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Jess Johnson: Worlds Within Worlds Ocula Conversation Jess Johnson: Worlds Within Worlds

Geometric patterns, anthropomorphic characters, architectural spatial environments, and relics of the ancient world appear throughout Jess Johnson's artworks.Johnson's solo art-ventures began in drawing, but her long-term collaborative relationship with animator Simon Ward brings her drawings to life in videos and virtual reality. The animator has...

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Melati Suryodarmo: Performance Art as Trigger Ocula Conversation Melati Suryodarmo: Performance Art as Trigger

In 2012, Melati Suryodarmo opened Studio Plesungan in her native Surakarta, also known as Solo, the historic royal capital of the Mataram Empire of Java in Indonesia. Suryodarmo had returned to Indonesia from Germany, where she studied Butoh and choreography with Butoh dancer and choreographer Anzu Furukawa, time-based media with avantgarde...

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Lagos Biennial 2019: Stories from Africa’s most Populous City Ocula Report Lagos Biennial 2019: Stories from Africa’s most Populous City 15 Nov 2019 : Jareh Das for Ocula

Under the direction of Folakunle Oshun, the second edition of the Lagos Biennial (26 October–23 November 2019) includes works by over 40 Lagos-based and international artists, architects, and collectives. Curated by architect Tosin Oshinowo, curator and producer Oyindamola Fakeye, and assistant curator of photography at the Art Institute of...

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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

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...

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Cui Jie

b. 1983, China

Cui Jie (崔洁) draws from modernist art and 20th- and 21st-century architectural tropes to create layered paintings of utopian (or dystopian) urban scenes that allude to China's recent and rapid urbanisation.

Featuring futuristic structures that appear at once real and imagined, Cui's architectural paintings often reference the effects of rapid urbanisation on the landscape. Cui's works are characterised by their layering, collage-like fragmentation, and multiple distorted viewpoints that question the figure-ground relationship. She also draws from the architectural idiosyncrasies of the Bauhaus movement, as well as the aesthetics of 20th-century Chinese propaganda and Soviet art.

Cui's characteristic toying with perspective is particularly evident in the painting Corner Building (2017), in which various buildings and a figurative sculpture seem to float in the sky. Parts of the building and sky show through the otherwise-opaque sculpture, while architectural lines are visible in the clouds, confusing the distinction between foreground and background.

Cui's works often function as comparative studies of specific cities. In the painting Shanghai Bank Tower 2 (2017), a spiralling structure merges with what appears to be the titular building. The spiral structure is reminiscent of Vladimir Tatlin's Monument to the Third International (1920)—a key work of Russian Constructivism. Indeed, Cui's aesthetic is often reminiscent of Russian Constructivism—particularly in her emphasis on geometric forms, manmade structures and the aesthetics of industry.

Cui's works frequently reference Chinese propagandist themes of shared community and destiny. The painting Ground Invading Figure #35 (2015), for example, depicts a group of soldiers surrounding a wounded man. In its huddled composition and depiction of uniformed soldiers, the painting draws heavily from the nationalist and socialist realist styles common to the Mao era; yet Cui injects her own contemporary elements such as graphic lines and nonrealistic shapes. In the artwork, are multiple intersections between each solider, not unlike the cross-sections in Cui's architectural paintings. As the figures gather around the wounded man, the individual begins to blend into the collective and the canvas becomes fragmented.

Born in 1983 in Shanghai, Cui graduated from the Department of Oil Painting at China Academy of Art in Hangzhou in 2006 and is currently based in Beijing. Her work has been exhibited at various art institutions such as MoMA PS1, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Saint Petersburg; Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; and Iberia Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, amongst others. Cui was part of the group exhibition The Enormous Space at OCAT Shenzhen in 2018. In the same year, she participated in An American City: Eleven Cultural Exercises, the inaugural edition of the FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art.

