Gallery: Pékin Fine Arts
Artist(s): Phénix Varbanov
Opening / Event Date: 28 Jul, 2023
Closing / End Date: 30 Sep, 2023
MINE PROJECT is pleased to present the solo exhibition, “Interrupted Dream”, by Chinese artist Xiong Jiaxiang (b.1991, Shanghai, China). Curated by Zhang Chen, this exhibition features the artist’s latest installations and sculptures and creates a physical space to reach the intricacy between reality and virtuality while attempting to interrupt the temporary dreams constructed on the massive image production today. It is the artist’s first solo exhibition as well as the first exhibition with the gallery.
Viewing imagery as the medium, dragging and fracturing as the gesture, Xiong thermal transfers the virtual images shot by phones or screenshots on computers onto elastic fabric, and, in turn, places the distorted images into everyday scenes to capture, reprint and distort them anew. The repetition constructs the dialectics between virtuality and reality, revealing the various discrepancies embedded in image production and consumption. In his recent sculptures, the dialogue between the two grows into an even more complicated context. Through a publicly well-known image research engine of Taobao, an absurd connection has been established between an up-side-down red portrait and works of Francis Bacon. Concerning only the external similarity, the algorithm bypasses the internal logic in reality; nonetheless, on the other hand, the massive data and the strict calculation seem to be conferring a sense of authority on the result. The consequent contradiction does not only inspire the artist to work on his recent Triptychs (2020-2022), but also contributes to the possibility for him to further transfer the virtual, online image production into real, concrete sculptures.
Through uploading the images of his works onto Taobao repetitively and purchasing the algorithm-approved, recommended products constantly, Xiong’s studio is again occupied by the unrelated, bizarre objects, which are filling up the exhibition venue as if from an alternative dimension. These real products have given up their past attributes and identity, turning into sculptures that have escaped from the world order, that cannot be logically manipulated and that cannot be explicated by words. Yet, among Xiong’s sculptures, there are books that do not lack letters and words. The work, Thirteen Books (2022), exhibits 13 books from different fields, selected and recommended by Taobao. They are solemnly sitting there as saints but, still, being circumvented and disturbed by sexy lingerie, children’s toys and cookies, as everyone of us who are suffering from the manipulation and intrusion of big data today.
Likewise, the words have also escaped from the linguistic regulation and, with the external images, in the process of Xiong’s production and reproduction, have entered into a new, inexplicable, chaotic principle, cutting off the navel string that sustains the illusionary dreams.
(This article refers to and quotes much from the one, Interrupted Dream: Xiong Jiaxiang and Image written by the curator, Zhang Chen)
– About the Artist –
Xiong Jiaxiang (b.1991, Shanghai, China) focuses on image installation with mixed media. He has long investigated the conditions of image production and its impact. His works are always in dialogue with important works in the history of art. He combines his thoughts with the ideas of important artists in history, but quite personally and stubbornly contradicts them and puts them into practice.
Fabric-based everyday items are the symbol of Xiong’s practice. They are used to trigger collective and personal memory and social history, put attention on and capture the generation of the body, virtual and reality. His works present the contradictory dilemma in contemporary people’s life and examine cultural phenomena such as pop culture and the physical nature, everyday nature, and landscape of life. They are metaphors for and capture the “flow of modernity” that exist in contemporary society because of the globalization of capital, and oppose the abstract universality brought by globalization. Xiong Jiaxiang uses an elegant and dynamic narrative method to describe the world, as well as the virtual initiative he holds in himself to create images, creating a universal and new emotional connection with the world. In his view, the “rupture” between the images is the place where poetry is stored.
Xiong Jiaxiang received his MFA in 2018 from the University of the Arts Bremen. The artist lives and works in Beijing.