Blindspot Gallery is pleased to announce our participation in PHOTOFAIRS｜Shanghai 2016. The gallery’s showcase at the fair will include photography installations by Chinese artists CAI Dongdong and ZHANG Xiao, mixed media works created with instant film by Hong Kong artist HON Chi Fun from the 1980s, portrait photography by Israeli photographer Nadav KANDER, and gelatin silver prints by British photographer Martin PARR from the 1980s.
Cai Dongdong’s photography installations feature vintage photographs taken by the artist, as well as vintage photographs from the era of Mao Zedong that Cai collected. Through deconstructing and reconstructing the contents of the images and their symbols, the artist explored the possibilities of extended interpretations in the images, so as to prompt the viewers to arrive at different associations of meaning. The artist reprocessed the images directly by polishing, scraping, or tearing their surfaces, or employed existing objects such as mirror or target for archery to create the photography installations. The work Shooting Practice is comprised by a black and white photograph and a mirror; the image is reversed left-to-right in the reflection in the mirror, which creates the optimal illusion of the viewer shooting themselves with a gun. The artist uses the act of shooting as a metaphor for the photographic act and its inherent violence, while the reflection in the mirror reveals another dimension where photography is separated from reality.
In another work Curled Road, the artist tore and rolled up part of the photograph to create a multi-dimensional road. It runs up to the front of the police car, as if opening a new road for the car that is separate from the image. The visual movement and associations of the viewer are brought into interaction by the artist’s playful composition.
Zhang Xiao’s latest work Karaoke is comprised by seven old Karaoke VHS tapes from the 1990s. The artist extracted the most memorable scene from each Karaoke tape and used the frame as the label for the tape. In addition, he extracted parts of each of the seven Karaoke soundtracks which, when played simultaneously, weave a sonic landscape that reverberates with the past. “In an era isolated from excessive information, a box of cassette tape once carried a lot for us. The seemingly outdated frames and sound are mixed to revitalize the once best moments for us,” Zhang says.
The Israel born, London based photographer Nadav Kander spent five years on completing Bodies. 6 Women, 1 Man, a series of large-scale painterly portraits revealing the sense of helplessness that underlines human existence. With Curves of Moon. Isley in Cosmos I, 2014 combines photography with painting, where the pale and nude figure lies limply in solitude, speechless against the star-lit sky.
The two featured series by Hong Kong visual artist Hon Chi Fun are taken from his instant film photography works from the 1980s. The works revolve around the circle, an iconic motif in his art, and take the exploration of the ‘profoundness in the universe’ as their conceptual starting point. They also utilise the characteristics of instant film, like the possibilities of scratching and coloring the image before the emulsion is dry, and of opening the back of the film to combine it with other images, to create series of mixed media works with a touch of modernist abstract painting.
World-renowned British photographer Martin Parr is acclaimed for his richly ironic and humorous documentary photography that encapsulates contemporary life. On his first visit to China in 1985, Parr captured the mundane yet dramatic facets of everyday life in China, depicting it with his shrewd and sensitive photographic language. The six featured gelatin silver prints are officially exhibited for the first time.