Biography by Perwana Nazif | Ocula | 2018
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Featured Artworks

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SIS Building by Cui Jie contemporary artwork
Cui JieSIS Building, 2019 Acrylic and spray paint on canvas
250 x 210 cm
Pilar Corrias
The Second Generation of Peak Tower by Cui Jie contemporary artwork
Cui JieThe Second Generation of Peak Tower, 2019 Acrylic on canvas
250 x 210 cm
Pilar Corrias
Cell tree by Cui Jie contemporary artwork
Cui JieCell tree, 2019 Acrylic and spray paint on canvas
200 x 150 cm
Metro Pictures
Escape #2 by Cui Jie contemporary artwork
Cui JieEscape #2, 2017 Acrylic and oil on canvas

Not For Sale
Para Site
Hangzhou Honglou Hotel #4 by Cui Jie contemporary artwork
Cui JieHangzhou Honglou Hotel #4, 2018 3D Selected Laser Sintering, frame
Metro Pictures
Beijing TV Building by Cui Jie contemporary artwork
Cui JieBeijing TV Building, 2017 Oil and acrylic on canvas
230 x 150 cm
Metro Pictures
Shanghai Industrial Building by Cui Jie contemporary artwork
Cui JieShanghai Industrial Building, 2018 Acrylic on canvas
250 x 180 cm
Metro Pictures
Tianjin Book Building #2 by Cui Jie contemporary artwork
Cui JieTianjin Book Building #2, 2018 Acrylic and oil on canvas
200 x 190 cm
Metro Pictures

Current & Recent Exhibitions

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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
Open Now
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, Cui Jie, The Peak Tower at Pilar Corrias, London
Closed
30 August–25 September 2019 Cui Jie The Peak Tower Pilar Corrias, London
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Show, An Opera for Animals at Para Site, Hong Kong
Closed
22 June–25 August 2019 Group Show An Opera for Animals Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

‘An Opera for Animals’ at Rockbund Art Museum Ocula Report ‘An Opera for Animals’ at Rockbund Art Museum 19 Jul 2019 : Penny Liu for Ocula

An Opera for Animals was first staged at Para Site in Hong Kong between 23 March and 2 June 2019, with works by over 48 artists and collectives that use opera as a metaphor for modes of contemporary, cross-disciplinary art-making. The exhibition's second iteration takes up a large portion of the Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) in Shanghai (22 June–25...

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In Related Press

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Gates to the City: Cui Jie Related Press Gates to the City: Cui Jie Mousse Magazine : 3 September 2019

Looking at the work of Cui Jie from a northern European perspective, the first error is probably to think you're seeing some form of lament for a modernist past. That narrative is fairly familiar now, based on a longing for the largest-scale remnants of the material culture of postwar social democracy or state socialism—the buildings they...

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A Word From Painter Cui Jie—Now Represented by Metro Pictures & Pilar Corrias Related Press A Word From Painter Cui Jie—Now Represented by Metro Pictures & Pilar Corrias Artspace : 18 May 2018

Cui Jie's paintings are largely based on her continuous study of the architectural landscape in the three cities in which she has lived: Shanghai, where she was born and grew up, Hangzhou, where she attended the National Art Academy, and Beijing, where she currently lives and works. She observed at first hand the outstanding transformation that...

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Cui Jie Is Now Represented by Metro Pictures, Pilar Corrias, and Antenna Space Related Press Cui Jie Is Now Represented by Metro Pictures, Pilar Corrias, and Antenna Space ARTnews : 14 May 2018

The Shanghai-based artist Cui Jie is now represented by the galleries Metro Pictures (of New York), Pilar Corrias (London), and Antenna Space (Shanghai).

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The Enormous Space Related Press The Enormous Space ArtAsiaPacific : 1 March 2018

In 1989, British author JG Ballard published The Enormous Space, a short story about Gerald Ballantyne, a man who withdraws from the world and fortifies himself in his abode, not due to agoraphobia but to 'experiment' with reducing his immediate environment to nothing but his house, committing what is in effect a slow suicide. OCAT Shenzhen's...

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