Book Painting No.24 (Karl Blossfeldt. Wunder in der Natur, H. Schmidt and C. Günther, Leipzig, 1942, Page 61), Acrylic on Canvas, 32.5 × 24 cm, 2019, Private Collection, London

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Li Ran, Mont Sainte-Victoire, Video, Color, Sound,Live performance & Video Installation, 34′36′′, 2012

Mont Sainte-Victoire is a mountain located in South France, which artist Paul Cezanne had a full view of from his studio.  During Cezanne’s lifetime, he had painted dozens of paintings depicting this mountain. Li Ran uses the mountain’s name as the exhibition title, trying to construct his own entry point into this modernist aesthetic, whilst re-viewing fragmented experiences that are grounded in our own history. Li Ran has compiled a four-part statement comprising of the themes: Reflection of Images and Scenes, Gaze, Competition and Encounter. During the exhibition opening, a live performance took place with the artist mimicking voice-over styles from 1970s-1980s’ Chinese dubbed movies. The performance is accompanied with a display of three automatically timed projectors exhibiting a continuous loop of more than 200 photographic slides. The images of these slides feature ‘image extracts’ culled from the artist’s own aesthetic experiences of modern historical images of the ‘west’ found in textbooks and art history.

Li Ran, Somewhat Abstract, Somewhat Realistic, 2019, Two-channel HD video, black and white & color, sound, 4’55”

Questions such as Abstract and Realistic, Realism and Classicism have always been part of the problem of self-presupposition in the Chinese art industry, and now this presupposition seems to bring us to a kind of thorny land. No matter it is our self-expression or the imagination of “the other”, this splitting and ambiguous face has become a new spokesperson. In the Cilm, I convinced the photographer who often works with me to play the roles of model and makeup artist together.

Hu Xiangqian, Xiang Qian Museum, Video, Color, Sound, 14’31”, 2010

Xiang Qian Museum is an ongoing collection of artworks that exists in Hu Xiangqian’s mind. According to the artist, a museum collection is usually a collection of materials – the physical existence of artworks, while the collection at Xiang Qian Museum is represented through the artist’s body and conveyed to the audience–Xiang Qian Museum is non-materialistic. Hu believes art exists through his performance without physical form, as he said: “I think the best thing about art is that we are able to carry it around to wherever we go.”

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