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Labor and Time

Group exhibition curated by Cui Cancan


November 1 – December 7, 2014

Chen Yufan 陈彧凡 (b. 1973), Untitled 无题

Chen Yufan 陈彧凡 (b. 1973)

Untitled 无题


Mixed media on canvas, brass, carbonized wood 布面综合技法,黄铜和木头碳化

80 3/4 x 157 1/2 in (205 x 400 cm)

Jiang Bo 姜波 (b. 1984), Stones 石头

Jiang Bo 姜波 (b. 1984)

Stones 石头


Stones 石头

Set of 2, 21 3/4 x 45 1/4 x 31 1/2 in and 19 1/2 x 30 3/4 x 17 3/4 in 共两件,55 x 115 x 80 cm 和50 x 78 x 45 cm

Kang Jing 康靖 (b. 1982), Untitled 无题

Kang Jing 康靖 (b. 1982)

Untitled 无题


Copper plate, wood, speaker and recorded sound  紫铜板,木,音箱和录音

Set of 3, each 21 1/2 x 25 1/2 x 8 1/2 in 共3件,每件55 x 65 x 22 cm

Ni Youyu 倪有鱼 (b. 1984), Inches of Time 寸光阴

Ni Youyu 倪有鱼 (b. 1984)

Inches of Time 寸光阴


Black-and-white dual-screen silent  film 黑白双屏默片

Running time: 4 min, 7 sec 4分07秒

Yan Bing 闫冰 (b. 1980), Wind-Wheat 风·éº¦å­

Yan Bing 闫冰 (b. 1980)

Wind-Wheat 风·麦子


Wheat, wheat husks 麦子,麦壳

Dimensions variable 尺寸可变

Meng Baishen 孟柏伸 (b. 1980), Order No. 3 秩序NO.3

Meng Baishen 孟柏伸 (b. 1980)

Order No. 3 秩序NO.3


Graphite on clock faces, recorded sound 钟面上铅笔,录音

Set of 24, each  with diameter 12 in 共24个,每个直径30 cm

Li Qing 李青 (b. 1981), Neighbor’s Window- St.Petersburg Style #3 邻窗·åœ£å½¼å¾—堡风#3

Li Qing 李青 (b. 1981)

Neighbor’s Window- St.Petersburg Style #3 邻窗·圣彼得堡风#3


Wood, metal, oil paint on plexiglas 木,金属,有机玻璃上油彩

59 1/4 x 42 1/4 x 4 1/4 in (150 x 107 x 11 cm)

Chambers Fine Art is pleased to announce the opening on November 1 of Labor and Time curated by Cui Cancan, joint curator of Fuck Off II at the Groninger Museum, a recreation of the notorious exhibition in Shanghai in 2000. He has described it as “a discussion on the creation as well as being a response to pressing issues in the art of today.” In this exhibition, starting with a set of 24 clocks by Meng Baishen (b. 1980), time is the unifying element as it circulates in space. The clock-faces from which the hands have been removed no longer represent the passing of time although the sounds of numerous clocks provide audible witness. As he covers the clock-faces with multiple layer of graphite, he provides evidence of his existence through the labor-intensive procedure. Time is also manifested in the circular lines reminiscent of tree-rings that Jiang Bo (b. 1984) carves in the large stones he collects from riverbanks, lines that also resemble the patterns of eddies in fast-flowing water, no-sooner formed than they disappear.

Cui next directs the viewer’s attention to objects formed through hard labor in which, he says, “time becomes heavy and deeply powerful.” The hammering sound that fills the gallery in which the copper reliefs of Kang Jing (b. 1982) are exhibited record their making and can last indefinitely, unlike the limited time period in which they are fabricated. These contrast with the more nuanced sense of time of Ni Youyou (b. 1984) who hand-carves a ruler to measure time’s passing or fills old boxes with objects including measuring devices, fossils, even living creatures such as tortoises to show how the imagination plays a crucial role in our experience and understanding of temporality.

Certain activities such as the growing of food-stuffs and agriculture may be described as “timeless.” Yan Bing (1980) evokes memories of rural China in his installation consisting of a sack spilling wheat onto the ground as the chaff flies off in an imaginary wind and settles on the wall. In contrast Li Qing (b 1981) looks back only a few decades in his dilapidated window in which distant memories of old Shanghai are fused with the glazing. His nostalgia contrasts with the willing acceptance of the present as revealed in the physical aspects of the paintings of Chen Yufan (b. 1973). The void in the middle of the painting hanging on the wall was formed by painting round the disc covered with multiple layers of paint lying on the floor in front of it. 

Cui situates the work of the artists he has selected “on the intersection between the axis of time and space. In the fast-paced, segmented and fragmented art system as it exists today, Labor and Time alienates itself from the specious concept of the avant-garde and resists all shortcuts at the same time as it is also a proactive response to the superficial values of the mass popular culture. It is a unique expression of the “here and now”; it is not transformed by the future; it only emerges from its own history.”






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