The following artists are included in the show, with details of the works on display to follow:
- Hu Jieming: 1 c-print, 50x84, in an edition of 5, from 2007/2009
- Hsin-Chien Huang: 3 lightboxes filled with printed acetates, in editions of 5, from 2007, and 1 interactive computer simulation, in an edition of 5, from 2009
- Miao Xiaochun: 1 3D computer animation, in an edition of 5, from 2007
- Noh, Sang-Kyoon: 1 large sculpture, from 2008, and 6 sequin covered records with original jackets in glass cases, from 2009
- Junebum Park: 2 color videos (silent), in editions of 5, from 2008
- Wang Qingsong: 1 DVD, in an edition of 8, from 2008
- Xu Changchang: 2 c-prints mounted to aluminum; 1 is 59x44 in an edition of 10, the other is 96x40 in an edition of 5; both are from 2008
I have run across the photography of Xu Changchang previously, but the works in this show have a new twist. In earlier works, Xu took a physical photograph (often of an appropriated artwork), crumpled it up and rephotographed the result, complete with all the detailed wrinkles and tiny points of glare from the flash. The works on display in this exhibit start with the same type of image (in this case, pictures of an island sunset and the aftermath of a tsunami), but they are now punctured by bullet holes and rephotographed; the holes are therefore not actual holes but a photograph of a photograph full of holes. I found this layering of appropriation and the multiple levels of physicality in the works conceptually intriguing.
Hu Jieming's moonscape image, complete with a tiny latticework of futuristic settlements, is like something from the cover of a science fiction novel. From afar, it looks like 1960s era NASA footage; up close, the geometric roadways and buildings blanket the crater pocked rock; the effect is unsettling, with a heavy dose of impending doom. As such, it does a successful job of asking questions about the perils of never-ending expansion, without grounding them in the now obvious specifics of contemporary China.
Two artists perhaps best known to collectors for their photography have contributed videos to this exhibit:
- Wang Qingsong's photographs have often considered the effects of consumerism on traditional Chinese culture. In this video work, Wang has taken hundreds of still frames of the construction of a yet another skyscraper in suburban Beijing and tied them together, into a fast forward, flip book style view of the building growing into the sky. As the days pass, the scaffolding rises, becoming the tallest structure for miles around; the completion of the tower is celebrated by nighttime fireworks, a thoroughly hollow and ironic endpoint.
- Miao Xiaochun's photographs have often been built from appropriations of famous paintings. In this video, Miao reimagines Michelangelo's Sistine Ceiling (including the creation of Man) using clusters of computer generated mannequins floating in space, surrounded by bubbles or transformed into drifting bones.
All in, the title of this show is surprisingly apt: things are changing fast in this slice of the art world, new technologies and ideas are rapidly being incorporated and exploited, and the overall effect is one of cacophony and chaos; I for one could use an updated photography roadmap for the region. While some of the underlying themes are consistent, it's clear that we need to see this art/photography in New York much more often if we ever hope to make sense of it all.
Collector's POV: The prices for the works in this show are as follows:
- Hu Jieming: The photograph is $9000.
- Hsin-Chien Huang: The 3 lightboxes are $15000 each; the interactive display is $18000.
- Miao Xiaochun: The video is $20000.
- Noh, Sang-Kyoon: The large blue Buddha sculpture is price on request. The sequined records are $5000 each.
- Junebum Park: The two videos are $7750 and $12400.
- Wang Qingsong: The video is $15000.
- Xu Changchang: The 2 photographs are $8000 and $10000, based on size.
Rating: * (one star) GOOD (rating system described here)
- Miao Xiaochun interviews/press (here)
Through February 17th
Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery
505 West 24th Street
New York, NY 10001