Guan Xiao at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler

Artist: Guan Xiao

Exhibition title: Living Sci-Fi, under the red stars

Venue: Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin, Germany

Date: April 28 – July 1, 2017

Photography: Holger Niehaus, all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin

For her second solo exhibition at the gallery, Beijing-based artist Guan Xiao (b. 1983 in Chongqing, China) looks at rapidly changing urban environments as they are transformed through the speed and influx of economic development and technology. Living Sci-Fi, under the red stars engages in an ecosystem built by humans. A place where the old world of the urban fringe with its dust, dirt, and violent roughness exists alongside the new world of dense high rise pillars, shiny glass buildings, and well-designed areas for entertainment and consumption.

Born into fragmented time and highly synthetic surroundings, fictitious creatures and seemingly animated objects populate the exhibition space. Guan Xiao investigates the patterns of relation between products, artifacts and nature. Her sculptures appear as mimicry of the world we inhabit. They explore our understanding of things and environments, not by employing theoretical concepts but in terms of existence and means of expression. Potentials for life show through the inorganic objects.

The exhibition also features Guan Xiao’s new video ‘Dengue Dengue Dengue‘, which she developed for the exhibition ‘A Temporary Futures Institute’ at M HKA, Antwerp. The three-channel video describes how habits contaminate our behavior, spreading around the world like an infectious disease. The infection is a transformation happening inside of us; the work calls for a retreat from these dynamics in order to learn the possibilities of breaking habits.

By using materials that belong to vocabularies of different cultures, Guan Xiao frees herself from the burden of the cliché of cultural otherness that is often attributed to artistic positions from the so-called margin of the western centers of art. Guan Xiao understands herself as a receiver of information from around the globe and beyond, and she fuses all its aspects to generate a distinct yet universal and critical voice that engages and speaks to all.

Guan Xiao (b. 1983) lives and works in Beijing. The question of the individual is central to Guan Xiao’s art, particularly the challenges of how one should not only navigate but harness the logic of time and technology, changing understandings of materiality, and the burden of history. The complex and vivid aesthetic of her works in various media, including sculpture and video, could be considered as deliberations on these conditions, where instant knowledge about the world can provide a myriad of inspirations and influences. Looking to represent the artist’s own liminal space as being locally rooted and globally connected, Guan Xiao’s highly experimental work synthesizes numerous references from across time and geographies.

Guan Xiao graduated from the Communication University of China and has exhibited internationally since 2007. Recent solo exhibitions took place at the K11 Art Foundation, Shanghai (2016) and at the ICA, London (2016). Her work has been featured in the 9th Berlin Biennale (2016) and was shown in exhibitions at the Jeu de Paume, Paris (2016); Marselleria, Milan (2016); the Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai (2015); the 13th Biennale de Lyon: La vie modern, Lyon (2015); Antenna Space, Shanghai (2015); 2015 Triennial: Surround Audience, New Museum, New York (2015); From a Poem to the Sunset, New Acquisitions of Contemporary Chinese and International Art, Daimler Contemporary Berlin (2015); Rare Earth, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna (2015); Don’t You Know Who I Am? Art After Identity Politics, M HKA Museum, Antwerp (2014); Something Happened Like never Happened, Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin (2014); Not a World – 7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale, OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, Shenzhen (2012); Floating – New Generation of Art in China, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul (2007).

Guan Xiao’s work is currently shown in the exhibitions ‘Jaguars and Electric Eels’ at Julia Stoschek Collection, Berlin and ‘A Temporary Futures Institute’, M HKA, Antwerp. Upcoming exhibitions include ‘Viva Arte Viva’, 57th Venice Biennale and ‘Future Eaters’ at MUMA, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne. Her work has been commissioned by The High Line, New York and is in the collections of K11 Art Collection, Hong Kong; Long Museum, Shanghai; Rubell Family Collection, Miami; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin; Julia Stoschek Collection Düsseldorf/Berlin; DSL Collection, M+ Collection, Hong Kong; Zabludovicz Collection, London; Daimler Art Collection, Stuttgart; Boros Collection, Berlin.

Guan Xiao, Living Sci-Fi, under the red stars, 2017, installation view, Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler

Guan Xiao, Living Sci-Fi, under the red stars, 2017, installation view, Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler

Guan Xiao, Living Sci-Fi, under the red stars, 2017, installation view, Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler

Guan Xiao, Living Sci-Fi, under the red stars, 2017, installation view, Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler

Guan Xiao, Living Sci-Fi, under the red stars, 2017, installation view, Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler

Guan Xiao, Bamboo, 2017, steel, brass, acrylic paint, resin, metal motorcycle handles, artificial leafes, 230 x 53 x 53 cm

Guan Xiao, Bungee, 2017, steel, brass, acrylic paint, metal motorcycle handles, metal motorcylce breaks, rope, 225 x 59 x 59 cm

Guan Xiao, Callimico, 2017, rim, resin, acrylic paint, artificial flowers, camera tripod, 100 x 70 x 64 cm

Guan Xiao, Cockatoo, 2017, rim, resin, acrylic paint, biking helmet, artifical reed, 140 x 70 x 25 cm

Guan Xiao, Container, upon the sinking structure, 2017, resin, plaster, acrylic paint, steel, plastic paint jars, 93 x 130 x 101 cm

Guan Xiao, Container, under the rising structure, 2017, resin, plaster, acrylic paint, steel, plastic paint jars, 93 x 125 x 103 cm

Guan Xiao, Enjoyable relationship, 2017, brass, acrylic paint, rim, artificial flower ring, 120 x 70 x 60 cm, 23 x 80 x 40 cm

Guan Xiao, Dengue, Dengue, Dengue, 2017, 3 channel HD video, color, sound, 12:39 min

 

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