My Body My Home

Ai Weiwei, Rong Rong, Zhang Huan, He Yunchang, Song Dong, Zheng Guogu

ARTFARM

Summer 2010

Zheng Guogu 郑国谷
Embroidering for Another 2000 Years #48 再绣两千年 #48

2006-2007
Embroidery on felt
74 3/4 x 74 3/4 in (190 x 190 cm)

Ai Weiwei 艾未未
Colored Vases 彩陶瓶

2009
Set of eleven, pottery, industrial paint
Approx. 22cm x 21cm x 21cm each

He Yunchang 何云昌 
Shooter 枪手
Set of 4 color photographs 摄影
20 x 24 in each (51 x 61 cm)

Edition of 18

Rong Rong 荣荣
No. 3 (1) Beijing 北京 3 (1)

1999
Hand-tinted gelatin silver print
39 1/4 x 39 1/4 in (100 x 100 cm)

Edition of 10

Chambers Fine Art is pleased to announce the opening of My Body, My Home at its ArtFarm annex located in the scenic Hudson Valley of upstate New York. Curated by Christina Yu, this exhibition features the early work of six mid-career Chinese artists. These urban dwellers witnessed the drastic and often destructive modernization of Chinese cities in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and responded to the changes in a personal way by incorporating themselves or their likeness directly into their artistic creations.

The photographer Rong Rong was a member of the “East Village” group active in mid-1990s Beijing, and his black-and-white documentary photographs from the period have become icons of contemporary art from China. The photographs included in this exhibition were taken not long after the disbanding of the East Village group. Rong Rong staged photographs of himself in ruined sites across Beijing but deliberately turned his face away from the camera, perhaps an expression of his uncertainty in the once-familiar environment. The hand-tinted colors in the sky add a feeling of nostalgia to the images.

Zhang Huan was another key figure in the East Village group, and gained international recognition from his performances where his body was his only medium. After spending seven years in the United States, he moved back to China in 2005, and the culture-shock of returning drew him closer to his native tradition and religion. In the Hard-Soft Kung Fu silk screens, Zhang Huan inserts his body into the kind of backgrounds often seen in historical Chinese paintings and woodblock prints, while in the sculpture Buddha Finger a small detail of the religious icon is enlarged to evoke veneration.

Born in Yunnan province in the southwest border of China, He Yunchang is one of the most active performance artists in China today. His early performances always address the relationship between human and nature through a challenge to his own body’s endurance. Talking with Water was performed during a home visit during the Chinese New Year in 1999. Holding a knife in his hands, He Yunchang hung himself upside down above a river for thirty minutes. With water flowing under him, he symbolically cut the river into halves.

In Father and Son in the Ancestral Temple, Song Dong projected his face on top of that of his father on the grandiose columns of the Ancestral Temple (Tai Miao) in Beijing. A place for imperial ancestral worship in ancient China, the Ancestral Temple is the foremost symbol of the Confucian virtue of filial piety (xiao). In addition to expressing his own relationship with his father, Song Dong in this work also tries to preserve traditions and values that are fading away in the process of urban transformation.

Zheng Guogu is the youngest among the six artists included in the exhibition. He lives in Yangjiang, a small city close to Hong Kong, where Hong Kong’s popular culture has a strong influence on the locals’ daily lives. In the series Computer Controlled by Pig’s Brain, he paints cut-outs from local newspapers in bright colors and questions people’s obsession with celebrity gossip and “talk of the town” stories.

This exhibition brings together diverse voices of Chinese artists as the country continues marching toward modernization and urbanization.

ArtFarm was commissioned from HHF Architects and renowned Chinese artist/architect Ai Weiwei in 2006. Built on sloping land, three interconnected structures house storage space, offices and a gallery on the lowest level. As described by the architects: “The outer shape is a consequence of the use of a pre-engineered and easy to assemble type of steel building, which often gets used for agricultural purposes in that area. With its abstract metallic appearance the structure becomes an equal member of a whole group of sculptures which are spread out in the landscape.” For their design of ArtFarm, HHF Architects was awarded the Gold Medal for the annual “Best Architects 10” prize in 2009.

前波纽约画廊很高兴于2010年夏天在艺田举办展览《我的身体,我的家》。艺田位于风景如画的纽约上州哈德逊山谷中。此次展览由喻瑜策展,展出了六位知名中国艺术家的早期作品。这些城市居住者见证了90年代末21世纪初毁坏性巨大的中国城市现代化进程,通过非常个人化的方式来应对这些变化——他们把他们自己或者他们的同类直接融入到了他们的艺术创作中去。

摄影家荣荣曾是活跃于90年代中期北京东村艺术团体的一分子,他在那个时期拍摄的黑白纪实照片成为了中国当代艺术的标志。此次展览中展出的照片是东村艺术团体解散不久后拍摄的。荣荣在北京各地的废墟自拍,但故意背对镜头,这也许是他对这些曾经熟悉的环境的不确定的一种表达。照片中手工着色的天空又为这些图像增添了一份怀旧的气息。

张洹是东村艺术团体中另一位主要成员。他的身体就是他唯一的媒介,由此创作出来的行为艺术为他赢得了国际声誉。在美国居住了七年之后,他于2005年回到中国。回国后的文化冲击令他更为接近故乡的传统和宗教。在丝网印刷《软硬功夫》中,张洹把他自己的身体置入了传统中国绘画和版画中常见的背景中,而在雕塑《佛手指》中,宗教标志中一个小细节被放大,从而令人产生无限敬意。

何云昌出生于中国西南边境的云南省,是今日中国最为活跃的行为艺术家之一。他早期的行为表演常常通过挑战其身体极限来探讨人与自然之间的关系。《与水交谈》是他在1999年春节回家探亲时创作的 。何云昌手中持刀,将自己倒挂于河面之上30分钟。河水在他的身下流过,就如同他将河水一劈为二。

Back To Top