'A Picture of War is Not War', we read in Hito Steyerl's iconic film November (2004), an essayistic Super 8 film tackling the definition of terrorism constructed around the figure of the artist's best friend Andrea Wolf, who was killed as a terrorist in 1998 in Eastern Anatolia after she joined the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party). Mixing documentary...
There has been a flurry of triennial and biennial art activity in Japan this year. The Aichi Triennale opened in Nagoya this August, sparking a national debate about the shutting down of a display of formerly censored works—the result of public backlash against a burnt image of Emperor Hirohito and a statue commemorating the women forced into...
Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...
Exhibition view: Scripts, Traces, and the Unpredictable, Pearl Lam Gallery, Shanghai (15 January–15 March 2019). Courtesy Pearl Lam Gallery, Shanghai / Hong Kong / Singapore.
Alone on an islet of sand, cut off by the incoming tide, a small girl looks out to sea, her back to the viewer. This photograph by Tang Nannan, Unknown Beach No. 40 (2017), evokes the Chinese idiom wàngyáng xīngtàn. Literally meaning 'to sigh as one watches the ocean,' the phrase suggests that all ambitions and achievements are brought down to scale by an awareness of what one cannot control and comprehend.
Shanghai—Pearl Lam Galleries is pleased to present the group exhibition Scripts, Traces, and the Unpredictable, which features different formats of intermediaries as evidence and material projections of ten artists' work processes, including but not limited to working notes, sketches, drawings, film scripts, and lecture notes. By defining the way of working as an immediate act of perception and knowing—a constant flow of thoughts, emotions, reflections, and judgement—unpredictable traces in the human mind are made visible, as they are realised in concrete forms.
Highlights include the Vitality Research Community working notes and a collective embroidery painting by Wu Chao; Mu Xue's drawings and collage albums re-titled Nothingness No. 1-3; and Shi Yiran's water colour on paper series Lost and Found, which reveals the process of editing the association between the consciousness of objects and landscapes. Meanwhile, Huang Yuanqing's works on paper and the documentary video of Zhang Jianjun's performance Vestiges of a Process: Qian Zi Wen reveal the role of writing as a personal and collective enlightening endeavour.
Be it an internal driving force or strength gained from growing against the calculability of technology, unpredictable traces may be triggered by personal and bodily experiences that relate to specific memories, landscapes, or readings that are guided into an imaginative writing, or script, of the future in the present time. Or as mentioned in the lecture notes of Zhu Xiaohe's Dynamics of Art, internal life forces are seen as multiple driving sources of energy in a vast primeval forest with no limits. The exhibition will present a few chapters of his lecture notes on the spirit and dynamics of art, while the young artist Ren Minjie responds to the same topic with her 'bombing lines' created through drawings and installations, as well as humorous and enlightening text stories.
The video work of Tang Nannan explores the complexity of perception in time: his poetic moving images always compensate for the elapse of time, while simultaneously hinting at and reconciling the impermanence of life and the fracture of time. In his work Odyssey Smoking, the train as a metaphor of fate seems to be marching towards an invisible realm where there lies both solitude and peacefulness, sensitivity and contemplation. Boo Junfeng's film Parting and video work The Scene at the Train Station reveal the subtleties of human emotions and re-examine them in an analytical but indescribably touching way. The painting series Ongoing Scripts by Luo Wei features a combination of portraits in which the tunnel of human perception is constantly altered.
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