Quote out of Context: Solo Exhibition of Yang Fudong (curated by Gu Zheng)
OCT Suhe Creek Shanghai, 1016 Bei Suzhou Lu, near Wen’an Lu, Zhabei District, Shanghai
30 September, 2012 – 3 January, 2013
Yang Fudong’s solo show in Shanghai shifts the balance of his work away from the video installations onto his photographs, in the process proving the intimate connections but also the disparities between his moving and still images.
The collection of prints that form the bulk of this exhibition include still shots from Yang Fudong’s films as well as his stand-alone photographs from across his whole career. Yang’s photographic work has always been a counterpart to his films, in that it also concentrates on the cinematic image, presenting scenes with a certain level of stylisation removing the subjects from “nature” and into the staged shot.
Yang’s work has also often played with the boundaries between the still image and the moving scene, setting up juxtapositions between a film which looks like a set-piece—maintaining a stillness within the frame that the subjects sustain even in their movement (the Seven Intellectuals series of films being archetypal of this)—and the still image which appears to be drawn from a larger narrative, held in suspension but always appearing to refer to the event within a larger narrative. The meaningful arrangements and glances of the protagonists in the photographic works Don’t worry, it will be better… (2000) and Ms. Huang at M last night (2006) record the events in their lives without really settling on any particular meaning or interpretation, leaving the audience in a state of uncertainty regarding the actual events being presented and the storyline that the individual photographs in the series depict.
SEE/SAW: Collective Practice in China Now (curated by Paula Tsai)
UCCA, 798 Art District, No.4 Jiuxianqiao Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China 100015
20 November – 30 December, 2012
SEE/SAW is billed as the prelude to the show ON/OFF, which will open at UCCA in January 2013. ON/OFF promises to be a rather exciting group show of young Chinese artists over the whole of UCCA’s spaces. SEE/SAW though occupies just a small part of this institution’s gallery spaces, to address the phenomena of artist groups recently in China. While groupings of artists have always existed, not least in China, this way of working has become a very visible feature of artists’ practice here over the past few years, seeming to gain ground in terms of their sheer number, as well as their increasing appearance in galleries. While some of the groupings might be problematic in terms of their reasons for existing, this has become a valuable and powerful method by which artists assert their solidarity and power within the art world here.