Looping On Thin Ice: Inci Eviner Solo Exhibition @ Pearl Lam Galleries
This is the first solo exhibition by acclaimed Turkish artist, Inci Eviner, in China, and will featuring videos, drawings, collages on paper and paintings. The exhibition centres on her video installations, which are a result of a collaborative production process with her works on paper that will be displayed interactively in the exhibition space. “Looping on Thin Ice” refers to the circulation of visual languages that reference one another, speak to one another, and are informed by the artist’s persistent concern for the social conditions in her nation.
Inci Eviner’s works explore the action of continuity and repetition of strange and unsettling movements – caressing, punching, undressing, and people merging – performed by men, women, genderless humans and even hybrid human-animal beasts. What sets Eviner’s art in this continuous loop is her reproduction and restaging of similar characters and movements, which are inspired by American philosopher and gender theorist Judith Butler’s concept of “performativity”, which is the very act of performing gender that constitutes who we are, for the idea of gender is a historical and social construct and not essential to our sex. Since the act of gender has been rehearsed and practiced by subjects through continual citation or enactment, it can also be challenged and contested through alternative performative acts. This alternative is where Eviner comes in, who is determined to rupture the cultural code by presenting sexually and physically active female bodies that threaten to rise up against the social order, opening up a new territory for freedom.
Civil movements and social conditions in Turkey motivated Eviner to create art. The flux of a Turkish identity, continuously shaped and reshaped by movements since the 1980s – such as feminist, environmental, anti-military, LGBT and human rights movements – reflects the East-West paradox of the nation’s geographical location. The situation stemming from clashes of Islamic and Western culture is manifested in Broken Manifesto and Fluxes of Girls in Europe. Broken Manifesto, a three-channel HD video installation consisting of “Demonstration”, “Violence” and “Immigrants”, portrays protesting dissidents holding placards of Eviner’s ink drawings, belly dancers who cover their heads with shirts (to represent a woman’s veil), and stray dogs in Istanbul, all of which articulate Turkey’s perplexing relationship with the European Union.
Something Bad Happened to Me (2016) is Eviner’s latest video production, made on a stage that she designed herself. She refers to how a theatrical setup and performative approach to her visual lexicon opens up many possibilities for creation and interaction, including enhancing the viewer’s corporeal and sensual experience, while allowing the artist to incorporate choreography. The narrative is simple yet profound; it talks about how a woman’s tongue is thrown into the garbage and will eventually be covered and worn away by centuries of dust. The wounded and bitten flesh, visualised by a performer in a pink costume, straddles between reality and fantasy. The powerful visual language in this video is a manifestation of Eviner’s “players”, as she calls them, who interpret an abstract set of instructions based on her ink drawings with their own intuition and experimentation. Sometimes, the movements go beyond the limits of human capacity, revealing an almost raw and animalistic sensation in the performance.
Looping On Thin Ice: Inci Eviner Solo Exhibition runs from 10 September until 27 November 2016 @ Pearl Lam Galleries. G/F, 181 Jiangxi Zhong Lu, near Fuzhou Lu. Tel: 6323 1989. Web: www.pearllam.com
I Will Be Your Eyes: Group Exhibition @ Art+ Shanghai Gallery
The exhibition assembles seven Chinese artists born in the 1990s. The astute from this generation are striving to move beyond the single-child malady of the "Little Emperor" and "Little Empress" syndrome that had plagued the generation born in the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution in the 1980s. With internet and capitalism a ubiquitous feature of their daily lives, many of the nineties generation (jiu ling hou) are emerging onto the social and professional platform as the most precocious and highly educated young professionals in China's recent history. With a degree of sophisticated awareness, some have even put aside the frivolities of selfish materialism to cast an inquiring gaze at the conditions of Chinese contemporary society that came to shape and define who they are at this critical juncture of their lives and careers.
"I will be your eyes" is an artistic catalyst for an alternate vision. A vision of sight when there is no guiding light and a vision striving for reconciliation in a world mounting with escalating tensions. Thus, it is with sensitivity that the forgotten are inscribed back into the collective consciousness and what we neglect to see are thoughtfully exposed. Through the keen eyesight of the seven accolade graduates of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, we are guided towards an intuitive discovery.
Participating artists: Shang Zonglian, Shi Yunyuan, Xie Jingsi, Xu Sijin, Xue Yayuan, Yan Shixuan and Zheng Qinyu.
I Will Be Your Eyes: Group Exhibition runs from 4 September until 23 October @ Art+ Shanghai Gallery. 191 Nan Suzhou Lu, near Sichuan Zhong Lu. Tel: 6333 7223. Web: www.artplusshanghai.com
Shan Shui Within @ Museum Of Contemporary Art
Sixteen contemporary Chinese artists, including Ban Lei, Gu Wenda, Pan Xi, Qiu Anxiong, Qiu Zhijie, Sun Liang, Wang Dongling, Wang Lihua, Wu Jianan, Xu Bing, Xu Cong, Xu Min, Xu Min, Yang Yongliang, Yu Hong, Yuan Yuan and Zheng Chongbin will display several of their works as part of the museum’s new exhibition, Shan Shui Within. The works will provide viewers with the artists’ unique interpretations of traditional Chinese culture and how it evolved as a result of the rapid development of society, not only illuminating the emotions and state of the modern era but also providing assistance in the search for lingering traces of Chinese tradition.
While it may bear the title Shan Shui Within (with “Shan Shui” referring to mountains and waters), neither the landscape commonly portrayed in ancient Chinese paintings and scrolls, nor the development of new ink and wash in a modern context or far-fetched connections between contemporary art and traditional ink painting, will be put on display. Waters and mountains will instead be featured as a poetic representation, a spiritual refuge from worldly life, a channel for Chines e people to communicate with the universe, and a hometown for every delicate, untutored and loyal Chinese heart. Contrary to Western aesthetics, Chinese artists, ancient and contemporary alike, engage themselves in a dialogue with nature with an air of grandeur, simple elegance, and deep introspection. They are also able to express an object’s shape, brightness, and texture in a variety of artistic forms and styles thanks to their insights from astronomical observations and geographical surveys. The way that these artists transmit the messages pouring out from their own egos, blending internal mental subjects with the external physical world, shall therefore be the primary focus of this upcoming and awaited event.
Serving as an outlook between contemporary and historical art and a reflection between the macro and personal world, Shan Shui Within hopes to display the kaleidoscopic contemporary art world along with its creative approaches. With an assembly of works by artists of many ages who use numerous mediums and express in diverse formats, the exhibition will reveal the transformations and connections between artistic practices from differen t eras through the concepts of various subjects, types of imag ery, landscapes, mediums and observations.
The ultimate goal of this exhibition is for the works to move beyond the restrictive enclosures of museums and find themselves on display within schools and communities as part of the “Art Momentum” project, which aims to bring contemporary art to the people.
Shan Shui Within runs from 3 September until 20 November @ Museum Of Contemporary Art. People’s Park, 231 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Huangpi Bei Lu. Web: www.mocashanghai.org