The Order Of Time / HdM GALLERY Beijing

The Order Of Time / HdM GALLERY Beijing

HdM GALLERY, Beijing.

16/05/2020 – 04/07/2020

HdM GALLERY Beijing announces the opening of the exhibition “The Order of Time”. This exhibition is showing 15 Chinese and Western artists including Dong Dawei, Hu Weiyi, Li Yiwen, Lu Xinjian, Lu Song, Ma Ke, Manuel Mathieu, Charles Sandison, Wang Yi, Wang Qingsong, Yin Hang, Yun Yongye, Zhang Xuerui, Zhang Yunyao, Zhu Rixin. Each started a new journey at a specific “time” within painting, photography, installation and video. The exhibition will open from May 16, 2020 to July 4, 2020.

Wang Yi – Primary Structures – Epoxy resin cast; Courtesy of HdM Gallery

There is no “time” in the world. What we call “time” only exists as a concept of human culture. Our cognition of time comes more from people’s perception of space, objects and the causes of events. The time we recognise does not exist, and the traces of its passage are just countless points and lines. In the basic equations of the world, the “time” of the past, present and future is actually more akin to a type of memory, feeling and expectation within our mind. Therefore, the order of time is more like a network of events that affect each other. It cannot present a universal truth but an interpretation of the subjective behaviour of people as the basic starting point to control the time and space of a certain dimension that only someone’s consciousness can perceive.

Zhu Rixin – Landscape behind Walls No.2 
Archival ink pen and acrylic on paper – 40 x 50 cm – 2020; Courtesy of HdM Gallery.

In this exhibition, the artists use different media to show each other’s most personal inner feelings about the concept of time within this definition. Most of them are not limited to the abstract concept of “time” as an objective reality. Some artists use “time” as a mode of expression and language. Others record traces of “time” through thousands of repetitive actions. But more artists focus on time as individual memory, public history, death, space, subconscious and imagination.

Yun Yongye – Vomiting Christ 
Oil on wood block – 14.4 × 11.3 cm – 2020; Courtesy of HdM Gallery.

The journey of time is an endless river, which has stopped for some people, but continues for others who carry on their journey. The time and things around us are intertwined at their own speed, go forward or turn back on themselves, pointing to the future or to the present. Time is like a metaphor: we don’t know its true form. A particularly precious experience is the perception of different individuals intertwined in one space.

Hu Weiyi – Blue Bones No.5 – cyanotype on watercolour paper, wooden frame, aluminum-plastic board, white cardboard, acrylic – 52 x 38 cm – 2020; Courtesy of HdM Gallery.



Galleria Continua, Beijing

Until 26 April 2020

Ai Weiwei | Kader Attia | Daniel Buren | Loris Cecchini | Chen Zhen | Carlos Garaicoa | Antony Gormley | Carsten Höller | Kan Xuan | Anish Kapoor | Giovanni Ozzola | Michelangelo Pistoletto | Pascale Marthine Tayou | Sun Yuan & Peng Yu | Zhuang Hui

Due to the Covid-19 emergency the exhibition might be closed to the public until further notice. We invite you to CLICK HERE and check the website of the organizers to find the latest information and updates about the current situation.

PASCALE MARTHINE TAYOU Plastic Tree 2014/2015
branches, plastic bags variable dimensions
Courtesy: the artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA, San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins / Habana, Photo by: Andrea Rossetti

Galleria Continua is a leading international contemporary art gallery, which was founded in 1990 by three friends: Mario Cristiani, Lorenzo Fiaschi and Maurizio Rigillo, in San Gimignano, Italy. Occupying a former cinema, Galleria Continua established itself and thrived in an entirely unexpected location, away from the big cities and the ultramodern urban centers, in the town of San Gimignano, a place steeped in history. This choice of location provided scope for the development of new forms of dialogue between unexpected geographies: rural and industrial, local and global, art from the past and the art of today, famous artists and emerging ones.

CARLOS GARAICOA Chinese Checkers 2008
metal, wood, Plexiglas, acrylic, paper, ink
Courtesy: the artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA, San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins / Habana, Photo by: Oak Taylor-Smith

Galleria Continua was the first foreign gallery with an international program to open in Beijing, China in 2004, and in 2007 launched a new site for large-scale creations – Les Moulins – in the Parisian countryside. In 2015 the gallery embarked on new paths, opening a space in La Habana, Cuba, devoted to cultural projects designed to overcome every frontier. In the course of almost thirty years Galleria Continua has created a strong identity, which remains faithful to a spirit of perpetual evolution and is committed to developing public interest in contemporary art. That identity is grounded in two values – generosity and altruism – that lays at the heart of all its dealings with artists, the general public and its development as a whole. Galleria Continua is all about a desire for continuity between ages, the aspiration to having a part in writing the history of the present, and between different and unusual individuals and geographies. Galleria Continua presented the work of Anish Kapoor for the first time in China in 2007 in the Beijing gallery space, on the occasion of his solo show “Ascension”.

