Chambers Fine Art Beijing announces the opening on Saturday 31 October of a new project by veteran Beijing artist-provocateurs Hong Hao and Yan Lei.
Chambers Fine Art has had a long and fruitful association with Hong Hao, his most recent exhibition in 2007 at Chambers New York Elegant Gatheringconsisting of a series of works that has clearly emerged as one of the most incisive comments on the mores of cultural production and consumption in recent Chinese contemporary art.
The Chambers project SPARK! is Yan Lei and Hong Hao’s third collaboration to date, the most notorious being the 1997 fake invitations addressed to Chinese artists purportedly to invite them to participate in a ‘special section’ of the prestigious Documenta X exhibition in Kassel.
The starting point for the Chambers exhibition is the launch of a new Beijing-based arts, music and design magazine SPARK!. The magazine publishers engaged Hong Hao as Art Editor due to his reputation for works based on printing processes, the creation of artist’s books as well as his compelling manipulation of the dynamics of information and misinformation. Hong Hao is assisted in this task by activist painter Yan Lei who himself often works with images drawn from popular culture. Under their joint control SPARK! Issue I has immediately launched an open process of dialogue with an invitation to a diverse range of people to propose their own definitions – in images or in text – of what constitutes art.
SPARK! Issue II, currently going to press, is extending this theme of public participation in the on-going debate of what constitutes art.
SPARK! Issue II will act as catalogue to the Chambers exhibition.
The central element Hong Hao and Yan Lei’s exhibition at Chambers is the showing of a collection of significant objects. In the same way that the magazine has been produced the objects to be exhibited at will beprovided to the artists by an invited public. During the first day of the exhibition Yan Lei and Hong Hao will receive these objects at the Chambers space. They will record, label and curate the objects in an act of semi-performance that merges into the actual opening of the show. Yan Lei’s painting and print work, including the signature psychedelic wheel portraits feature prominently in the space.
To mark this exhibition project the artists have produced a limited-edition boxed artwork which includes a series of prints by Yan Lei, a signed limited edition of photographic images by Hong Hao and signed copies of Issue II of SPARK!.