EX: 1/30/2012
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2014.03.06 Thu, by Translated by: Fei Wu
Once: He An, Colin Chinnery, Zhang Hui

Once: Colin Chinnery He An Zhang Hui
Tang Contemporary Art (Gate No.2, 798 factory, Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China),December 21st, 2013 – March 5th, 2014

At Once, video works playing on three large projection screens take up most of the darkened exhibition space at Tang Contemporary in Beijing. Though the horror film soundtrack in the background creates a sense of unease, nothing horrible is actually happening. At first, the only thing viewers see are shots of disembodied arms or legs repeatedly kicking or punching, forming an exhibition landscape so obscure there are virtually no external references for the viewer to grasp. A second or even third viewing adds nothing to one’s understanding, but if one approaches the exhibition intuitively, setting aside the habits of logic, then one might happen upon the turnkey into the show’s intent.

In addition to He An’s wushu footwork, the videos also focus on Colin Chinnery’s hands as he moves through wushu movements (the artist played a role in martial arts film Kids from Shaolin in his early years). Zhang Hui’s contribution draws from his childhood connection with railroads, and documents a ticket-seller in close-up as he works. The link between these three videos is as tenuous and subtle as He An’s installations at the other side of the exhibition space. “Wind Light” maintains the usual “temporal” feel of his work – tangled around low eaves and columns made of wooden boards, wires spark as oil seeps down the corner of a wall and pools on a temporary platform. The installation is reminiscent of the poetic ruination of his piece “I am Curious Yellow I am Curious Blue”. Colin Chinnery’s installation composes a minimalist Garden of Eden with “Woman no.1”, “Man no.1”, and “Snake”, and is the only part of the exhibition accessible to interpretation. In the installation, eyes cut out of existing images such as famous paintings are glued to the branches of welded steel stands. Metal branches also protrude (densely this time) from a similar installation of Chinnery’s entitled “Face in the Night” – at the end of each branch is a black and white cutout of a political figure’s mouth, among them, Stalin’s and Kim Jong Il’s are most recognizable; the mouths are arranged from top to bottom in order of gravity of expression, but interpreting the piece’s political or tactical intent from the usual angles is largely unnecessary, which forms a possible contradiction to original intent.

The fact of the matter is, the title of this collaborative show between He An, Colin Chinnery, and Zhang Hui is Once. This is the first time the three have worked together, and the first foray any of them have made into the unfamiliar territory of video art; in doing so, they sought the unfamiliar and strange, while experimenting and attempting to achieve an intuitive harmony – a sort of “rightness” inaccessible to the written word.

Colin Chinnery、He An、Zhang Hui, “Once”, three channel high definition video loop, 6′ 5“, 2013
何岸、秦思源、张慧,《一次》,三屏高清同步循环录像,6′ 5“,2013

Zhang Hui, “Landscape”, acrylic on canvas, 150×400 cm, 2013
张慧, 《风景》, 布面丙烯, 150×400 cm, 2013

Colin Chinnery, “Snake”, mixed media, 155×17×10 cm, 2013
秦思源, 《蛇》, 综合材料, 155×17×10 cm, 2013