DANIEL BUREN De travers et trop grand – bleu 2013
work in situ
blue adhesive vinyl large 8,7 cm on white wall 350 x 350 cm (variable dimensions)
Courtesy: the artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA, San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins / Habana, Photo by: Isabella Matheus

Those two values and the importance of friendship led Galleria Continua to be the first major foreign gallery to arrive in China thanks to a strong tie with friends: the artist Chen Zhen and his wife Xu Min. The gallery settled in a 1950s Bauhaus style building that had not yet been restored back then, in an area considered to be in the Beijing outskirts and now famously known as the 798 Art District.

ANISH KAPOOR Monochrome (Majik Blue) 2016
Fibreglass and paint 188 x 188 x 40 cm 74 x 74 x 15,7 inch
Courtesy: the artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA, San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins / Habana, Photo by: Lorenzo Fiaschi

In April 2004, Galleria Continua participated in the first contemporary art fair in Beijing followed by organizing the first foreign Art Project in November of the same year. Then in May 2005, Galleria Continua held its inaugural show featuring 16 artists from five continents. Since then, the gallery continues to bring important artists from all over the world for the first time to China: Daniel Buren, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Anish Kapoor, Antony Gormley, Kader Attia, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Chen Zhen, Etel Adnan, Berlinde de Bruyckere and many more.

KADER ATTIA Artificial nature 2014
mutilated tree, prosthesis
Courtesy: the artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA, San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins / Habana, Photo by: Oak Taylor-Smith

As of today, the 798 Art District has become one of the most visited locations in China, along with the Forbidden City and the Great Wall. It is now firmly positioned as the country’s place in the world where culture keeps growing, recently welcoming numerous other foreign artists, galleries and institutions to the region. Meanwhile, Galleria Continua created other numerous important bonds with more and more institutions, artists, collectors and curators whilst perpetuating its passion to open new spaces in unusual territories: Les Moulins (Parisian countryside) and Habana (Cuba). The underlying thread of Galleria Continua’s activities through all these places and endeavours is to discover new artists and to provide showcases that bring together spheres of creativity and various different cultures. And this is to be continua!

mirror, gilded wood
2 elements, 180 x 120 cm each
Courtesy: the artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA, San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins / Habana

To celebrate the 15th year Anniversary of the Beijing life of Galleria Continua, a very unique exhibition, will retrace the history of the gallery by bringing back the works of 15 artists who have been part of this story along with the major exhibitions that the space hosted for the first time in China: Ai Weiwei, Kader Attia, Daniel Buren, Loris Cecchini, Chen Zhen, Carlos Garaicoa, Antony Gormley, Carsten Höller, Anish Kapoor, Giovanni Ozzola, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Kan Xuan, Sun Yuan & Peng Yu and Zhuang Hui!

CARSTEN HÖLLER Circle Division Canary Mobile (Black Outside, White Inside) 2018
circular mobile structure with 2 powder-coated caged and 2 canaries Total diameter 320 cm (each cage diameter 90 cm)
Courtesy: the artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA, San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins / Habana, Photo by: Jonathan Leijonhufvud
Cast iron
33 x 161,5 x 57 cm
Courtesy: the artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA, San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins / Habana, Photo by: Stephen White, London

Most importantly the exhibition is incarnating the strong ideology of the three founders, an ideology and a purpose that has never changed over the years and that will always remain the core value of Galleria Continua as expressed in an interview by the founder Lorenzo Fiaschi for the 25-year anniversary of the gallery in Paris: ‘For Mario, Maurizio and myself, culture is a meeting, it’s about making our differences a source of creativity, of beauty, of union and of love’.

“Land of the Lustrous” UCCA Dune’s first summer exhibition

“Land of the Lustrous” UCCA Dune’s first summer exhibition

Land of the Lustrous
23.04.2019 – 08.09.2019
UCCA Dune, Beidaihe

From April 23 to September 8, 2019, UCCA Dune presents “Land of the Lustrous,” encompassing work by ten artists both in and beyond China. Each artwork in this exhibition relates—materially or formally—to the figure of the stone, approaching this age-old object from novel perspectives. Participating artists weave their individual concerns together, drawing from, and sinking into, ancient collective memories. “Land of the Lustrous”—UCCA Dune’s first summer exhibition—has been devised to fit the unique spatial characteristics of the building, and the surrounding environment. Designed by by Li Hu and Huang Wenjing of OPEN Architecture, UCCA Dune is nestled in the sand by the BohaiSea in the Aranya Gold Coast Community, 300 kilometers from Beijing. As with all of UCCA’s endeavors, this exhibition proceeds from UCCA’s core mission ofbringing urgent positions in contemporary art, both Chinese and international, to an ever-widening viewing public. The exhibition is curated by UCCA Curator Yang Zi.

