Unveil The Red Curtain curated by Feng BoyiMeng Jin, Wang Shugang
21 Sep - 03 Nov, 2007 | 10 Chancery Lane Gallery

Unveil The Red Curtain, curated by Feng Boyi

September 21st – November 3rd 2007 

Feng Boyi, China’s most active curator, a man with his finger on the pulse of the art scene, brings to Hong Kong a powerhouse of new work from five outstanding artists. Having curated the controversial show “Fuck Off” in 2000 with Ai Weiwei in opposition to the Shanghai Biennial that turned China’s head upside down, the theme ‘Unveil the Red Curtain’ is a move beyond the direct reflections and interpretations of the Cultural Revolution.  This progression does away with the need to refer directly to themes of the ‘Red Classics’ thus the work shown does not have obvious references to Mao, Tiananmen Square and other iconic Chinese imagery, rather it invokes memories of recent times in modern day China. 

Feng Boyi’s strength as a curator relies on his depth of knowledge, his strong convictions and sense of humour; these characteristics are shared by all of the artists he has worked with on this project.   They are: Meng Jin (Photography), Yu Fan (Sculpture), Song Dong (Videography), Wang Shugang (Installation), Jing Kewen (Painting).

Jing Kewen is at the height of his powers as a painter.  His figurative paintings represent a new generation of feelings of a sort of nostalgia for the innocence that once existed in China. Through the new market economy and China’s rush for modernization, Jing Kewen portrays the faces and feelings of a bright future that didn't necessarily come from a dismal past. Retro in feeling, his paintings are neither yesterday, today nor tomorrow.

Meng Jin’s photographs of chandeliers printed on rice paper are an exceptional example of modern technology and beauty.  The photographs were taken at meeting rooms in the People’s Parliament and the blurry somewhat grey images show the ambiguity of light and dark and of vanishing power in times of change.  His works have been exhibited in London, New York, Seoul and in Italy. 

Wang Shugang: Apartment Block Life. Wang recently returned to Beijing after spending ten years abroad and continues to work in both China and Germany. Wang’s latest sculptures in 'Apartment Block Life' are more pointed and less abstract than previous works. They reflect Wang's role as a witness to the new Chinese society taking shape around him.  For this exhibition, and for the first time, he employs three contrasting mediums to reflect the varied character of contemporary life; birdcages and sculptural models.

Yu Fan’s Mr. W and Miss L, affectionately thought of as ‘troubled teens’ are fiberglass statues that are both monumental in size and also in stance yet the work retains a fragility that reflect Yu Fan’s vision of today’s China in transition.   They are as awe inspiring as any traditional monument. 

Song Dong has been a significant figure in the development of Chinese conceptual art since the early 1990s. His practice incorporates performance, photography, projection, video and installation. Emerging from a strong Beijing-based avant-garde performance art community, Song Dong explores notions of perception and the ephemeral nature of existence. In his short video pieces, Song Dong uses sequenced images to explore a rapidly modernizing China and to capture notions of transience and illusion in contemporary society.