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2014.02.27 Thu, by Translated by: 路弯弯
ShanghART’s Spectacles

“The Spectacle of the Spectacles”

ShanghART (9 Lock Road, #02-22, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 108937) Dec 20, 2013–Feb 3, 2014

Slipping (as usual, with apparent effortlessness) into the new year, ShanghART’s Singapore branch was recently host to an eclectic mixture of work in paint, photography, animation and installation by some of the more tenacious (though not all the loudest) names in Chinese art—Ding Yi, MadeIn Company, Shi Qing, Sun Xun, Shi Yong, Tang Maohong, Zhang Enli and Zhou Tiehai.

The topic is spectacle, after Guy Debord, combined with the choice of smaller works by artists who have also created large, so-called “spectacular” ones. The mood amongst them is smart, thoughtful and economical. Searching beneath the surface of, for example, a canvas saturated in crosses (Ding Yi), a wall crowded with small, badly-painted vignettes dictated by a kind of French dessert (Zhou Tiehai), or a small synthetic tent with a church spire on each side (MadeIn Company), one finds a depth of sardonic comment and confident observation. Indeed, this show might not have been so much about spectacle itself as anti-spectacle—the forms employed here seem to imply the crude shapes of society, surfaces and saturation; see also, for example, the little plaster mounds composing Shi Qing’s Volcano Museum series (2013) and Shi Yong’s photographic print of a gallery opening, crowed with identical guests—himself (“The Moon Will Be Seen Tonight–Gallery Scenery No.1”, 2002).

Debord has it that everything that surrounds us in society has been replaced by its own representation. This should indeed be a thrilling idea for artists; it was effectively turned over and channeled into different media through the works in this show, based on the subtle and different accounts of the individual participants.

Ding Yi, “Appearance of Crosses”, acrylic on canvas, 120 x 140 cm, 2013
丁乙,《十示》,布上丙烯,120 x 140 cm,2013

Zhou Tiehai, “Le juge”, 158 pcs in all of different size (the minimal one: 15 x 10cm; the maximal one: 40 x 53 cm), 2008
周铁海,《法官》,共158件, 尺寸不定,2008

Xu Zhen—Produced by MadeIn Company, “Safe House A”, tent poles and fabric, 320 x 210 x 140 cm, 2012
徐震--没顶公司出品,《安全屋 A》,帐篷撑杆及帆布,320 x 210 x 140 cm,2012

Shi Qing, “Volcano Museum No.1”, 50 x 50 x 33 cm; wood tower 16x 12 x 60 cm, 2013
石青,《火山美术馆 其一》,50 x 50 x 33 cm; 木制塔,16 x 12 x 60 cm,内部: 玻璃钢; 外部: 石膏及丙烯颜料,2013

Shi Yong, “The Moon Will Be Seen Tonight—Gallery Scenery No.1”, photograph/colour chromogenic print, 80 x 360 cm , 2002
施勇,《今晚有月亮-风景画廊1号》,摄影|彩色C-Print,80 x 360cm,2002