Artworks in “Land of the Lustrous” serve as explorations of a single animistbelief: that rock, a piece of seemingly inert matter, is actually endowed with life and thought. Wang Sishun’s Apocalypse 16.9.1, for example, personifies a collection of three found stones; arrayed in a line, they stand rigidly upright, in cautious dialogue, as if participating in a tense religious rite. Zhao Yao, Lin Xue, and Miguel Angel Ríos, similarly, have selected stones of unassuming appearance and brought them to life by cleverly manipulating their details, positions, and “postures”: Zhao Yao has placed an enormous red Mani stone on the margin of sand and sea surrounding UCCA Dune, like a giant cell, absorbing sunlight; Lin Xue has drawn a series of fruit pits, collected from a mountainousforest, transforming them into a set of heavenly bodies, or a life system. Ríos’s film records a cascade of tumbling spheroid stones, reminding viewers of the vigorous movements of antelope.

The proposition that stone “is alive” results in several ancillary questions—is humankind the measure of the universe? Is it shortsighted to base values solely on human needs, universalizing our limited ways of understanding the world? As urbanization and modernization progress, will such nearsighted forms of knowledge bring about a corresponding rise in alienation? After all, only humans can consume, produce, and create surplus value in the world of capital; in this game, “nature” can serve only as dead material. Timur Si-qin and Su-Mei Tsestrive to imagine models and rubrics that are separate from “nature itself.” Si-qin’s Juniper, produced in 2019, is a kind of billboard for the Anthropocene, advertising the spatial and temporal concepts attendant to this new epoch. Su-Mei Tse’s “Stone Collection,” on the other hand, reminds viewers of the Ancient Chinese custom of collecting oddly-shaped stones to serve as foci for ouryearning for nature, for mountains and water. Tse’s presentation of these stones, however, carries a touch of the existential—as we are faced with the inhuman, shaped as it has been over millennia, does our tendency to measure time by our own lifespans not seem absurd? Li Weiyi’s Cairn gives a humorous take on this absurdity: as viewers wear VR goggles, they are transported to the interior of a stone, its sturdiness fusing with that of their bodies. Other artists use these mysterious, self-contained images to create a spectral stage on which to perform their own, fantastic tales. Lu Pingyuan has taken thestory of an art collective, “Meteorite Hunters,” scouring the earth for fallen meteorites and launching them back into outer space, and carved it on the surfaces of three stones. Yan Xing has enacted one of his own stories of industrial design in Republican Era China, featuring the radiant exchange between a piece of jade and an indoor light fixture. Wang Xiaoqu’s paintings explore the rich middle ground between two different interpretations of a photograph—that of the photographer, and that of the artist. Wang purposefully “misunderstands” photos of everyday life and of travel, and turns Chinese sayings—such as “feeling for stones as one advances”—into outlandish diagrams.

The exhibition also provides a series of myths—many from China’s deep antiquity— that center on the figure of the stone, forming an interpretive framework for the artworks. These visual misreadings closely resemble the oral transmission—and mutation—of myths. As the Chinese scholar Yuan Ke has said, “the circulation and evolution of popular myths is a complex affair, one that is difficult to investigate.” In this exhibition, a discourse based on precedent and change links to a more capacious visual system, an interchange that dependsless on precision than on inspiration. “Land of the Lustrous” hopes to uncover and awaken several possibilities often overlooked in the context of contemporary art. China has a long, fruitful history of worshiping stone deities; this most ordinary of objects has gained an aura of ineffability in popular consciousness. This aura suffuses the artworks, too, circumventing that anxiety plaguing Wittgenstein as he described “pictures placed in language.”


UCCA Dune is an art museum buried under a sand dune by the Bohai Sea in Beidaihe, 300 kilometers east of Beijing. Designed by OPEN Architecture, its galleries unfold over a series of cell-like spaces that evoke caves. Some are naturally lit from above, while others open out onto the beach. As a branch of UCCA, China’s leading independent institution of contemporary art, it presents rotating exhibitions in dialogue with its particular site and space. UCCA Dune is built and supported by UCCA strategic partner Aranya, and located within the Aranya Gold Coast Community.

All images > Courtesy © UCCA Dune

Chen Dazhi solo exhibition “Time Pleat” at Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, Beijing

Chen Dazhi solo exhibition “Time Pleat” at Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, Beijing

Chen Dazhi, Time Pleat
May 24 – June 23, 2019
Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, Beijing

Three Shadows Photography Art Centre presents the Chen Dazhi solo exhibition: “Time Pleat”. All works exhibited fall into five parts – “Outside the Concretization,” “Interval,” “Outside the Parallel,” “Searching,” and “Memory of Tibet.” Generally-speaking, they display what Chen desires to pursue in terms of the natural landscape, human activity, and the spiritual world. For Chen, these aspects constitute his perception of the world and also his understanding of the world through the spiritual practice of photography.

The title Time Pleat evokes photography and the visualization of spirits across the dimensions of time and space. Chen’s ultimate aim is to dispel the barriers between image, medium, and spirit that arise from technology or culture and unify them. He presents the spiritual secrets hidden in the time pleat through the unfolding of realistic images, visualizing his own inherent spirit and subjectivity.

Chen Dazhi was born in Rongcheng, Shandong Province, China in 1966. He received a Bachelor of Engineering from Nanjing University of Science and Technology and a master’s degree in journalism from Renmin University. Before starting his own business, he worked as a software engineer,a newspaper reporter and editor, the president of a newspaper office, and the president of an investment company. He began his career in photography in 2009. Chen’s Linear System technique infuses the spirit of ink wash painting and Chinese culture into photography. His early experiments with the technique received great acclaim and led him to give full play to the Linear System and expand it to include a range of subject matter, giving his images a strong personal style and unique artistic appeal.

All images > Installation view Chen Dazhi solo exhibition “Time Pleat” at Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, Beijing

Leila Alaoui: Ya Rayah, Galleria Continua, Beijing

Leila Alaoui: Ya Rayah, Galleria Continua, Beijing

Leila Alaoui: Ya Rayah
23 Mar 2019 to 28 Jul 2019

Galleria Continua presents for the first time in China an exhibition of the work of Franco-Moroccan artist Leila Alaoui. The title of the exhibition has been borrowed from the Algerian song by Dahmane El Harrachi, Ya Rayah: ‘O, you who are leaving’. This song of exile was written in the 1970s and remains popular to this day. Its words are steeped in homesickness and the sufferings of exile, while its melody distills an unspeakable melancholy. Whether in No Pasara, her first work as a professional photographer, for which she worked with Moroccan youths yearning for a nearby yet distant Europe, or in her unfinished project with the immigrant workers of the old Renault factory in Boulogne- Billancourt—L’Île du Diable—, or in her encounters with Syrian refugees in Lebanon for Natreen or Sub-Saharan African migrants for Crossings, Leila Alaoui was consistently aiming her lens at exiles, those who have been abandoned, left to disappear behind clichés and statistics. In so doing, she brought into focus the faces and the return gazes of men and women and children, with all that these told of the loss of home, of waiting, of regrets in the face of harsh reality, and of hope despite everything. Alaoui’s encounters with these people are humbly revealed in a sensitive body of work that she herself defined as primarily social.

Leila Alaoui – Les Marocains – Series 2010-2014, Inkjet print on wall paper, Site specific dimension. Photo: Dong Lin

The exhibition opens with the series Les Marocains, in very large format, on the same scale as the exhibition space. This long- distance project, inspired by Robert Frank’s Americans, saw Leila Alaoui travelling through Morocco with a mobile studio, weaving together a multifaceted portrait of a country through its inhabitants. Arabs and Berbers, women and men, adults and children can be found side by side in a mosaic of traditions, cultures, and aesthetics. As many customs were gradually disappearing in the face of unbridled globalisation, these portraits constitute something like the outlines of a visual archive. But more than a simple documentary, Les Marocains was also a way for the young photographer to seek out her own heritage, to bring together the distance implied in the whole apparatus of camera with a form of intimacy that drew on her Moroccan roots and that was forged through the encounters she made with the people on her journey. An irrevocable way to make a claim for an autonomous aesthetic, freed of all Orientalist folklore and focusing on the dignitity of individuals and of a country.

Leila Alaoui – No Pasara – Series 2008, Lambda print mounted on Dibond, 73 x 102 cm. Photo: Dong Lin

No Pasara, Alaoui’s first photographic project, acts as a sort of manifesto for her social engagement. This series shows the many faces of a Moroccan youth looking for a passage to Europe, candidates to an uncertain exile, uprooted in the heart of their own country. Remarkably humble as a portraitist, Alaoui knew how to observe them, to listen to them, only taking up her camera after long periods of shared time and exchange. She wished to grasp as best she could something of the lives, the dreams and mirages of those called Harragas (‘those who burn’), along with the necessity they all felt for leaving their birthplace. Crossings, with its portraits of Sub-Saharan African migrants, is also the expression of encounters. This series, which began as a video work before becoming photographic, approaches these women and men who have left everything behind in their quest for a better life on the other side of the Mediterranean, with all the dangers of a journey in which others have lost their lives, and attempts to let them speak. Those who made it as far as Morocco, washing up almost at the door to Europe, bear the visible or invisible scars of their unfinished voyage. In the intensity of their gaze and of their stories, one discovers a continuity both with the No Pasara photographs and those of the Syrian refugees fleeing war and chaos in another series, Natreen, which Alaoui made in Libya in 2013. Men, women, and children in a foreign country, dispossessed of their land and their property, hoping for a better future but stuck in an apparently interminable holding pattern. Morocco, Syria, Central Africa: other places, other reasons to flee. Everywhere, the same uprooting, the same hope, illusions crashing against the same reality. Leila Alaoui determinedly fixed her sights on this reality, making herself into an echo chamber for these distant voices, even while she was able to delicately, humbly retranscribe the beauty of these people already become something more than the anonymous figures of the news.

