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Against the Light
Frank F. Yang Art and Education Foundation, Shenzhen

Curators: Hu Bin, Wu Mo

Presented By: Frank F. Yang Art and Education Foundation

Against the Light: Sampling in Two Cities attempts to take on a new perspective and approach in iterating the shared experiences and creative direction among young artists in the Pearl River Delta region, regarding Guangzhou and Hong Kong—these two developed art ecologies—as the containers for six artists and artist collectives, namely Chen Dandizi, Fong Fo, Kong Chun Hei, Tang Dayao, Tang Kwok Hin, Sarah Lai Cheuk Wah, whose artistic practices are observed and studied through this exhibition.


Against the Light proposes a perspective, inspired by the constant and strong daylight beating down on the two cities’ natural and urban environment, its efflorescence shaping the urban landscape and people’s ways of life and visual experiences. Today, life is evolving into urban luminosity, with smart devices and digital screens creating an “artificial backlight” effect in the post-modern condition. Since the 1970s, artists from Guangdong have adopted the notion of the “backlight” in rendering the experience of being “under the sun” that enriched a “model for the whole country”; the artists of the Pearl River Delta region have heretofore taken on multiple or counterintuitive perspectives in magnifying the “uncanniness” of their everyday life. Against the Light aims to offer new depth to this historical narrative, while embodying a spiritual quality of “going against the grain.”

As well, Frank F. Yang Art & Education Foundation is pleased to announce the inauguration exhibition of Spare Space in Shanghai.

All Said and Done Before the Fat Lady Sings: Developed from Spare Particles

December 13, 2017–May 12, 2018

Opening: December 12, 3pm

Address: Lane 56, #29 West Jianguo Road, Shanghai

Curators: Wang Dan, Jiang Jun

Artist: Shen Linghao

Spare Space is the third in a series of non-profit art spaces setup by the Frank F. Yang Art and Education Foundation (hereupon referred to as “the foundation”). Located in a converted, foreign-style dwelling in Shanghai’s historical French Concession, Spare Space is the first artistically galvanizing space to be built in Shanghai and the surrounding area. For this exhibition’s opening, curators WANG Dan and JIANG Jun were invited to jointly curate a solo show of US-based artist Shen Linghao, entitled All Said and Done Before the Fat Lady Sings—Developed from Spare Particles.

The term “spare” in the title stems from the name of the exhibition space. In turn, the term “spare particles” coincides with the artist’s use of photography as a medium for this exhibition, as well as his use of “photosensitive” materials. The phenomenon of “spare particles” refers to the faint light left lagging on a photosensitive object after the disappearance of a brighter one. The main work in the exhibition—Remnant: Spare Particles—attempts to visually and notionally present the act of “recollection” that takes place in the wake of memory’s “residual light”. Still, does “our” conversation really come to an end after the start of the exhibition? By means of recollection, Developed from Spare Particles attempts to open up a new discussion.

“Completion” and “(image) development” not only constitute a standstill, redolent of space left blank; more so, they evoke a multi-dimensional resonance. Showcasing individual artist-cases, this exhibition is only a starting point. Next, discussions held by various scholars, workshops, publications, live performances and other “incidents” based on the exhibition will help reconstruct the “spare” space, which in turn serves as a focal point for the convergence of historical context and the development of the immediate urban space.

It’s evident that theatricality prevails in contemporary art nowadays. The unveiling of an exhibition is no different from raising the curtain on a full-fledged drama, in which the various tasks require all actors to man their posts. Previous negotiations and conversations have prompted artist Shen Linghao to choose Developed from Spare Particles the underpinning concept of his solo show. In a number of images (e.g. the forum, the literati gathering, the harnessed garden, the theater), the artist and the curators use the tropes of “theater” and “curtain-raising” to vividly hint at the appearance of a “spare space.”

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