, Yang Zhenzhong, Zhang Enli, Zhou Tiehai

‘Shanghai Surprise’ is a 1986 British adventure comedy film directed by Jim Goddard, starring Sean Penn and Madonna, that is set in 1937 Shanghai during the Japanese occupation. Although the film was a notorious “box-office bomb” and “critical flop,” it nevertheless was able to retain a remote sense of glamour among the wider public. The title has been hailed as an inspiration and is often quoted by writers and artists when portraying Shanghai.

‘Shanghai Surprise’ is a project curated by Shanghai-based Leo Xu and Azure Wu who have experienced the city’s metamorphosis from 2000 to present. During this period both Leo Xu and Azure Wu worked as curators in local museums and more recently have held positions such as curator, art dealer, writer and editor. Inspired by the film’s title, this eponymous project is envisioned as a time and space capsule as opposed to an encyclopedic gesture. Its development is based on minute notes from the curatorial sketchbooks of Xu and Wu, which represent the forgotten and unforgettable moments in Shanghai’s contemporary art sphere that continually produces new ideas and surprises.

‘Shanghai Surprise’ comprises of two parts: a group exhibition featuring works by defining artists, young Chinese and expat authors who possess strong ties to Shanghai-geographically or culturally; and a mobile library that captures Shanghai’s transforming cultural landscape.

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news | MICHAEL LIN & CHENG RAN IN AUCKLAND TRIENNIAL

MICHAEL LIN, "Model Home", 2012

May 10th until August 11th, 2013

Curated by Hou Hanru, The 5th Auckland Triennial is titled “If you were to live here…” which offers a way artists and creative participants can inhabit and transform social spaces by producing innovative ideas, projects and works. The 5th Auckland Triennial will provide opportunities to connect with different communities, as well as collaborations among various partners in and out of the city. It will invite discussion, debate and the exchange of ideas.

For further information, please visit: http://aucklandtriennial.com/.

news | CHENG RAN IN EUROPEAN MEDIA ART FESTIVAL OSNABRUECK

April 24th through May 26th, 2013

The 26th EMAF presents media as art, cult media, media for reflection and media with a fun factor.

In its programme comprising short and feature-length films, documentaries, exhibitions, performances and lectures, EMAF introduces well-known stars such as Californian artist Kerry Laitala, filmmaker Harun Farocki, and documenta 13 participant Omer Fast, in addition to young talented artists from various universities and academies.

More than 180 new films, installations and artistic projects selected from over 2,400 entries will be presented at the festival.

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news | CHENG RAN IN KINO DER KUNST

From April 24th to 28th, 2013, KINO DER KUNST, the first event of its kind worldwide, presents films by visual artists who push boundaries of cinema and explore new narrative forms.

KINO DER KUNST is an exhibition and a film festival in one, which showcases today’s trends in art and provides an international meeting point for artists, curators and the public. Spread across various locations, such as the University of Television and Film Munich (HFF), the Pinakothek der Moderne / Schaustelle, the Museum Brandhorst in the Kunstareal and beyond that the ARRI cinema, the Academy of Fine Arts, the Kunstverein Munich, the MaximliansForum and the Goetz Collection, it will feature a competition with generous prizes, a retrospective program of feature-length films by artists ranging from Rebecca Horn and Eija-Liisa Ahtila to Steve McQueen or Julian Schnabel, a wide range of works from specific geographical regions and a number of museum-based multi-channel installations, all aimed at examining the current relationship between cinema and art.

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news | GABRIEL LESTER IN SHARJAH BIENNIAL 11


March 13th through May 13th, 2013
Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

LEO XU PROJECTS is pleased to announce that Gabriel Lester will be presenting a commssioned new work in Sharjah Biennial 11 titled ‘Re:emerge, Towards a New Cultural Cartography’.

