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Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide Ocula Conversation Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide

Ongoing since 2012, the Real DMZ Project interrogates the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea through annual, research-based exhibitions that bring together the works of Korean and international artists. Sunjung Kim, the independent curator behind the project, conceived the idea of exploring the DMZ while curating Japanese artist...

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Frieze Week Lowdown: London Shows to See Ocula Report Frieze Week Lowdown: London Shows to See 20 Sep 2019 : Tessa Moldan for Ocula

London's galleries and museums are gearing up for a lively October, with Frieze London and Frieze Masters running between 3 and 6 October 2019 at Regent's Park, along with 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, taking place across the same dates at Somerset House; and the tenth anniversary of the Sunday Art Fair, showcasing new and emerging artists...

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Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum Ocula Insight | Video Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum 16 August 2019

Mark Bradford walks through Mark Bradford: Los Angeles Mark Bradford: Los Angeles at the Long Museum West Bund in Shanghai (27 July–13 October 2019) is the artist's largest solo exhibition to date in China. In this video for Ocula, Bradford and Diana Nawi, curator of the show, walk through selected works that convey the artist's concerns with...

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Chen Wei

b. 1980, China

The photography/installation works of 31-year old artist Chen Wei illustrate an intricate imagination fascinated with the eccentric and fanciful pursuits of early science, mathematics, alchemy, philosophers and madmen. Taxidermy, broken mirrors, melted wax, bats, bees, deserted bedrooms and found objects become the artist’s tableau. With a meticulous attention to details, Chen Wei creates mesmerising scenes that leave the viewer puzzled by their intricate narrative, fantastic visual impact and odd beauty. In some of the works, the sole human subject resembles an absorbed mad scientist or passionate poet, adding feelings of isolation or estrangement to an already bizarre scene.

Chen Wei’s creative and contemplative process consists of searching for and compiling myriad fragments of personal memories, and incorporating inspiration and objects from childhood or fantasies imagined juxtaposed with realities found in modern China. Most of the works are sketched and created on location in the artist’s studio and then photographed, with the end result being less about the camera process as it is about the assembly of the elaborate elements that are captured in his works. The spirit and style of Chen Wei’s photography works also point towards a new generation of emerging Chinese artists born in the 1980s who are less focused on political history or obvious social criticisms than personal and intellectual freedoms and the individual’s place in a now modern and developed China. History for them has been obscured by economic and social reforms, and the speed and scale of development is the contemporary China they have witnessed.

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Featured Artworks

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Yesterday Shop 昨日商店 by Chen Wei contemporary artwork
Chen WeiYesterday Shop 昨日商店, 2014 Archival Inkjet Print
150 x 187.5 cm
ShanghART
Glass Lake 玻璃湖 by Chen Wei contemporary artwork
Chen WeiGlass Lake 玻璃湖, 2016 Archival Inkjet Print
100 x 125 cm
ShanghART
Goodbye (Shanghai) by Chen Wei contemporary artwork
Chen WeiGoodbye (Shanghai), 2019 Carpet, lamp, controller, plastic beads, iron, glass, acrylic, chair, mobile phone, power supply, chevron board, paint, paint, wallpaper, plasterboard, aluminum keel
295 x 400 x 300 cm
ShanghART
Nice Dream (Shanghai) 好梦 (上海) by Chen Wei contemporary artwork
Chen WeiNice Dream (Shanghai) 好梦 (上海), 2019 Stainless steel, iron, wood, acrylic, motor, controller, copper coin, sponge, Led lamp, power supply
160 x 66.5 x 57 cm
ShanghART
Brilliantly Lit Lights #0907 华灯 #0907 by Chen Wei contemporary artwork
Chen WeiBrilliantly Lit Lights #0907 华灯 #0907, 2019 Iron pipe, terrazzo, glass, Led lamp, controller, power supply
148 x 136 x 136 cm
ShanghART
Rock Court 岩石球场 by Chen Wei contemporary artwork
Chen WeiRock Court 岩石球场, 2019 Archival Inkjet Print
150 x 187.5 cm
ShanghART
Islands 群岛 by Chen Wei contemporary artwork
Chen WeiIslands 群岛, 2019 Archival Inkjet Print
40 x 32 cm
ShanghART
No.62 by Chen Wei contemporary artwork
Chen WeiNo.62, 2016 Archival Inkjet Print
150 x 187.5 cm
ShanghART

Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Chen Wei, Goodbye at ShanghART, Shanghai
Open Now
7 September–20 October 2019 Chen Wei Goodbye ShanghART, Westbund, Shanghai
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Phantom Plane, Cyberpunk in the Year of the Future 幽靈維面—電馭叛客在未來之年 at Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong
Upcoming
5 October 2019–4 January 2020 Group Exhibition Phantom Plane, Cyberpunk in the Year of the Future 幽靈維面—電馭叛客在未來之年 Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, White Flash at ShanghART, Beijing
Closed
5–31 August 2018 Group Exhibition White Flash ShanghART, Beijing

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Sydney Lowdown: Exhibitions to See Ocula Report Sydney Lowdown: Exhibitions to See 6 Sep 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The fifth edition of Sydney Contemporary will take place once again at Carriageworks between 12 and 15 September 2019, with Spring 1883 bringing together a cohort of 27 galleries from across Australia and the region to inhabit rooms at the Establishment Hotel from 11 to 14 September 2019, uniquely presenting contemporary works propped up on...

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Chen Wei Ocula Conversation Chen Wei Artist, Beijing

A pair of glasses with the lenses blown out, as if the viewer has seen something so hot his eyeballs exploded. A folding chair in a cell spattered with hurled tomatoes; an accomplice in the execution of a clown. Chinese photographer Chen Wei made his name staging and photographing scenes like these—sets from films that don't exist; stories...

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In Related Press

Preview: 8 highlights from Art021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair and West Bund Art and Design Related Press Preview: 8 highlights from Art021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair and West Bund Art and Design Art Radar Journal : 8 November 2016

November is a big month for Shanghai. From 10 to 13 November 2016, ART021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair will open its doors at the Shanghai Exhibition Center. Now in its fourth year, the fair is an officially sanctioned project of the 18th China Shanghai International Arts Festival and includes the participation of 84 galleries from 18 countries...

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Q&A: Chen Wei Related Press Q&A: Chen Wei Randian : 3 February 2016

Known for his constructed environments and his use of a variety of different props—suitcases, shards of mirror and, most strikingly, taxidermied animals—Chen Wei is unlike some earlier contemporary photographers in the Chinese art scene who focus more on the documentation of performances and installations. His cinematic photos...

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