Friday, October 16, 2015

Yan Xing: The Thief at Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing

When: Aug 29, 2015 - Oct 25, 2015
Galerie Urs Meile Beijing is delighted to announce the opening of artist Yan Xing’s latest exhibition, Thief. This exhibition will feature a series of new works in a variety of different media, including installation, video, photography, space, and design. The works explore negativity, resistance, and order in many layers throughout the process of artistic language.
The Story of Shame (2015) is about a secret collection of ‘shames’ (ignominy, cowardice, shyness, disgrace, etc.). Brought to the fore is shame’s implicit tendency to be “anti-expressive.” One piece is hidden in the corner. One work is obscured by another. A photograph is stretched out in the room’s crevices. The pieces are about sex and shame. If we think of art as a metaphorical machine, these negative, downward, and tragic features are the machine’s lubricant.

Looking back at his past artistic practice, Yan Xing has appropriated Western classics more than once. The reconstruction of legitimacy has often been the common denominator of his artistic language. Failure, punishment, and discipline—these are the topics explored in the video Thief (2015). When people deviate from social norms, their actions are punished. A failed jump highlights physical inabilities, the act of theft is ridiculed through legalistic scorn, and discipline is described through an adolescent’s sexual awakening and repression. This new video reconstructs the categories of expression through a new series of pieces about the origins of dreams, sexual textures, habitual behavior, exceptional behavior etc.. At the same time, the video is interspersed with segments of boys experiencing confusion upon entering adolescence. The artist redistributes images in a logical place within the artistic language of the work. Reviewing this universal, human, experiential history allows a re-examination of the assumptions and definitions regarding the ‘legitimacy’ of the thief.

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