Curator Yuko Hasegawa proposes a Biennial that reassess the Westerncentrism of knowledge in modern times and reconsiders the relationship between the Arab world, Asia, the Far East, through North Africa and Latin America.

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news | MICHAEL LIN IN 2013 CALIFORNIA-PACIFIC TRIENNIAL


June 30th through November 17th, 2013
The Orange County Museum of Art
850 San Clemente Drive in Newport Beach, California

Formerly known as the California Biennial, The Orange County Museum of Art has re-envisioned this important survey of contemporary California art and will re-launch it as the California-Pacific Triennial in 2013 with participating artists representing a cross-section of countries from throughout the Pacific rim.

2013 California-Pacific Triennial is organized by the Orange County Museum of Art and curated by Chief Curator Dan Cameron.

Michael Lin will be presenting a new body of site-specific installations in the Triennial. For further information on the artist and project please contact info@leoxuprojects.com .

To learn more about the Triennial, please visit the official website.

 

news | ON | OFF: CHINA’S YOUNG ARTISTS IN CONCEPT AND PRACTICE AT UCCA BEIJING

January 13th through April 14th, 2013
Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing

New works by Chen Wei, Cheng Ran, Guo Hongwei, and Liu Chuang are featured in “ON/OFF: China’s Young Artist’s in Concept and Practice” an exhibition that occupies all UCCA exhibition spaces and provides a comprehensive survey of the generation of artists born after the death of Mao and the end of the Cultural Revolution, and at the dawn of the country’s era of opening and reform. “ON | OFF” includes 50 commissioned works by 50 artists and artist groups.

past | CUI JIE

CUI JIE, Office, 2012, Oil on canvas, 180 x 180 cm

November 25th through December 30th 2012

LEO XU PROJECTS is pleased to present the gallery’s first solo exhibition of Beijing-based painter Cui Jie. Featuring recent works from two different series, this exhibition explores the carefully composed elements of Cui Jie’s artistic sensibility. Comparing and contrasting both the artist’s architectural and figurative paintings, this exhibition presents the spectrum of painting she works across, to explore her means of creative production.

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offsite | GABRIEL LESTER: ROXY AT MINSHENG ART MUSEUM SHANGHAI

GABRIEL LESTER, Melancholia in Arcadia, 2011

November 25th, 2012 through March 1st, 2013

Minsheng Art Museum Shanghai presents ‘Roxy’, the first solo exhibition in China of internationally exhibited Dutch artist Gabriel Lester. Born in Amsterdam in 1972 and presently based in Amsterdam and Shanghai, Lester has been producing works since the mid-1990s that are informed by lexica of cinematography and architecture, and mediate the perception of the world that is constantly re-shaped by new technology and mass media. The show opens on November 25th 2012 and runs through March 1st 2013. It will be accompanied by a series of events and a monographic book describing the career of the artist.

‘Roxy’ draws its title and inspiration from American theatrical impresario and entrepreneur Samuel Lionel Rothafel, known as ‘Roxy’ (1882-1936), and his legendary Roxy Theatre. Roxy has become synonymous with theatre, cinema, and numerous international namesake venues, which enabled its infiltration into a broader culture sphere. In his Roxy, Gabriel Lester was inspired by the innovative spirits and eclecticism embodied in Roxy stories that he found while researching 1920s silent films. Lester’s defining works, produced between the late 1990s and present, focus on reinventing the fundamental grammar and rhetoric that constitute the cinema and narrative forms.
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news | CHENG RAN IN PERSPECTIVE 180: UNFINISHED COUNTRY – NEW VIDEO FROM CHINA

Cheng Ran: Perspectives 180: Unfinished Country – New Video From China

November 2nd, 2012 through February 17th, 2013
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston(CAMH)
5216 Montrose Blvd, Houston, USA

