Chen Xiaoyun, Drag, Video, Color, Sound, 4’11”, 2006

Half naked young man is dragging vehemently. The mysterious power is inside the door: harvest in darkness and extreme tiredness of heart and body is endless. You can’t let all this go.The invisible power that you are attempting to oppose or compete is in the other end of the rope but which controls you. You don’t know what you are going to lose or gain. There is no result about the darkness. You probably know nothing. Regarding to life, you have to stay here.

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Wang Xu , Garden of Seasons, 2019, Two-channel video, color, sound 33’16” , Untitled Athena, 2021, marble, 53×26×24 cm

Heritage Falls Park, located in the Monterey Park near the Vincent Price Art Museum, consists of a grassy hillside bisected by a tiered fountain with a niche to the end. It was built in the late 1920s by a real-estate developer named Peter N. Snyder, who originally installed in the niche a marble sculpture of a female figure that he referred to as “Athena” in honor of his Greek heritage. The sculpture mysteriously disappeared shortly after it was installed, and the fountain sat empty until 2005, when the Monterey Park Historical Society installed another “Athena” as replacement. Neither the original sculpture nor its replacement bears any of the formal signifiers commonly associated with the Greek goddess Athena.
In 2016, artist Wang Xu granted Equitable Vitrines the permission to use his sculpture Eve (2015) in a proposal for an intervention at the Heritage Falls Park. Wang produced Eve at a marble quarry and commercial sculpture factory in Quyang, China by recovering a damaged statue of the Biblical figure and re-carving it according to the image of a woman who worked at the factory. The proposal would have temporarily placed Eve in the fountain alongside the replaced Athena, which was also imported from Quyang. Equitable Vitrines rescinded its proposal at the conclusion of a debate over the project at a meeting of the Monterey Park City Council in 2017.
Wang Xu’s Garden of Seasons features a marble sculpture, Untitled Athena, and a two-channel video, “Garden of Seasons” that combines footages recording the process of making the Athena sculpture, and the video clips of the city council debating on the destiny of the sculpture, Eve. Through language, the meaning of art becomes abstract.

Lin Yilin, Golden Journey, Video, Color, Sound, 16’40”, 2011

I considered this series of work as a diary of a journey, in which accidental encounters and interesting happenings unfolded. At the same time, “events” were produced. Landmarks are the witness of the journey. I worked hard to make this series of work into “landmarks” of the landmarks so the audience can remember them.
The geographic environment stimulated me to test out the most basic physical movements of my body—”self-rotating,” or more precisely, rolling. This imagery came from the tiresof an automobile’s wheels. The slow walk of the participants required an enduring self- consciousness that made their brains numb. Their awareness of the distinction between themselves and the other pedestrians evoked a paradoxical state of mind. But what is more, they were also thinking about me rolling behind them. When I walked on the Golden Gate Bridge, I looked down to the fascinating ocean. But reason prevented me from jumping. Then, I decided to slowly roll down the bridge on the pavement. Fighter planes repetitively flew over my head. I became aware that they were supervising me. At the end, the U.S. Navy understood: This was art. Then they did not come back to disturb us any more. Luckily, they became the greatest audience of my work.

Duan Jianyu, The Muse Has Awoken No.3, Oil on canvas, 181×217cm, 2011

Both Wang Xingwei’s Ji Gong and Duan Jianyu’s The Muse has Awoken No.3 both offer conspicuous comical impressions, which on the one hand, articulate a kind of literary comedy from the narrations of the figures on canvas, their expressions, motion, theatricality and etc., while stylistically – be it Wang Xingwei’s compositional momentum and the exaggeration rendered through brushwork, or Duan Jianyu’s kitsch and crass emphasis – give shape to the comedy of mannerism, providing theatricality for the language of painting. Thirdly, they are comical on a cultural history level as they have adopted the Baroque style to portray the Mad Monk and placed the Goddess on Dunhuang murals into modern countryside context, this kind of casual yet poignant fusion has taken the “La Comédie Humaine” approach to respond to the rapidly evolving Chinese society and the unsettled dust of cultural order.

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