Mi Lou: Recent Works by Hong Lei
Chambers Fine Art, Red No.1-D, Caochangdi, Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100015, China
18 February – 25 March, 2012
Hong Lei’s particular form of mythicized, fetishized work would usually not attract me. In other artists I have found the saturated content and symbolism seen in Hong Lei’s myriad works too heavy-handed and oppressive, leading me to feel the work held itself—and the audience—too far apart from a reality.
This is something that I’ve recently experienced in the work of Cai Guo-Qiang, for instance – an urge to create a critical mass of meaning at the expense of a connection with the audience. In the process I experienced alienation through the latter artist’s works, by what I found to be its highly considered and artificial approach to the subject matter.
While this is certainly a risk with Hong Lei’s works on display at Chambers Fine Art, in this case I’ve found that the artists lightness of touch and subtlety of its approach to the viewer—while not resolving all of my issues with its tendency to objectify aspects of its subjects—entices the viewer in and adds a sense of wonder to the overall installation, à la the fantasist Borges.