Klein Sun Gallery is pleased to announce “New voices: a dsl collection story,” a group exhibition on view from May 7 through June 18, 2016.
“New voices: a dsl collection story,” features works by nine artists: Chen Wei, Gao Lei, Gao Weigang, Hou Yong, Hu Weiyi, Li Wei, Wang Yuyang, Wang Sishun and Zhao Zhao. Curated by Beili Wang, the exhibition is inspired by the dsl collection, a body of work procured by Sylvain and Dominique Levy that documents the multiple narratives of art and culture in contemporary China.
Historically, art has served as the zeitgeist of a moment in time, and as a palimpsestic model on which traces of the past still remain, however faint. Contemporary art on a world stage is constantly negotiating this relationship – but what if that relationship was broken? What if a collective history was erased? Today, China faces this strange, complex issue. The nine artists in this exhibition, born after the China Economic reform (1976-1989), possess no memory or experience of the hermetic Cultural Revolution, or even the periods before those, which were rewritten by the Revolution.
Thus, “New voices: a dsl collection story,” reveals the practice and works of China’s youngest generation of artists, who have distinctly different points of cultural and historical reference in comparison to their predecessors. Within this boundless sphere, they create alien works that are transcendent of the notion of contemporary, translating their identities into a new autonomous language. Using new materials and concepts, these artists and their works are pushing Chinese contemporary art to unchartered territories, and because of that, their works are of higher value than any previous generation of Chinese artists.
Photographer Chen Wei’s fantastical images vacillate between grandiose expectation and reality, a common symptom of a society trapped by the promises of globalization. Gao Lei expounds on a similar notion through his sinister creations of compressed carpet and restrictive wires, which also reference the oppressive governing of authoritative bodies. Gao Weigang’s existentialist Where #4, a 24-carat gold ladder, juxtaposes the impractical with object functionality, and Wang Sishun uses his abstract forms of steel and lead to explain another relationship: art economy and production. Li Wei illustrates the oddities of human behavior in his sculpture bust Hollow Man – Auditory Hallucination and Zhao Zhao stresses the false, brittle notions of safety with his white marble piece, Safe #5.
Meanwhile, Hou Yong and Wang Yuyang question the trends and values of Chinese contemporary art, the former returning to the spirituality of painting in his domesticated canvasses, and the latter transposing an image of a painting onto a digital picture. Finally, the youngest artist in the show, Hu Weiyi, presents his luminous Flirt installation: a series of sexually charged photographs stitched together by lines of fluorescent neon lights. With this young generation facing the international stage for the first time, this exhibition tells the incredible processes of collecting Chinese contemporary art through the artists' connections to the dsl collection.
A fully illustrated catalog accompanies this exhibition. On Saturday, May 7, a panel talk moderated by Eli Klein, with Sylvain Levy of the dsl collection and Jane DeBevoise of Asia Art Archive, takes place at Klein Sun Gallery. For press inquiries, please contact Ysabelle Cheung at the gallery (212.255.4388) or via email at [email protected]. For all other inquiries, please contact Casey Burry at the gallery (212.255.4388) or via email at [email protected].