No Format Gallery, London, UK
Lisa Chang Lee 李昶
Haili Sun孫海力，Yingsheng Yang楊迎生，Le Guo郭洛，Jeremy Lee李培宇，Tian Mu田牧，Lisa Chang Lee李昶，Lin Yiman林依蔓
2015年冬天，我與6位藝術家相約在倫敦中國城的Waxy Little Sister 小酒吧中，那時候我對6個藝術家的作品還知之甚少，更多的還僅僅停留在私交。本來只是尋常Catchup的一次聚會確最終生發了策劃《隔岸》這個群展的想法，而這個當時沒有現成作品的展覽提案無疑是一次有意思的新嘗試。我在想如何能夠找到一個獨特而寬泛又適應於倫敦地域性觀眾的展覽主題，同時又不過多介入藝術家個體的創作過程從而提供一個最自由的伸展空間。於是我將關註點放在了幾個藝術家的生平經歷身上，發現六個人的出生年代實際跨越了60-90年代中國近代歷史變化天翻地覆的40年。初到英國時無論學習或工作，心理狀態和對西方文化的接受度也有著天壤之別。作為藝術家如何看待和定位自我，個體和根植於血液中的文化背景也直接影響著藝術家的創作狀態和外在形式。我隨即索性將《隔岸》作為展覽主題，影射性的帶出一個方向，它既可以指身份，故土和徙居之地的關系，又可以是藝術家和作品之間有意識和無意識，邏輯性與直覺性的關系；既可以是對個人情懷和地域的話題，又可以是廣泛的抽象思考，藝術表達再到被解讀過程的探索。而整個展覽最終也呈現了這樣一個對比鮮明又多角度，多媒介的結果。我由衷地希望展覽的落幕不僅是一個事件（event）的結束，它更能夠帶來一些小小的撞擊和潛在的新可能。
“Far and Few 【Between】” explores identity from the perspective of Chinese expats now living in the UK. Considering
geographical, cultural and political boundaries, this exhibition examines the physical and psychological relationships between individuals, races, history and environments. The concept also implies a circular act of gaze occurring between artists, artworks and their audiences, where visualisation, interpretation, and ambiguities are nourished. This exhibition examines the activity of observing; the projection of the self and consciousness; ones understanding of the outside world; and the seemingly definitive conclusions drawn from such acts of observing, projecting and understanding.
Where the exhibition begins
It was in the winter of 2015, I and other 6 artists gathered in the pub Waxy Little Sister in Chinatown, which was meant to be a casual catch-up kind of thing but ended up with the idea of having a group exhibition. I was very much honored to be commissioned as the curator for the show, a show that hadn’t had a concept neither any artwork yet, without doubt, I believed it would be a challenging experience as well as an interesting approach, for I was not familiar with most of the artists practice but only as personal connections.
I was considering ways to compose a theme as unique and broad as possible also not overly interfering with each artist’s outcome.Since there was no work to be referred to, the initiation of the concept became merely about the people and how they possibly would echo to the abstract—a few verbal words.I hence noticed that the year of birth of each artist actually crosses four decades in Chinese modern history, when the country underwent the most dramatic change in the past millennium. Therefore each of us has distinctive personal histories compared with each other and observing the western world though different lenses. It has also enriched our artistic practice into diverse forms and ways of communication with audiences. Hence I chose ‘Far and Few Between’ as the theme implying an relatively obscure direction which can be the relationship between expats, habitats and their homelands or, more abstractly, logic,artistic expression and interpretation. Eventually the exhibition has indeed ended up presenting multiple levels of perspective in different dimensions and I sincerely hope the closure of the show is not seldom a closure of an event but also bringing up a bit of further impact, like a poker, so to unveil some potential possibilities.
Lisa Chang Lee
Born in 1960 in Sichuan, China, Haili Sun has been working and living in the UK for over 20 years. The artist seeks to explore artificial materials in order to ‘permeate’ natural materials or environment to gain a new experience in a visual and psychological way.
In “Curled Fugue”， as the artist explained, a fugue is a polyphonic musical composition technique prevalent during the Baroque period. It is built on a theme which frequently repeats, and the term is derived from the Latin word meaning ‘to chase’ or ‘to fly’. This musical form is transformed into a material form in this work, to deliver the effect of twisted emotions and the dilemmas of a changing environment. The ‘border’ is formed of the artist’s travel tickets, postcards and maps. Whereas in the “Untitled”,the artist mixed PVA glue and plant sap. This mix was used to making ‘casts’ of various parts of his body, creating a ‘skin debris’. These ‘casts’ are collaged, restoring the whole body onto five broken glass. The artist attempts to explore the fragile physical and spirit struggling to break free, as well as the spiritual illusory.
Born in the early 1960s , Yingsheng Yang has been living and working in UK for over 30 years. Yang’s artistic attention has always been on how to combine Western contemporary ideas with his own cultural traditions. The exhibition display two works from him “invisible ” and ” the other side “.
