Some Place Else Featuring: Han Bing, Yu Hang, Wang Ningde and Zhang Xianyong
LIMN is pleased to present Some Place Else, a group exhibition of four Chinese photographers who explore the realm of a dream state despite the harsh realities of a new Chinas economic, cultural and political shifts. All four photographers work and live in Beijing and Shanghai.
Han Bing has been at the forefront of contemporary Chinese art since the early nineties. His photographic work is a continuous response to the changes taking place in China either culturally or economically. His newest series The Theater of Modernization is a carefully choreographed body of work. Varied cast of characters positioned atop of a sand filled claw of an industrial bulldozer replicate the well-known propaganda posters of the Cultural Revolution period. However, laborers, soldiers and businessmen are happily mingling, each taking a turn at the central position. Obviously it is a dream Han Bing aspires too. Despite its classless aspirations, Chinas social classes are strongly defined and hierarchy still prevails. Yu Hang is a young woman who chose to comment on her genders status in China. To this date, Chinese women are still subjected to discrimination. Yu reinvents the womans position through the courtesan culture, which existed before the Cultural Revolution; Staged as tableaux from ancient silk screens, a young woman is wearing fabulous attire, headpiece and displays elaborate tattoos personifying the woman as an object. But the woman also portrays¬ herself as strong and powerful like a warrior, a kind of Joan of Arc or Mu-Lan. Wang Ningdes hauntingly black and white photographs capture the sense of isolation one might long for. Despite a very tight society ruled by the idea of altruism, Wangs characters keeping eyes closed, appear to be dreaming, escaping reality to venture outside the conformity and to pursue their personal ideals. For Zhang Xianyong, self-portraiture is at the core of his work. He is inspired by both traditional story telling such as the Chinese Opera and the old masters from the Romantic period, Zhang Xianyongs work is fresh and humorous, reflecting the dilemma of finding a place inside modern China that has one foot in the past and another in the inevitable globalization of the present. In his latest series entitled Hallucinations, Zhang Xianyong travels through times and lands. As a matter of fact, a multitude of Zhangs navigate life with a childs imagination, leaving behind the tough realities of living on the street. His work will be shown during the upcoming Moscow Biennale.