2013.08.31 Sat, by Translated by: 梁舒涵
Glance: Dog Days in 798

August is upon us in all its lethargic glory—a sense also pervading the galleries as some rather lackluster Summer shows last into their final (or fill-in) weeks before new Autumn openings. A walk through the main spaces in 798 this week takes one past Guo Fengyi’s totemic scribbles at Long March Space (linked with her works shown in “Encyclopaedic Palace” at the Venice Biennale this year). Next door, Space Station is currently host to an eye-level frieze of mountains fashioned from tin foil by Shi Jinsong and Ouyang Wendong. Some burnt areas on the wooden backing suggest smoke signals or shadow, and plinths arranged on the floor hold clay models of shell-like shapes and lumpen forms. Incense and a slow-strumming Chinese soundtrack complete a contrived picture there.

Guo Fengyi, “Gazes at a Graph of the Eight Trigrams of the Sun from Afar”, colored ink on paper, 149.5 x 103.7 cm, 1989
郭凤怡,《遥视太阳八卦分图》,水彩,149.5 x 103.7 cm, 1989

Round the corner at Tang Contemporary, Ji Zhou toys with Baselitz’s idea of inversion, according to the wall text “…To raise attention and to challenge artistic expression as well as social condition.” [sic]. What follows is a mountain scene conjured from paper maps, plus a series of plinths (again) on which items like a stack of paper and a tyre have been replicated in a milky matt grey and half dipped as if into the mirrored surface of the support. On the walls hang grisaille paintings of upside down Christmas trees and a ladder, among other objects. The show corresponds unfortunately with the grey, muggy weather outside.

Zhao Bo, “Revelation No. 3″, 250 x 360 cm, 2012
赵博,《启示—3号》,综合材料,250 x 360 cm, 2012

At Soka Art Centre is a combination of the sort of forested, blue-toned, ethereal oil painting mode that is not unfamiliar at the moment (this time by Zhao Bo) and some more bucolic Yunnan paintings by Xun Guipin, who enjoys painting cockerels. Across 798’s “Originality Square” at Pace is a solo show by Yin Xiuzhen, whose sculptures covered in cheap clothes sewn together continue to multiply. Amongst the works on show here are a bed of fabric cigarette butts in a glass case on the floor, a strange yellow raft with shiny exhaust pipes protruding from all sides and—the most imaginative and economical work—a stuffed, cream-coloured wool stocking hanging from a knot at the ceiling to a child’s shoe at floor level. A solo exhibition by Shirin Neshat persists at the adjacent Faurschou Foundation. Magician Space is host to a series of sculptures and a video by Yu Honglei. These are designed to express his anxiety concerning objects and their (re)encounter; it is not, despite the brief, a heavy-handed show—nor is it strongly memorable. Finally, at UCCA, you can still see a year’s worth of Tehching Hsieh’s mug-shots, and stuff doused in white resin by Teppei Kaneuji.

Tehching Hsieh, “One Year Performance 1980-1981″, installation view (courtesy UCCA)