Li Ming, Rendering the Mind, 2017, video still
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We often feel that we intimately know the places where we reside and work, yet, through different modes of engagement, “Urban Synesthesia” reveals the idiosyncratic elements and characters of cities that can otherwise go unnoticed. The offspring of the Benjaminian flâneur works spontaneously by means of field research, looking to unveil the façade. The exhibition tries to allow the visitor to become more sensitive, becoming aware that simple objects and landscapes are not always as they seem.

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In late 2015, Dajuin Yao brought the “Schizophonia” sound art exhibition to OCAT Shenzhen. The project was a spectacle of sound art in three parts: archival listening, an exhibition of sound installat…

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In the 1960s, German contemporary music master Karlheinz Stockhausen noted that “the distinction between sound and music disappears.” Perhaps we can open up a discussion of the subtle relationship between sound art and the plastic arts. For a long time, their differences have flaked away through level after level of conceptual framing. But the gap…

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Mika Rottenberg’s film No Nose Knows, a highlight of the Arsenale in OkwuiEnwezor’s 2015 Venice Biennale, returns to China (it was shot in the coastal areas of Zhejiang) in this small exhibition in Beijing. Touching on the pearl industry, empty housing developments, and the absurd gestures of the everyday, Rottenberg considers her piece a “diagram…

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Scholar Dai Jinhua, in his discussion of the ideological constructs of mass culture in the 1990s, says that, at that time,“farewell to revolution” became the profound and tragic social consensus. This turn occurred alongside the end of the Cold War and Fukuyama’s “end of history,” originating in the disruptive influence of market reform on intellectual…

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Rock and roll first made its way to Chinese audiences as reference materials for the critique of capitalism, before it began to spread among the children of officials and musical families. Memories of early-1990s rock exist only in the communities of expats and elite intellectuals, who forged friendships in the Kempinski Hotel and Song Huaigui’s…

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Moe Satt’s Five Questions to Society Where I Live, poses more new questions than the previous version— in addition to hand gestures “Okay,” “Good,” and “Victory,” he adds a held-up pinky that represents voting, and the three-finger salute from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, symbolizing “revolution.” On November 8, general elections were held in Myanmar; Moe…

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A stopped truck carries a huge oil painting stretching across the foreground. In the distance there is a newly built city, a vision almost exactly the same as the one portrayed in the painting. This is Liu Xiaodong’s poster for his solo exhibition. Here the artist nearly entirely confirms the essential elements we have become…

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Constantly seduced but never sated, constantly played but never winning; the latent agony of being on the receiving end of mass media and commercial culture is taken to its logical conclusion in this exhibition, as our relationship to the image is dissected and played back to us on repeat. Thomas Bayrle’s Laughing Cow multiplies into…

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This September, delegates from 65 countries flocked to the tenth Russia Arms Expo, a biennial showcase of armaments, military equipment, and ammunition where, amid the tanks, rocket launchers, and fighter jets, Russia debuted an armed drone it developed in collaboration with China. The expo takes place in the Siberian stronghold of Nizhny Tagil, a former…

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  Nearly all media portrayals of Stewart Uoo incorporate one adjective rather prominently: young. Indeed, Uoo, born in California in 1985, took part in a two-person exhibition at the Whitney Muse…

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Beijing is one of the best places in China for access to the plethora of facilities and audiences that can support experimental culture, and arguably has the best set of international connections of a…

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I had just returned home to Los Angeles from a month-and-a-half-long European trip filled with exhibitions, readings, and parties. Two months earlier, I had proposed to the artist Rachel LaBine, my gi…

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In the mid-1990s, Zhou Tiehai and Yan Lei emerged as twin projections of a critical, and controversial, way of thinking about new art in China. “New” contra “old,” which put “new” on one side of a bin…

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In Wang Jianwei’s concept of the “dirty substance,” we find something extremely contradictory: it is a ridge of jagged rock, a reef he happens upon in the mining of his universal thought process—an ob…

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LEAP 47 | Spring/Summer 2018

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