A Group Exhibition of 8 Chinese Contemporary Artists Residing in New York
Eli Klein Gallery
Opening Reception: November 14 | 18:00 - 20:00
November 14, 2020 – February 18, 2021
Artists: Feng Lianghong, Li Shan, Li Xiaofei, Shen Chen, Shen Wei, Wu Yuren, Wu Ziyang, Zhao Jiawei
Excerpt from Press Release
Eli Klein Gallery is proud to present “Alienation?” - a group exhibition of 8 Chinese contemporary artists currently residing in New York, and features 16 works completed in a multitude of mediums including painting, video, photography, and sculpture. Whereas direct references to social phenomena tend to rise and fade quickly, it is the ideas and rules we extrapolate and derive from these events that actually guide mankind towards the future. “Alienation?” invites its audience to inquire beneath what lies on the surface, whether it’s a pandemic or social justice movements, to investigate the relationship between individuals and what they have created.
Regardless of its controversial reputation in the West, Karl Marx's theory is, for some, considered to be more relevant than ever. Marx first defined the term "alienation" in 1844, pointing out that the working class will first be alienated from what they produce, then the capitalists, and then the society in general. If we look at the process of labor-alienation from the standpoint of an artist who has constructed a product that has become a valued work of art, does the process of alienation still persist? Do Chinese artists living in America experience a higher degree of alienation? Or maybe the exercise of applying art as a product is flawed at the very beginning?
With his long term project “Assembly Line,” Li Xiaofei has been on the very frontier as he has filmed over 280 factories all over the world. His milestone video work “I Am the People_2” is an amalgamation of all parts that he has tirelessly gathered over the past 10 years. Different from Li Xiaofei’s calm and observing perspective, the other video work in the exhibition, “Where Did Macy Go?” finished during the lock-down by the animation artist Wu Ziyang, offers an abundance of information, reminiscent of the digital-dominated world in which we are living today. The conflict between our eagerness to stay connected and our reluctance to be controlled by information-providers portrays the modern-day paradox faced by each individual.
Where Did Macy Go? (Scene 6-2), 2020
Archival pigment print
40 x 30 inches (102 x 76)
Where Did Macy Go?, 2020
Color digital animated video with sound
8 min 57 sec