“ invisible” focused on a straight line drawn on a creased paper , then unfold the paper, It turns out in the middle part of straight line left a vacant slot still.
” The other side ” is a site specific installation work, the window entrance from the space look alike a cabin window while symbolic human figure standing and yearning outside, It can be also seen from the outside by passers-by through all these windows to the interior space. Both in each other’s other side. In Yang’s words”From a visual point of view, 2D and 3D are relative to one another; reality and illusion are just the same. By using paper cutouts as a medium, I have set out to explore the possibilities of this phenomenon and produced a work that challenges the viewers way of seeing an object. “
Koan means paradoxical anecdote or a riddle that has no solution; used in Zen Buddhism to show the inadequacy of logical reasoning。
Born in the 60s, London based artist Le Guo who has lived and worked in UK for 26 years exhibited 2 installations for the show. A hugely ambitious work that boasts glass wool wrapped in black plastic tubes is installed by a petition facing the gallery entrance. The body seems to sprawl out from the white wall whereas wrapped metal skeleton vaguely reflected spills of flashes from the sharp fine lines from the wound cotton silver metal. The work is named Koan means paradoxical anecdote or a riddle that has no solution; used in Zen Buddhism to show the inadequacy of logical reasoning.
“Sacrifice” – the work presents a peeled gilt pomegranate as holy altar is monumentally placed on a rusty candlestick, by the time passing, the freshly dripping purple pomegranate starts to rot from inside and gilt shriveled appearance still remains intact on its own, a gold chain flow out, dangled in the wind. This altar candlestick was discarded by church and now left to return to its materiality itself. The ppomegranate, as a metaphor of connecting Eastern and Western religions, is commonly used in different cultures has also been presented in the form of reality.
Artist Jeremy Lee was born in late 70s, Beijing. After spending the childhood there, he moved to Hong Kong with his family. He has now lived and worked in London over a decade.
Jeremy unified readymade object as a way to shift its own function, transform and present something which is urging people to re-imagine through connecting humor and ridicule. The new work he created for the show is given name as ” Not working”. The artwork from the original idea of a broken hairdryer blowing hot air to a handmade transparent plastic bag composed of ” hot air balloon ” metaphorical reflecting angry and fall into the scenario. The artist has no intention to touch much political metaphor regardless of how much laughing off from audience, which for the artist is not a matter of the fact. In his own words, “perhaps I just want to scold a f***** “
Born in 80s, Tian Mu has lived in London over 7 years. He often uses a narrative way with found objects formed with reconstruction, rehabilitation and grafting. These actions originated in the artist’s fascination with its collection of objects . They are removed from the basic functionality then become individuals and somehow vacuumed to be independent existence. The artist applied a series of re-creation, discuss self and the known in an elegant and witty way to explore such as human identity and body reflection. Regarding the fear in relation to his childhood incidents when fell into a ditch infested by insects. This leads to a conclusion where he expresses this concern of the dissolution of the boundaries between fiction and reality as a metaphor to seek living creatures and transmigration.
Lisa Chang Lee
Born in 80s, Lisa Chang Lee has been working in both London and Beijing for 4 years . Penetrated with the idea that ‘mentality is always ahead of languages ‘, Lisa Chang Lee’s work involves various mediums including moving images, sound, still images (printmaking, photography, drawing, etc.) to achieve an interactive stage of transmission between artist and the audiences. Whatsoever her work is always tactfully refined to be minimal and seemingly effortless. The intention anchors deeply to the oriental philosophy- the nothingness and harmlessness, revealing the artist’s perspective of individual existence, sensations, experience of time and space alternations.
The exhibited work Habitat-1 stemmed from the artist’s experience of bird viewing a destination city while taxing. The duration of anxious and restless gaze seeking traces of familiar blocks,streets, buildings, windows, following a certain common formula of human habitat. The artist is intrigued by the contradiction between everyday experience in a city and being ‘unplugged’ then driven-off to see the machinery from above. The non-perspective landscape is reconstructed by numerous small frames. It becomes a patterned scroll of an organic body, whereas individuals are faded away from the scene.
Lin Yiman was born in 1990 to the south of China and has long been focused on living status of expats and multi-cultural realms in the age of globalization. The exhibited video works “Fuxing Supermarket”, in the perspective of an objective lens, is located in a Chinese supermarket in London. Began with a scene filled with Oriental goods throughout the shelves, the camera was set objectively inside the shop. All of such are almost disorientating. Not until London’s iconic red double-decker bus, mixed Chinese and English dialogues with western customers walking in and out, an viewer could finally reconnect to the place, which underlying an integration of conceptual base added to her international cultural identity. In contrast with the work “Habitat -1” allocated in the same room, Lin Yiman’s work looks at a city from a completely different angle. Instead of zooming out, the camera was zoomed into a micro cell of the machinery telling narratives of people by withdrawing cross－sections of reality.