Leila Alaoui – Les Marocains – Series 2010-2014, Inkjet print on wall paper, Site specific dimension. Photo: Dong Lin

The project L’Île du Diable, which is presented here in video format, is a work that Alaoui began near Paris in Boulogne-Billancourt, where she had sought out the one-time immigrant workers of the Renault factory that used to be situated on Seguin Island—nicknamed ‘the Devil’s island’ by the workers. The factory, which today has been completely demolished, was one of the biggest in the country, a veritable pin-up of French industry that over its years in operation, from the 1930s until 1992, employed a large number of foreign workers, especially from Africa and Asia. After her first projects, in which she sought out people wishing to migrate in order to tell the story of their attempts at departure, their hopes, and the obstacles lying in their way, Alaoui now turned her gaze to those who had arrived. Uprooted workers labouring in difficult conditions, they were actors in the great social struggles of the 1960s to defend their rights and their dignity. This unfinished project of Alaoui’s aimed at letting them tell their story, letting them recount the social memory of immigrant workers. The video presented here shows their faces, either in portraits or as witnesses returning to the site of the old factory. The video was to be the first part of a larger project, in which the younger generations of immigrant workers were to have been invited to speak also, contributing to a global perspective.

Leila Alaoui – Natreen – Series 2013, Lambda print mounted on Dibond, 40 x 60 cm. Photo: Dong Lin

Leila Alaoui, Franco-Moroccan artist, photographer, and video maker, was born in 1982. She studied photography at City University in New York. Her work explores the construction of identity, cultural diversity, and migration in the Mediterranean. She used photography and video art to express social realities through a visual language situated somewhere between documentary and visual art. Her work has been exhibited internationally since 2009, including in Paris at L’Institut du Monde Arabe and La Maison Européenne de la Photographie, in Sweden at Malmö Konsthall, and at the Cascais Citadel Palace in Portugal. Leila Alaoui’s humanitarian engagement includes photographic commissions from NGOs including the Danish Refugee Council, Search for Common Ground, and the Human Rights Commission. In January 2016, while working on a commission from Amnesty International about women’s rights in Burkina Faso, Leila Alaoui fell victim to the terrorist attacks in Ouagadougou. She died from her wounds on 18 January 2016. The Leila Alaoui Foundation was created to preserve her work, defend her values, and inspire and support humanist artistic engagement.

Leila Alaoui – Natreen – Series 2013, Lambda print mounted on Dibond, 40 x 60 cm. Photo: Dong Lin

After Nature at the UCCA Dune Art Museum, Beijing

After Nature at the UCCA Dune Art Museum, Beijing

until 07 April 2019
UCCA Dune, Aranya Gold Coast

UCCA presents “After Nature,” the inaugural exhibition at the UCCA Dune Art Museum, the newest addition to UCCA’s growing portfolio of projects. Included are works by nine Chinese artists who span a range of generations, born between 1942 and 1988. The works on display, by Li Shan, Liang Shaoji, Liu Yujia, Nabuqi, Yang Xinguang, Trevor Yeung, Yu Ji, Zheng Bo, and Zhuang Hui & Dan’er, engage with the question of how humanity discovered—and in some ways invented—the natural world, a question given increased urgency by the release of a United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report this week forecasting climate-induced crises before 2040 if carbon emissions continue at current levels. The exhibition is specifically devised for the singular spaces of UCCA Dune Art Museum, a subterranean building designed by Li Hu and Huang Wenqing of OPEN Architecture, located under a sand dune on a beach in the Aranya Gold Coast Community, 300 kilometers from Beijing. Organized by UCCA curator Luan Shixuan, the exhibition creates a dialogue among the works, the cell-like galleries that house them, the surrounding sand, and the rising sea just beyond.

The title “After Nature” denotes changes in both the physical environment and human conceptions of it. Sustained human encroachment has permanently transformed the environment, leading many scholars to declare an entirely new geological era, the Anthropocene. The Romantic idea of nature as unspoiled wilderness—always ideologically fraught, even spurious—is no longer tenable. With this comes the realization that nature is not a holistic entity, or some secular providence, but simply the multiple, overlapping worlds fashioned by the billions of beings—living and non-living, organic and non-organic—that reside on this earth. Works in the exhibition testify to this strange insight. They evoke received notions of nature such as scenic mountains, green plants, and flowing rivers, only to have them morph seamlessly into “artificial” elements like liquid crystal, plastic, and inkjet printing. Taken together, the artists and works ask viewers to rethink nature, rather than to do away with it; to imagine a new ecology that sees humans and objects in close proximity, mutually influencing and influenced, ineluctably entangled.

