Long March Space, 798 Art District, 4 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing
1 September – 7 October, 2012
Long March Space present a strong body of new works by Liu Wei, which seem to progressively build upon and develop various aspects of this artist’s works. The results suggest monumentality in their occupation of space while retaining an uncertainty in their inability to be defined and interpreted. This opacity of the pieces is apparently mirrored by the reticence of the artist to elaborate on them too specifically. This is aside from some general statements made by him and his gallery to accompany this show, which seem questionable in the context of the work.
Liu Wei is lauded as an important artist in the Chinese artworld, and to an extent deserves that accolade. He has developed various patterns for his artwork, which he has committed to and has honed over time. Liu Wei produces work that seems intelligent and thought through, providing a serious basis on which the artworld can place a certain amount of trust that—unlike many artists in China—he will not undermine that solid base with some random change of direction.
GROW Food Justice Global Campaign China Launch Ceremony: Food Art Exhibition, curated by Xia Yanguo
PIFO New Art Gallery, B-11, 798 Art Area, No.2 Jiuxianqiao Rd, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China
11 – 20 August, 2012
[Author’s note: I acted as an unpaid consultant for the GROW Campaign at an early stage, however I have had no involvement with this show at PIFO Gallery]
Food Art Exhibition at PIFO New Art Gallery, organised by the international charity Oxfam as part of their global “GROW” campaign, aims to raise awareness of poverty in relation to production and access to food, but the art exhibition on show raises issues with the effectiveness of this form of presentation.
Although art shows to promote charitable issues have worthy intentions that should in most cases be supported, there is a troublesome tendency for the art to be the least considered part of the affair. In the face of the important or urgent issues to be supported, the artworks often appear irrelevant or ineffectual, and there is a tendency to favour unproblematic or vague artistic responses to avoid distracting from the issue. Given art’s potential as a creative medium one would hope that it could play an important part in productively contributing to the issues, rather than simply acting as a background or window-dressing.