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2014.04.19 Sat - 2014.04.20 Sun
Opening Exhibition
06/19/2014 18:00
箭厂胡同38号 (国子监街内) 北京 100007 中国 38 Jianchang Hutong (off Guozijian Jie) Beijing, 100007 China
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Go Jian Quest – Wei-Li Yeh, Li Mo and Kong
[Press Release]

[Press Release]

2014.04.19 – 06.20

Arrow Factory is proud to announce a new installation by Taipei-based artist Wei-Li Yeh and Beijing-based architects Li Mo and Kong. The collaborative work Go Jian Quest emerges from an evolving narrative that traverses ancient and modern histories, conflicted territories and idiosyncratic personal trajectories. The story begins with a painting of a 5th century BCE King Go Jian that the artist found in an abandoned military compound in Kaohsiung in 2005. A king of the Yue State in ancient China, Go Jian’s name is synonymous with the conquering of one’s enemy and as such has served as a rallying call for leaders from the Ming and Qing dynasties up through the 20th century. Struck by the ways in which Go Jian’s narrative—a story that begins with him suffering defeat and humiliation at the hands of his enemy and ends with bitter strategizing for 20 years to conquer them successfully—was co-opted by the Kuomintang government to articulate the struggle between the island and the mainland, Yeh grew fascinated with the painting and began to incorporate it into his photographic works. Over time Yeh has allowed the wood-based painting to deteriorate naturally. Now in tattered fragments, pieces of the painting have been resurrected inside Arrow Factory and situated alongside additional objects that link its narrative of revival and renewal to a new set of contemporary registers. Among these is an electric massage chair, a gift bestowed to Li Mo’s grandfather, a retired government official. The chair stands now as a tongue-in-cheek counterpoint to Go Jian’s allegory of hardship, humiliation and perseverance.

Specially designed for Arrow Factory’s setting, Go Jian Quest emerges from a cross-strait collaboration between Taiwanese Wei-Li Yeh and Beijing-based Li Mo and Kong. Working together to create a work that mirrors their parallel yet isolated pasts, Yeh, Li and Kong consciously bring the vicissitudes of history to bear on Arrow Factory, a location with its own historical connections to spheres of governance and officialdom.

Wei-Li Yeh (b. 1971, Taiwan) immigrated to the United States at age 11 and returned to Taiwan in 2002. He received his master’s degree in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1997 but has been exhibiting his work internationally since 1990. In recent years Yeh’s work has been focused on investigating his own role within a particular living environment. These investigations have resulted in works that incorporate photography and text as well as site-specific engagements that explore relationships between collective practice and individual motivation against the backdrop of the Taiwan’s contemporary socio-political context. Yeh is represented by Hanart TZ Gallery in Hong Kong and currently resides in Yangmei, Taiwan.

Li Mo and Kong are working architects and Ph.D. students at the China Academy of Arts (CAA). Their studio, Calligraphy Architecture Studio or CAS, explores the space between theoretical speculation and craft and looks at the possibilities of developing new Chinese traditions through fusing contemporary meaning into vernacular architecture, art and design with calligraphy implications. Past exhibitions include “Three Principles of Illegal Architecture: Studying Illegal Architecture in Taipei,” participation in Wang Shu and Hsieh Ying-Chun’s “Illegal Architecture” in 2011 and “Eastern Promises: Contemporary Architecture and Spatial Practices in East Asia” of which one part traveled to the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna in 2013.