Exhibited Works

Three works by Li Shan (b. 1942, Heilongjiang Province) deal with bioengineering: the prints Scribble 2 and Scribble 3 depict strange, organic hybrids of corn, decomposed leaves, and other organic material, while his film Misfortune centers on a dragonfly-human hybrid, roving across the world where an ecological disaster—with its attendant genetic mutations—seems to have already occurred.

Moon Garden by Liang Shaoji (b. 1945, Shanghai) continues the artist’s engagement with the life cycle of silkworms. A frame of acrylic and steel is covered in silk and cocoons, testifying to the ways in which actors—human and animal—engineer the places we inhabit. Alongside the installation, a film documents the silkworms spinning on this installation. Buried in the sand, itself taken from the surrounding area, are fragments of daggers, scimitars, and mirrors, which, along with the stele-like monument, evoke the rise and fall of ancient Mesopotamian civilizations, as well as the region’s present-day turmoil.

The exhibition includes two films by Liu Yujia (b. 1981, Sichuan Province). Black Ocean is inspired by Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, which follows an imaginary dialogue between to Marco Polo and Kublai Khan on a series of fantastical cities. Wavetransforms aerial footage of beaches into a mesmerizing, digital diptych. These abstracted, aestheticized images of nature both contrast and resonate with the liquid crystal display screens that make them visible, seemingly pointing to an uncanny synthesis of two forms of liquidity.

Destination by Nabuqi (b. 1984, Inner Mongolia Province) juxtaposes “fake” plants with an image of a scenic beachside getaway, reminiscent of a billboard. The work reminds viewers of the dunes and sea outside the building, effacing the differences between interior and exterior by showing how artwork and environment are both shaped by human hands.

Mountains by Yang Xinguang (b. 1980, Hunan Province) is a collection of small, concrete hills. Yang is interested in the symbiosis between organic and synthetic materials. Here, it is concrete, a quintessential urban material, that is modeled into hills, revealing the sand, water, and gravel that have comprised it all along.

Monochrome prints of an acanthus tree by Trevor Yeung (b. 1988, Guangdong Province) pose the question: what becomes of the plant in the age of mechanical reproduction? The acanthus provides an ironic case study—a plant replicated in European art and architecture for thousands of years and disseminated around the world via colonial encroachment, yet which few people have seen in person. Yeung’s works Island 5050 and Island 6090, meanwhile, are “2.5-dimensional” sculptures: both are prints of bodies of water, stuck to pieces of real pumice.

Ta Jama – Green Hair Monster by Yu Ji (b. 1985, Shanghai) is an exercise in naming. What appear to be small boulders overgrown with moss are actually made of reinforced concrete. Reminiscent of a Chinese garden, the work reflects Yu’s interest in the many roles the figure of the stone plays in different civilizations and religions. The sleight-of-hand substitution of manmade for natural material, and the imitative, speculative quality of the work, only further blur the distinction between the natural and artificial.

Dune Botanical Garden by Zheng Bo (b. 1974, Beijing) takes the psammophyte—a plant that is uniquely adapted to living in shifting sands with its roots uncovered—and situates it within the environment of UCCA Dune. By transplanting a garden into a museum, Bo seeks to shift the definition of art from something “manmade” to something made by all living things.

The “Leftover Material from the Carpenters” series, by Zhuang Hui (b. 1963, Gansu Province) and Dan’er (b. 1983, Shaanxi Province) gives viewers a sense of the radical power of framing. These painstakingly crafted sculptures look like wooden odds and ends left over from a carpentry project. Yet composed of copper and acrylic—materials that are cast, not carved—they complicate the easy binaries between artist and artisan, carpenter and conceptualist.

About UCCA Dune

UCCA Dune is an art museum buried under a sand dune by the Bohai Sea in Beidaihe, 300 kilometers east of Beijing. Designed by OPEN Architecture, its galleries unfold over a series of cell-like spaces that evoke caves. Some are naturally lit from above, while others open out onto the beach. As a branch of UCCA, China’s leading independent institution of contemporary art, it presents rotating exhibitions in dialogue with its particular site and space. UCCA Dune is built and supported by UCCA strategic partner Aranya, and located within the Aranya Gold Coast Community.

Images > Installation Views UCCA, After Nature.

Innerscapes. Chen Dandizi | Kan Xuan | Qin Jin | Alice Wang | Yang Guangnan

Innerscapes. Chen Dandizi | Kan Xuan | Qin Jin | Alice Wang | Yang Guangnan

Galleria Continua, Beijing
from December 8th, 2018 to March 3rd, 2019

InnerScapes, a group exhibition featuring the works of five of the most cutting edge contemporary female artists active in China today: Chen Dandizi, Kan Xuan, Qin Jin, Alice Wang andYang Guangnan. The show, curated by independent art critic and curatorManuela Lietti, showcases different bodies of work spanning video, installation, mixed media interventions and a massive site-specific mural painting covering the gallery’s largest wall.

