Artist: Yi Xin Tong
Opening：17:00-19:00, 6th Nov 2017
Duration: 6th Nov – 31st Dec 2017
Address: Vanguard Gallery, Rm204, Bldg 4A, 50 Moganshan Rd, Shanghai
Tel:＋86 21 52522551
One day I had a high fever. I showered and went to bed early hoping to get better the next day. Experience taught me if I covered my body tightly with comforters, I could probably sweat the fever off. Still, I remembered once in the hospital, when my high fever was persistent, the doctor said this method was not good. It would make the body temperature even higher. He advised taking showers to help keep the temperature from rising. This time I used both methods. Every two hours I drank a cup of water, sweated in bed, went to the bathroom to urinate, took a shower, and changed underwear. The procedure repeated about four times through the night. However, it didn’t interrupt my brain’s activities, which were hyperactive, obsessive, dark, impure, painful, and relentless.
I was in another world, one characterized by grand ruins and wise souls. For everyone inside, there was a task of overriding importance approaching religiosity, a task to perfectly define “that thing.” At the beginning, around the time I began sweating in bed, almost nobody believed the task was possible. People whispered with doubt and reservation. After I drank the second cup of water, people began to work on the definition of “that thing,” but without much success. My underwear soaked through with sweat. I showered again. When I went back to bed, I could feel a bustling excitement among the people. They had defined it. Through many different terms, ways, lengths and individuals, they fulfilled the task collectively. To me, it seemed the amount of words used to define it was infinite, one word stacked on another, high into the clouds. But if an infinite amount of words were needed to create a definition, I doubted the meaningfulness of the task. People kept testing these words. They were so different, but they never failed. They even entertained themselves by actualizing these words, lives, lights, and objects. Apart from such semantic exercises, they showed me a pillar they claimed was a perfect embodiment of “that thing” as an object. It was not very big, and not what one would expect for something of such reverence. It appeared to be a combination of lime, wood, and paint. I recognized repeated structural patterns of squares on its surface, which seemed the best indicator of why this pillar would also relate to infinity. Loose bits of lime powder fell onto the ground every now and then.
In the morning my fever dropped a little. It felt like I had gone through a highly civilized hell to be reborn again. I tried to recall what “that thing” was, as those people defined it, but my memory failed me. Or, perhaps, there was no way to do so with limited words or rational thoughts.
Yi Xin Tong (b. Lushan, China, 1988) Lives and works in New York, USA. He studied at China University of Geosciences, Beijing from 2005 to 2007 before obtaining a BFA Honor in Visual Art at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada (2012) and an MFA in studio Art at New York University (2014), Recent solo exhibitions: Alien, Vanguard Gallery, China (2017); NYC Fishing Trip, NARS Foundation, Brooklyn, USA (2017); Strange New Health, Katzman Contemporary, Toronto, Canada (2016); Lots of Pulp, SBC Gallery, Brooklyn, USA (2016); Gas Station: Rubber Trumpet, Vanguard Gallery, Shanghai, China (2015); Thin Air, Bright Light, Katzman Contemporary, Toronto, Canada (2014); The Phenotypic Traits of Facets, AVENUE, Vancouver, Canada (2014); Claude Is Allergic to Unicorns, 80 WSE Gallery, New York, USA (2014). Recent group exhibitions: 40 Pest Street, Alyssa Davis Gallery, New York, USA (2017); Drive-thru, Katzman Contemporary, Toronto, Canada (2017); Being Information, SSSTART EXHIBITION, Shanghai (2017); All happens after sunset..., MOCA Pavilion, Shanghai (2017); Trembling Surface, Long March,Beijing, China (2016); Annals of Floating Island, Hanart TZ Gallery, Hongkong, China (2016); Warehouse Story V, Vanguard Gallery, Shanghai (2016); Reknown, NYU Shanghai Art Gallery, Shanghai, China(2016); The Real Thing, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan (2015); Emerging Digital Artists Award screening, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada (2015).