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New Force VI:
The God of Small Things
Leo Gallery, Shanghai

Quite a contrary to the trend in Chinese contemporary art that often manifests grand narratives, including historical consciousness, social feelings, theoretical ambitions, intensity of landscape, etc. – many artists’ works contain a preference of subtle things and sensibilities. This preference is not only a matter of personal interest, but a method of the artist as well, starting with a concrete question and experience that is of personal concern, even though they do not appear to be “significant”. As a result, many of these artists’ works reveal the alienation of those tendencies of landscapes which were once popular or are still popular at the moment, including both visual and formal landscapes, as well as theoretical and lingual landscapes.


The expression of “The God of Small Things” comes from the title of a novel by Indian writer Arundhati Roy. The perspective of the child in the novel seems to have added a magnifying glass to the narration, the smallness and fragmentation that the child sees makes the abstract, integrated and reasonably established world seem dubious. However in this exhibition, “micro objects” in the context of art include not only small things in the objective world, but also temporal and relational features, or the imperceptible existential properties that are rapid or slow, weak or sensitive. The exhibition “The God of Small Things” also emphasizes the value of the exhibition space itself, and does not expect the space to be just a white cube. We combine the works with the architecture as well as the environment, to form a subtle micro context that is available through an intuitive sense.

—Curator: Bao Dong

It is Leo Gallery’s honour to hold in Shanghai the “New Force” exhibition in 2018 – The God of Small Things with curator Bao Dong. This is the sixth “New Force” exhibition, as well as one of Leo Gallery’s ten-year anniversary exhibition series. As one of the annual thematic exhibitions of Leo Gallery, “New Force” explores the motivation of contemporary art, and holds distinguishing features in the exhibition dates, concepts as well as the curatorial approach – The “New Force” series are held in springs, usually from March to May, reflecting the natural laws of rejuvenation and the awakening of all beings, exploring the new signs and movements of contemporary art that is in a rapid process of the new superseding the old. Meanwhile, “New Force” explores the intrinsic driving force which nurtures contemporary art development. Therefore, we have invited the curator to set the theme for this exhibition, to select artists and exhibits accordingly, and to invite audiences to participate in discussions. The exhibition, New Force VI – The God of Small Things, presents an “open” status with curators, artists, gallery and audiences discovering the themes and possibilities altogether.

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