“…but distraction often uncovers a surprising array of thoughts and feelings, epiphanies and meanings. Distraction may act as a productive model for recognizing all that surrounds the primary event of sound—to suddenly hear what is usually out of earshot. It allows or nurtures the ability for one to appreciate the sounding environment in all its dimensional complexity. Distraction may in the end function as means for undoing the lines of scripted space, loosening our sense for performing within a given structure, and according to certain expectations; to exceed or to fall short of the assumed goal. To be distracted is potentially to be more human.”
What A Form – A Reportage: Wu Shanzhuan & Inga Svala Thórsdóttir
Shenzhen OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT), Building F2, Enping Road, OCT, Nanshan District, Shenzhen
21 May – 21 July, 2013
How far do we pursue the artists’ conceptions in their work, following the lead they provide, making an assumption that the work wishes to communicate with its audience? If the work proves too difficult to relate to, or reticent in its engagement with the audience, where do we draw the line past which we are unwilling to go in our investigation of the work?
At OCAT in Shenzhen, Wu Shanzhuan and Inga Svala Thorsdottir present two rooms holding large-scale, but simple in form, installations. These are accompanied by a series of 9 drawings on A4 sheets of gridded paper showing the progressive development of the forms used in the installations. These works follow on from previous presentations of the artists’ personal theory of forms, in this case focusing on a composite form which they call “Little Fat Flesh,” which is a combination of multiple arcs of circles, forming a unique shape, somewhere between a circle and a square.
A Wall on the Wall, A Floor on the Floor: Wang Wei solo show
Magician Space, 798 Art District
13 September – 31 October, 2012
The two pieces by artist Wang Wei currently on show at Magician Space address two aspects of constructed space—the wall and the floor—in one succinct installation. As the title makes clear, the pieces are literally a wall and a floor, but their structure, placement, and relationship to each other, and their existence within the gallery space, mark them out as out of place. This gives a suggestion, backed up by the text for the exhibition, that these pieces are from other places, reproduced here by the artist and working to create a representational power through the elements that they are made up of.
Liu Wei solo show
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.