Since the introduction of market-based economic reforms in 1978, China has become the world’s fastest growing economy. Parallel to this economic growth has been the unprecedented production of art. While the majority of contemporary art practices have centered upon the traditional genres of painting and sculpture, the expansion of work in video and new media has been rapidly evolving. Perspectives 180-Unfinished Country: New Video from China presents a cross-section of work by a new generation of artists from China working in video and video installation. Details »

news | MICHAEL LIN AT PEABODY ESSEX MUSEUM

Installation view, Peabody Essex Museum, Massachusetts, 2012-2013

FreePort [No. 005]: Michael Lin
March 22, 2012 through May 27, 2013
Peabody Essex Museum, Massachusetts
Located in the: Asian Export Art: China, Mellon Staircase and Galleries

 
Michael Lin delves into the Peabody Essex Museum’s renowned collection of Asian Export Art to animate the history of trade between China and the West. Part display and part performance, the show includes dramatic ornamental murals, photographs, prints, specially commissioned vases, and a large-scale installation of hundreds of replicas of ‘Mr. Nobody’, which is a key object in PEM’s Asian Export Collection and dates from 1690 and is one of the first depictions of a European in Chinese porcelain.

“Michael Lin’s artwork eloquently explores cultural translation, craftsmanship and commerce. Lin’s installation at PEM vividly connects east and west, past and present by animating global trade relationships established 300 years ago and playfully redefining what Asian Export Art looks like today.” Comments Trevor Smith, PEM’s Curator of Contemporary Art.
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news | LI QING & GUO HONGWEI IN SHANGHAI BIENNALE 2012

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

October 2nd, 2012 through March 31st, 2013

Li Qing and Guo Hongwei are featured in the 9th Shanghai Biennale, running from October 2nd, 2012 through March 31st, 2013.

Curated by Qiu Zhijie, Boris Groys, Jens Hoffmann, and Johnson Chang, this Biennale, titled ‘Reactivation’, looks into artists’ practices that motivate the public, revisit/rewrite history, convert and transform energy and organize dialogues and communications respectively. In the section of ‘Revisit’, Li Qing presents a selection of large paintings from his recent series ‘Book of Creation–Reincarnation’, which is a time capsule that investigates the overlooked history of contemporary society and civilization, through a series of portraits of sacred and historical objects against transforming landscapes.

In the City Pavilion of Palermo, Guo Hongwei, who is inspired by his visit to this ancient city, exhibits a special diptych that comprises one photorealistic painting on wall and one extensive layer of acrylic paint on the floor. With Guo’s idiosyncratic sculptural brushwork, ‘A Page of Ocean’ (2011) emancipates the images of infinite wavy ocean from the frames and re-imagines the time and space.
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past | MICHAEL LIN: SHANGHAI DAILY

MICHAEL LIN, '"Shanghai Daily", 2012, Exhibition invite card, collage on paper

September 7th through October 23rd, 2012

The first solo project of Michael Lin at LEO XU PROJECTS explores the artist’s interest in a dialogue between the graphic, medium and social context. Transforming his signature floral pattern painting typical of local aesthetics and tradition into extensive wallpaper covering contemporary gallery space, the show starts with ideas of artistic intervention with the architectural space and fengshui, and consequently evolves into a laboratory of print-making.

Raised in Taiwan, Lin (b. 1964 in Tokyo) lives between Brussels, Shanghai and Taipei. Lin creates paintings and site-specific installations that appropriate images and products from the regional cultures and histories, and reflect upon the quotidian reality shaped by today’s cultures and policies.

