Art News

Felix Gonzalez-Torres @ Rockbund Art Museum

The exhibition is a comprehensive view of work by the late American artist, who is renowned for his unconventional methodology and poignant sensitivity. The unique nature of his work takes this exhibition beyond a retrospective; it constitutes a genuine renewal of his art.
Selected from 30 institutions and collections across the world, the exhibition includes over 40 pieces, spanning from 1987 to 1994, invites audiences to contemplate issues, both public and private, which are still relevant today. Throughout his work, the tension between the public and private, the shared and the personal, comprises a recurrent theme for Gonzalez-Torres. Many of the artist’s works consist of everyday objects, such as strings of light bulbs, mirrors, wall clocks or printed sheets of paper. Other works are comprised of spills of candy, mirrors and jigsaw puzzles. His artwork itself is like a puzzle, but lacking a univocal order. Its demure minimal aesthetic solicits the audience to put the pieces together for themselves, inviting a plurality of pictures to emerge.
One of the most intriguing aspects of this exhibition is the dramatic shift in the historical and cultural context of the artworks as they travel to Shanghai. Much of Gonzalez-Torres’ work allows the environment to challenge and alter its aesthetic. By staging the exhibition in contemporary China, it will open up the artist’s work to a new context, as a 21st century Chinese public confronts its message for the first time. It is well known
that Gonzalez-Torres produced his work in the 80s and 90s, in an American society and art community profoundly affected by the AIDS epidemic. However, it would be a mistake to engage with his work as simply dealing with homosexual issues or the AIDS crisis. These issues represent that circumstances under which the work were made and can be understood as platforms for exploring human values, relationships and aspirations at large, both in the artist and in the viewer.
Felix Gonzalez-Torres runs until 25 December @ Rockbund Art Museum. 20 Huqiu Lu, near Beijing Dong Lu. Tel: 3310 9985. Web:
Snacks @ Power Station Of Art
Art is snacks, life is dinner. With the participation of 38 artists and artist groups and their unique art works, the exhibition showcases the unclassifiable ideas, experiments and experiences of diverse lifestyles in different places all over the world.
Snacks are the unnecessary comfort outside the main meals of the day. People will make mistakes for this momentary joy and squander time in pursuit of a particular choice.“Snacks” started as a publication launched in 2008 that was created, edited and published by artists and designers. It eventually led to collaborations with over two hundred artists from all over the globe, some of which are presenting their works in this exhibition.
“Snacks” the exhibition, presents the content as well as the “packaging”. Surprisingly, the exhibition hall and the hallway share the same length, which gives the exhibition hall an additional function: passage. It is also here that this bridge without a landscape and the concrete building with few pedestrians face each other in quietude — this is an autonomous “city.” And autonomy is exactly the condition for the survival of the artists in “Snacks”: no interfering with each other or intentional communication. In this autonomous and improvisational environment, the artists perform their experimentations with great latitude, improvising on the spot. They utilise modelling, configuration and colours to create “noises”. Their performance is intuitive and anxious, and in disturbing and stimulating our sensory nerves, it evokes in us the yearning for, and memories of, the festival. The artists in “Snacks” gather through the form of an exhibition, but they have every intention to transform it into a happy revolt and a celebration that cannot be written in history.
Snacks runs until 16 October @ Power Station Of Art. 200 Huayuangang Lu, near Miaojiang Lu. Tel: 3127 8535. Web:

Jiang Pengyi Solo Show: Grace @ ShanghART Gallery

Two series of works, Trace and Grace, are showcased in Main and H Space respectively. In conjunction with the exhibition of the same title, Grace, a large-scale gelatine silver photograph series in black and white, marks the artist’s endeavours in returning to the traditional darkroom as well as to the antique photo developing technology. Another new Polaroid series Trace, sized in 8’’×10’’, breaks the limitation of the shooting mode of photography, which is a continuous practice formed under the artist’s conception of light and imagery.
Grace, an array of large-scale gelatine works delicately records the ineffable, magnificent landscapes that have invariably evolved since the origin of the earth. This series is captured from the Arctic Circle and various countries in the Southern Hemisphere over a span of three years. The artist’s darkroom experimental series, Trace, captures the instant marks, which are imprinted by hands on the photosensitive medium. While the audience marvel at the intricate and exquisite tone of Grace, the other abstract series, Trace impresses us with its simplicity, lightness and swiftness simultaneously. Throughout years of persistent exploration, self-reflection and self-denial, Jiang’s works are created by experiencing both long-term contemplation and inspirational improvisation that present the broader, richer and in-depth momentum of his works.
Born in Yuanjiang, Hunan Province in 1977, Jiang Pengyi graduated from China Academy of Art, currently lives and works in Beijing. His creation articulates a genre of surreal spectacle and delicate narration of the scene primarily with photography and video, which reveals the consciousness and the ephemera of individuals.
Jiang Pengyi Solo Show: Grace runs until 23 October @ ShanghART Gallery. Bldg. 18 Moganshan Lu. Web: