Xiao Yu (b. 1965, Inner Mongolia) examines symbols associated with Chinese identity, as well as the ecology of the art world, through painting, drawing, sculpture, video, performance, and installation. He has participated in international exhibitions including La Biennale di Venezia, Lyon Biennial of Contemporary Art, Shanghai Biennale, the Offsite Project of the Guangzhou Triennial at the Royal College of Art, London, and the 15th Istanbul Biennial. In 2000, he was awarded the Chinese Contemporary Art Award. He is a founding member of the art group Polit-Sheer-Form-Office (PSFO), which takes a collective, humorous, and critical approach to contemporary Chinese culture. Xiao Yu has exhibited in group and monographic exhibitions at institutions worldwide, including Bern Art Museum, Switzerland; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Fukuoka Asian Art Museum; Guangdong Art Museum; Kunsthaus Graz, Austria; the National Art Museum of China, Beijing; Seoul Art Museum; The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; Shanghai Art Museum; and Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, among others.
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 .