Michael Lin has been included in many international museum shows and biennales, for instance, “The Spectacle of the Everyday” (Biennale de Lyon, France, 2009), “Super Fengshui” (Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, 2008), Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art (Moscow, 2007), “Notre Histoire” (Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2006), “Spring 2003″ (Palais de Tokyo, Site de Creation Contemporaine, Paris, 2003), “Bibliotherapy” (with Remy Markowitsch, Kuntsmuseum, Lucerne, 2003), “International:Liverpool Biennial” (Liverpool, 2002), “The Gravity of the Immaterial” (Total Museum, Seoul, 2002), 7th Istanbul Biennal (Istanbul, 2002), “The Gravity of the Immaterial” (Institute of Contemporary Art, Taipei, 2001), 49th Biennial of Venice, Taiwan Pavilion (Venice, 2001), “The Sky is the Limit” (Taipei Biennial, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, 2000), etc. His recent solo exhibitions include “Model Home: A Proposition by Michael Lin” (Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, 2012), “Michael Lin: A Modest Veil” (Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, 2010), “Michael Lin” (Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, 2005), among many others.

Installation view, photo by Justin Jin

Installation view, photo by Justin Jin

Installation view, photo by Justin Jin

Installation view, photo by Justin Jin

Installation view, photo by Justin Jin

Installation view, photo by Justin Jin

Installation view, photo by Justin Jin

 

past | LIU CHUANG: WORKS #16-21

LIU CHUANG, Works #16-21, 2012, installation view

September 7th through October 23rd, 2012

Beijing-based conceptualist Liu Chuang’s first solo presentation in Shanghai, this exhibition presents Liu’s latest series of works titled successively from “No.16″ to “21″. Centerpieces of the exhibition are site-specific installations that create a show in limbo where the artist challenges the norms of exhibition-making and spectator’s anticipation. Other works include a set of found books with hand-written stories by random readers.

Born in 1978 in Hubei, Liu Chuang produces works with subtlety and sensibility, which brings together institutional critique and social intervention. Liu has exhibited extensively at various institutions and galleries, among many others, “Image-History-Existence: Taikang Art Collection” (National Art Museum Of China, Beijing, 2011), “51m2:16 Emerging Chinese Artists” (Taikang space, Beijing, 2011), “CAFAM Biennale: Super-organism” (CAFA Art Museum, Beijing, 2011), “Moving Image In China:1988-2011″ (Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, 2011), “China Power Station” (Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli, Turin, 2010), “Studies & Theory” (Kwadrat, Berlin, 2010), “The Generational: Younger Than Jesus” (New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, 2009).

Installation view, photo by Justin Jin.

Installation view, photo by Justin Jin.

Installation view, photo by Justin Jin.

Installation view, photo by Justin Jin.

Installation view, photo by Justin Jin.

Installation view, photo by Justin Jin.

Installation view, photo by Justin Jin.

Installation view, photo by Justin Jin.

Installation view, photo by Justin Jin.

Installation view, photo by Justin Jin.

Installation view, photo by Justin Jin.

Installation view, photo by Justin Jin.

Installation view, photo by Justin Jin.

Installation view, photo by Justin Jin.

 

news | CHENG RAN IN THE 1st CAFAM FUTURE

Cheng Ran: The 1st CAFAM FUTURE

August 8th through September 6th, 2012
CAFA Art Museum
No.8 Hua Jia Di Nan St., Chao Yang District, Beijing, China

The “CAFAM • Future” Exhibition, initiated by the China Central Academy of Fine Arts and organized by CAFA Art Museum, was officially launched in February 2012. The Exhibition aims to encourage young people’s exploration into artistic language and new ideas, finding and supporting talented young artists in China, establishing a database of young Chinese artists, as well as improving the social impact and awareness of contemporary art both in Chinese and international art fields, so as to create a core platform for promoting the art of young Chinese people.
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news | GABRIEL LESTER AT dOCUMENTA (13)

GABRIEL LESTER, "Transition 2012", 2012, installation view at dOCUMENTA (13)

Gabriel Lester participates in dOCUMENTA (13). The exhibition runs from June 9th through September 16th 2012, in Kassel, Germany.

