REVIEW: Ye Linghan @ Ben Brown Fine Arts, Hong Kong

Sep 3, 2014 1:18AM

Have you ever thought of surrendering your freedom in exchange for security? Perhaps “Gold.Circle.Tiger,” Beijing-based artist Ye Linghan’s solo exhibition at Ben Brown Fine Arts, Hong Kong, may provide some insight, and liberate your mind, on this topic. The show takes up the entire gallery space and elaborates on the idea of one’s destined fate and constraints in life, bringing people into his imaginary world of gold, circles and tigers, while encouraging them to fight for the freedom they deserve.

The core of the show is Ye’s new hand-painted animation, Gold.Circle.Tiger (2014), which begins with an image of a long amber chain and a messy patch of gold. As these abstract forms move around the screen, the figure of a struggling tiger, dangling upside down, can be identified within the blur of fast-paced images. The rhythm of the video finally slows down when the chain breaks apart and everything fades away. The screen is then taken over by an image of the tortured tiger staring out to the viewers, with rings of golden circles overlapping the animal like a target sign on its body. Everything turns into a countless number of glowing rings that gradually rise to the top of the frame. Then, for just a few seconds, a small image of a white tiger standing on a bridge made of the amber chain comes into view. White circles pop up one by one in the next scene, filling up a rectangle in the middle of the screen, which marks the end of the video.