Qin Jin – You Gave Me Everything 2018, Chalks, Variable dimensions. Galleria Continua, Beijing, 2018.

InnerScapes pays homage to and underlines the different methodologies that characterize this group of artists, not aligned with any particular trends but devoted to pursuing highly individualistic, intimistic and independent artistic paths. Presented in the form of micro-solo shows that allow the visitor to gain a deeper sense of the latest developments in these artists’ careers and their long lasting inspiration, rather than a quick overview, their works revolve around personal yet universal issues: the construction and deconstruction of one’s identity, the intermingling and adherence of the micro (personal) and macro (societal/cosmological) dimensions, the frictions and tensions between the individual and the social structure he belongs to, the production of artistic language through gestures – often repeated in obsessive and maniacal ways, that unfold the different traces sedimented in the artists’ practices as a response to time and history, but also processes of personal growth.

Chen Dandizi – Landscape of Minor Details 2017-2018, Giclée print Hahnemuhle paper, Variable dimensions. Galleria Continua, Beijing, 2018.

In an epoch characterized by the spasmodic use of new technologies, and by the continuous need to look for the newest ways of expression, the practices of these artists are an invitation to re-evaluate the personal, physical and processual realms and not merely the mechanical involvement with one’s work, as well as with the feeling of transiency and indefiniteness it brings about, something which should be stoically embraced or at least consciously questioned. Their works act as a magnifying glass: on one hand they reveal the uncanny dimension hidden in the everyday, on the other hand they translate the metaphysical essence of things into something tangible and that pertains to us all. The “scapes” these artists are confronted with but also contribute to shape are not the mere products of their retinas, but rather of their consciences, attitudes, and way of being.

Qin Jin – Old Talels Retold 2016 & 2018, Blackboard: 101 x 259.1 x 11 cm. InnerScapes Installation view 2018. Galleria Continua, Beijing , 2018.

Chen Dandizi

The works of Chen Dandizi (b. 1990 in Hezhou, Guangxi, China; currently lives and works in Guangzhou, China), the youngest artist in the exhibition, are creations that touch on different fields of knowledge, like literature, photography, but also installation and film. Her recent works explore the perceptions and experiences of serendipitous encounters with natural and artificial everyday phenomena, in expressions often marked by feelings of alienation, and the hope of finding comfort beyond this alienation through the observation and imagination of nature. In her work, textual reading, self-recognition and the probing of the surrounding environment and atmosphere come together to form unfathomable connections. As she says, “Everything has meaning.”

Kan Xuan

Kan Xuan (b. 1972 in Xuancheng, Anhui, China; currently lives and works in Beijing, China) mainly works in video, a medium through which she highlights the trivial elements, feelings, and sensations that we experience daily but rarely notice. Reproducing them as directly as possible, her work is striking for its imagination, relevance, and exactitude. She indulges in a honing of the techniques of the observer, but transforms this passive observation into active performance in her video pieces. Kan Xuan’s piece on view is the video “138 Yuan”, commissioned for the second Yinchuan Biennale and first presented there. The work is a quiet ode to anonymous hotel rooms the artist herself had the chance to visit on the occasion of the making of her monumental work Millet Mounds (2012). These rooms, their shabby yet standard interiors and items testify to both the passage of time and the common people that inhabited them although just for brief moments. Trivial details of each room are neither sublimated nor imbued with nostalgia; instead, their transiency is recorded, frozen in time and juxtaposed to an encyclopedia of small, anonymous combs, the artist has been collecting in each of the rooms she inhabited and portrayed with exactitude.

Qin Jin

Qin Jin (b.1976 in Guangzhou where she currently lives and works ) interventions are intended to reflect on the private and public spheres of the individual. In her work, personal and collective memories, subtle narratives and ambiguity co-exist and give birth to a new logic in which the viewer can grow a feeling of disconnection and belonging at the same time. He can recognize himself but also feel lost, experience a feeling of uncertainty, and therefore question his own senses as well as what contributed to create his own reality. Qin Jin’s works often deliver dramatic tension through conflict and beauty, in a quiet, simple and straightforward manner. There is an intimate connection between Qin Jin’s practice and her own life experiences—born in the 1970s, and having experienced the drastic social changes in the past four decades, her works embody a uniqueness that is specific to this era, which is a sense of bewilderment and anxiety.