For dOCUMENTA (13), Gabriel Lester produced two site-specific projects, continuing his experiments in time and space and probing possibilities of cross edits and cinematic repertoire. Located in Karlsaue Park, “Transition 2012” (2012) is an architectural sculpture in shape of a curved tunnel about 5/8 of a circle and 5/8 in diameter. The work borrows its title from a cinema term that indicates a technique of film editing by which scenes or shots are combined. “Transition 2012” is a punctuation mark and functions as a narrative instrument, as the artist comments. It materializes the fade-in and fade-out, and represents a cinematographic passage from one scene to another. Leading the viewer through a transient moment of black-out, the tunnel reveals how the angle of perception is reversed, and becomes a metaphor for day and night, life and death, or despair and hope.

Also on view is “Kaufhaus Incidentals—Music for Department Stores” (2012) a sound project at the SinnLeffers, the department store in the immediate vicinity of the Kunsthalle Fridericianum. A research on silent film score database conducted (between 2011 and 2012) led the artist to discover about twenty compositions listed at the Amsterdam Film Museum under the category of “thoughts”, which were presumably used to underscore scenes in silent films of actors’ thinking, pondering, plotting, conniving, or daydreaming. This inspired a recording of music for thoughts—16 tracks selected by Gabriel Lester and John Snijders—which are installed in and outside the SinnLeffers. During the one hundred days of dOCUEMNTA (13), the increase of sales at the department store is anticipated, and the sound intervention lends an atmospheric layer of contemplation to a site where people are stimulated to think whilst engaged in business and consumption.

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news | SH CONTEMPORARY 2012 ART FAIR IN SHANGHAI

CUI JIE, 'Escalator', 2012, Oil on canvas, 150 x 150 cm

Booth M02 in the Main Hall
Venue: Shanghai Exhibition Centre, 1000 Middle Yan An Road, Shanghai
Public dates: September 7th through 9th, 2012, 11am-6pm.
Professional preview and opening vernissage: September 6th, 2012, 5-10pm.

LEO XU PROJECTS is very pleased to announce our art fair debut at SH Contemporary 2012, running from September 7th to 9th 2012, with a professional preview and opening vernissage on the 6th.

At booth M02, in the Main Hall, LEO XU PROJECTS will feature works by Cui Jie, Chen Wei, Cheng Ran, Guo Hongwei, Gabriel Lester, Li Qing, Li Shurui, Michael Lin, and Liu Chuang.

The booth’s centerpieces include a fine selection of color photographs produced by Chen Wei, between 2007 and 2012, that follow his recent critically acclaimed solo exhibition at the gallery. Also on display will be a set of Cui Jie’s new paintings that explores cityscape and architectural structures. Guo Hongwei will feature a new suite of watercolors from his series that depicts a collection of specimens.
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news | SUB-PHENOMENA AT CAFA ART MUSEUM

August 8th through September 6th, 2012
CAFA Art Museum, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing

Gallery artists Chen Wei, Cheng Ran, Cui Jie, Li Qing and Liu Chuang participate in the first “CAFA·Future” exhibition titled “Sub-phenomena”.

Curated by Xu Bing and Alexandra Munroe, the show survey the art expressions of a younger generation in China who work in a fast transforming social context and are inspired by new media and unprecedented lifestyle. More information on this exhibition, please visit CAFA Art Museum’s website.

 

past | CHEN WEI: MORE

CHEN WEI, "Ping Pong", 2011, archival inkjet print, 150 x 200 cm, edition of 6

June 3rd through to August 5th, 2012
VIP Reception June 3rd, 2012, 4-6pm

LEO XU PROJECTS is pleased to present “More” for the first solo presentation of Beijing-based photographer Chen Wei since 2009. Set across the gallery’s three floor, this exhibition features an extensive body of Chen Wei’s work from the recent few years. Exploring the development of his photographic practices, the show follows his previously complex cinematic and narrative pieces, to his present larger focus on the artist’s handcrafted quotidian objects within a more simplistic works evocative of theatrical sets and still life painting. Furthermore, this exhibition also provides a rare performative insight into Chen Wei’s experimental processes of artistic production.

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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.

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