Xiao Yu (b. 1965, Inner Mongolia) graduated from the Mural Painting Department at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1989 and now lives and works in Beijing. He was invited to participate in international exhibitions including La Biennale di Venezia, Lyon Biennial of Contemporary Art, Shanghai Biennale and Guangzhou Triennial including the Offsite Project at the Royal College of Art in London. He has exhibited works at Centre Pompidou, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum Japan, Seoul Art Museum, Bern Art Museum Switzerland, NAMOC, Shanghai Art Museum, Guangdong Art Museum, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), Pace Gallery Beijing and other eminent exhibition spaces. He was awarded the Chinese Contemporary Art Award (CCAA) in 2000.
Oblivion, the new solo exhibition of Xiao Yu, will present a series of most recent works of the artist. The exhibition will be on view at Pace Beijing from September 12 to October 24.
Xiao Yu has always focused his art practice on the contemplation of human conditions in the past two decades, using multiple visual expressive media and inviting audiences participating into the thinking of their own situations.
In Oblivion, Xiao Yu introspects the contemporary life, whose characterization is rapid phase-out, by examining contemporary view of consumption. However, the artist has no intention to offer clear-cut moral judgments, but a conscious personal response to such situations.
The exhibition will be composed of three chapters: Forget, Think, and Dream. In the first chapter, Xiao Yu takes the craft model ofThe Liaoning– China’s first aircraft carrier – as a primer and sample to be a metaphor of the era of consumption: when the most advanced weapon been made into a craft model with the nature of exchange as gifts, its practicality had been transformed into aesthetics and consumptions; meanwhile, it enters into a rapid cycle which was internalized in its status as a consumable – it is this “quick update”, together with “rapid abandonment/oblivion”, that consist the paradoxical dialectics of contemporary life.
Furthermore, the artist stripes off the realistic metaphorical functions of the aircraft carrier. He puts the political proposition of consumption into an aesthetic category by re-painting these weapon models. At the same time, he makes interactive video games of the carrier’s image, which opens up the possibilities of contemplation from the aesthetic and cognitive level.
The artist intends to avoid any premature conclusions of moral judgments. Instead, he guides the viewers to focus on third-party factors beneath the phenomenon in the exhibition’s second chapter. The artist presents and suggests exquisitely the always-existed presence of “third-party” and its intervention into people’s behaviors and even concepts. The artist concretizes intangible impacts of the “third-party” through installations and videos, and he gives out a personal response in the exhibition’s final chapter.
Visual transmission has always been the core of Xiao Yu’s language of creation. In this exhibition, more than 20 works will be on view that cover various forms, such as ready-mades, videos, paintings, and interactive new-media installations.
The exhibition will be on view until October 24th .