Current Exhibitions

    • Date
      2017.03.04 - 05.28
    • Artist
      Li Xiaofei, Deng Dafei, Lu Song, Hu Yun, Luo Bin, Ren Yaning, Chen Qiulin, Ju Ting
    • Curator
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OCAT Xi'an 2017 Spring Exhibitions

The theme of exhibitions at OCAT Xi’an this spring is “environments”. This is explored in moving images, photographs, and research projects which investigate individual lives as well as changing communities. In the works of eight artists, we cover a wide range of ideas and experiences of very different environments.
 
In its broadest sense, the word “environment” means the very world we live in. That world takes slightly different forms depending upon where we live, but no matter where that might be, everywhere today people share the experience of certain phenomena in common. In China, the most obvious effect of global warming and the rapid development of urban centres is the phenomenon of air pollution. Desertification and water shortages are caused by changes in agriculture and the growth of cities, whilst water supplies are contaminated by factory waste. Another phenomenon is the mass migration of communities from the countryside to the cities? What are the long-term environmental issues of large numbers of people moving into expansive urban complexes? But what do these issues mean to us?
 
Art is a great way to learn about how these effects take hold and a good means of channelling emotional responses. Exceptional artworks make us care about issues in ways we had not previously imagined. Examining different “environments”, Li Xiaofei, Deng Dafei and Lu Song each present one of the main solo projects at OCAT Xi’an this spring, expressing their personal observations in strikingly individual ways.
 
In an on-going documentary film project titled Assembly Line, Shanghai-New-York based Li Xiaofei records the flow of small-scale production lines in factories that produce basic daily commodities like salt, coal or copper, cigarettes and chocolate. The factories are often small and the production processes dirty, yet as framed by a camera lens even the most polluting of materials can exude an unexpected beauty. How does that make us feel? This is a question Assembly Line tackles to great effect.
 
Deng Dafei takes us on journeys through the city fringe, where the outward sprawl of urban centres into suburban areas is colonising large tracts of land that were once in the service of agriculture. For his Project of Ruin, the artist uses the traditional art form of rubbing, using rice paper and ink to achieve a facsimile of a textured surface, to document places on the fringes of the city in the process of being disappeared.
 
In his painting, Beijing-based Lu Song also wanders through the shifting landscapes that are evolving on the edge of urban environments. Similar to the visual beauty that Li Xiaofei finds in assembly lines, Lu Song’s brooding vision, at times magical, at other darkened by a haunting disquiet, lulls viewers into a duplicitous mood of serenity before awaking us to its deeper message.
 
 
OCAT Xi’an Spring Exhibitions runs from March 4, to May 28, 2017.
 
 
For their assistance with Li Xiaofei’s project, we would like to thank Jacky Yue and Rebecca Catching; Between Art Lab, Shanghai and Beijing for support with Deng Dafei’s project; Li Lanfang, Li Wendong and other private collectors for the loan of works by Lu Song; DonGallery, Shanghai, for support of the exhibition; for support of Hu Yun’s project, Aike Dellarco Gallery, Shanghai; for support of Chen Qiulin, A Thousand Plateaus Gallery, Chengdu; and for assistance with Ju Ting’s project, Star Gallery, Beijing.
 


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