CYLWXZ

Chu Yun, Liu Wei, Xu Zhen
June 17 – August 23, 2008
Liu Wei
Difficult to Restrain, 1999 (detail) 
Video, 6 channel installation, DVD player, 6 screens
6 Monitors, each 12 x 9 x 3 cm
6 DVD players 18,3 x 13,5 x 3 cm, transformer, multiple plug

Photo © Carsten Eisfeld
Liu Wei
Difficult to Restrain, 1999 
Video, 6 channel installation, DVD player, 6 screens
6 Monitors, each 12 x 9 x 3 cm
6 DVD players 18,3 x 13,5 x 3 cm, transformer, multiple plug

Photo © Carsten Eisfeld

Liu Wei

Who Answers the Telephone? 2007 (left)
Telephone, wood, paint
40 x 40 x 134,5 cm

Liu Wei
Anti-Matter: Television, 2007 (right)
Television
73 x 60 x 60 cm (TV)
170 x 100 x 100 cm (plinth & cover) 

Photo © Carsten Eisfeld

Liu Wei

Who Answers the Telephone? 2007
Telephone, wood, paint
40 x 40 x 134,5 cm

Photo © Carsten Eisfeld
Liu Wei
Anti-Matter: Television, 2007
Television
73 x 60 x 60 cm (TV)
170 x 100 x 100 cm (plinth & cover) 

Photo © Carsten Eisfeld
Liu Wei
Anti-Matter: Television, 2007 (left) 
Television
73 x 60 x 60 cm (TV)
170 x 100 x 100 cm (plinth & cover) 

Liu Wei 
Purple air P, 2008 (right) 
Acrylic on canvas
180 x 220 x 3 cm

Photo © Carsten Eisfeld
Liu Wei 
Purple air P, 2008 
Acrylic on canvas
180 x 220 x 3 cm

Photo © Carsten Eisfeld
Liu Wei
Purple air G, 2008
Acrylic on canvas
180 x 220 x 3 cm
 
Photo © Carsten Eisfeld
Chu Yun
Who Has Stolen Our Bodies, 2008
27 soaps from 10 x 5 x 2 cm to 5,5 x 2 x 0,5 cm
Plinth: 160 x 85 x 30 cm

Photo © Carsten Eisfeld

Xu Zhen

The Last Few Mosquitos, 2005
Mechanical mosquito, injection, plexi, wood
30.7 x 18.7 x 11.5 cm

Photo © Carsten Eisfeld
Xu Zhen
Untitled, 2008 (left) 
Non-drying paint
Dimensions variable 

Xu Zhen

The Last Few Mosquitos, 2005 (right) 
Mechanical mosquito, injection, plexi, wood
30.7 x 18.7 x 11.5 cm

Photo © Carsten Eisfeld
Xu Zhen
Untitled, 2008
Non-drying paint
Dimensions variable 

Photo © Carsten Eisfeld

CYLWXZ

Chu Yun, Liu Wei, Xu Zhen
June 17 – August 23, 2008
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Curated by Philip Tinari

The exhibition CYLWXZ takes as its starting point the consciously made-invisible. A wall divides the gallery space exactly in two geometric halves, only one part is accessible. This radical intervention is a collaborative gesture authored by the three artists in concert and resonating with strands in each of their individual artistic practices: Liu Wei's series of "cutting" works, Chu Yun's post-minimalist architectural interventions, Xu Zhen's 2002 exhibition cutting of a Shanghai warehouse space into equal and identical halves.

 

The wall inside the gallery is painted with a white pigment that refuses to dry. Wet Paint (2008) by Xu Zhen creates a cramped and unpleasant atmosphere in the space that is already minimised. There are two historic works presented on the wall: Liu Wei's six-channel video Difficult to Restrain, first exhibited in the original Post-Sense Sensibility show in 1999, and Xu Zhen's The Last Few Mosquitos (2005) in which insects suck the blood of the exhibition wall.

 

The artists presented in the exhibition are an unwilling sample of a particular moment and generation in the development of contemporary aesthetic practice in China. Coming from three distinct urban perspectives (Chu Yun from Shenzhen, Liu Wei from Beijing, Xu Zhen from Shanghai) they began their careers in distinct relationships with the wave of avant-garde exhibitions in Beijing and Shanghai in the late 1990s. They have matured against the background of an ever increasing skepticism about the relevance of this very category. The naming of the exhibition using simply the initials of the three artists in alphabetical order as well as the basic gesture of a largely empty main gallery space, are responses to the quandary of what exactly it means to present art from China internationally at a moment when the multicultural imperatives that drove the "China shows" of the 1990s have evaporated and yet a real and tangible gap between "Chinese" and "international" discourses lingers awkwardly.

 

In the upstairs rooms of the galleries, a selection of historic works from the past decade presents a fuller picture of the divergences and convergences in these three artists' practices.

 

Chu Yun (*1977), Liu Wei (*1972) and Xu Zhen (*1977) live and work in Beijing.

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