Alice Wang

Alice Wang (b. 1983 in Xi’an, China; currently lives and works between Los Angeles, USA and Shanghai, China) approaches her varied subjects—geology, astronomy, ecology, Eastern metaphysics, phenomenology, the nature of time itself—with a scientific and profound curiosity as well as with the ability to surprise and challenge herself. Wang collaborates with specialists in different fields of study to conduct rigorous research and experimentation, emphasizing that art and science are not mutually exclusive ways of understanding the enormity of our world and our perception of it. The meeting point of the cosmic and real dimensions, bringing faraway dimensions into our daily life, and making transiency palpable, her works are little wonders that investigate the potential of mind and matter, the material consciousness of matter in sculptural form.

Yang Guangnan

Yang Guangnan (b. 1980 in Hebei, China; currently lives and works in Beijing, China) multi-faceted practice spans video, sculpture, installation, and performance. Her composite oeuvre plays with contrasts, conflicts and tensions between materials. These latter ones are employed for their intrinsic qualities but also for their ability to act as a metaphor for broader and more universal problematics relating the societal with the personal spheres, making them collide and question each other. Her body of work stresses the struggle between the natural and artificial processes of implosion and explosion that stand for the conflictual nature of today’s reality and society.

Qin Jin – Old Talels Retold 2018, Blackboard, chalk, wheat, reaping hook, Vaseline, Blackboard: 101 x 259.1 x 11 cm. Galleria Continua, Beijing , 2018.

Qin Jin – When I am Dead 2014, 3 screens, 39’48’’. Galleria Continua, Beijing, 2018.

Chen Dandizi – InnerScapes Installation view 2018. Galleria Continua, Beijing, 2018.

Chen Dandizi – Tick Away 2015. Neon lights and writings (6pcs.),Variable dimensions (each H: 90cm). Galleria Continua, Beijing, 2018.

Alice Wang – Untitled 2018, InnerScapes Installation view 2018. Galleria Continua, Beijing, 2018

Alice Wang – Untitled 2018, InnerScapes Installation view 2018. Galleria Continua, Beijing, 2018.

Alice Wang – Untitled 2014-2018, InnerScapes Installation view 2018. Galleria Continua, Beijing, 2018.

Alice Wang – Untitled 2017, Moss, 22 x 155 x 18 cm. Galleria Continua, Beijing, 2018.

Alice Wang – Untitled 2018, Wet plate collodion on mirror, 25 x 20 x 0.5 cm. Galleria Continua, Beijing. , 2018.

Yang Guangnan – Calculi 2016 & 2018, InnerScapes Installation view 2018. Galleria Continua, Beijing, 2018.

Kan Xuan – InnerScapes Installation view 2018. Galleria Continua, Beijing, 2018.

Kan Xuan – InnerScapes Installation view 2018. Galleria Continua, Beijing, 2018.

Kan Xuan – Untitled 2016, Granite, Variable dimensions. Galleria Continua, Beijing, 2018.

Michelangelo Pistoletto / Oltre Lo Specchio / at Galleria Continua

Michelangelo Pistoletto / Oltre Lo Specchio / at Galleria Continua

Michelangelo Pistoletto / Oltre Lo Specchio

23.06 – 21.10,2018

Galleria Continua, Beijing

After his first show in Beijing in 2008, Pistoletto is returning to the space in the 798 district with some new and interesting projects that offer a number of fresh ideas while at the same time looking back to earlier works. The whole show is pervaded by an expressive coherence that is naturally articulated in the use of the mirror. The mirror, which in sculptural form fills the first floor of the gallery, is structured in self-reflecting forms that replicate into multiples according to the angle between the two elements comprising it. Division and multiplication, accumulation and exclusion, understood as universal foundations for all organic development, are the fundamental themes of this type of work; already explored by the artist in 1977, here they have been realized on a larger scale for the large central entrance to the gallery. On the second, floor visitors can admire some fine, new examples of mirror paintings with a specific autobiographical note, on public display for the first time. The artist has used the silkscreen technique to incorporate an image of himself into the mirror-polished stainless steel surface, inviting the viewer to become part of the scene by creating a fourth dimension of participation in the present. Pistoletto places his own figure to the fore, holding a wooden mallet, a symbol of generative destruction taken from his famous performances, such as the one he did for the Yokohama triennale in 2008 (now part of the MOMA collection in New York) and then the following year at the Venice Biennale. The third floor houses Metrocubo d’infinito (Cubic Meter of Infinity), a work that seems to pick up on the essential concepts of Arte Povera: six mirrors assembled with a simple piece of rope delimit the empty space of a cubic metre. The viewer’s curiosity and perception are stimulated in order to create a mental image of infinite and omnidirectional reflections inside a space that cannot effectively be used. The mirror, whose capacity to reflect remains even when it is not looked at by any eye, becomes the intermediary between the invisible and the visible, extending the capacity of the viewer’s eye itself.

Images > Michelangelo Pistoletto ‘Oltre Lo Specchio’ Exhibition view, GALLERIA CONTINUA, Beijing. Photo Oak Taylor Smith / Courtesy: Artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA, San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins / Havana




Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from Youtube
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google