Sound art seems to forever occupy a misunderstood and marginalized position in society and culture. In China and Taiwan, the ostracism is no different. LEAP’s August issue creeps into the periphery to briefly untangle the mess of people, artworks, and happenings that constitute this surplus of culture. FM3, Yan Jun, Qiu Zhijie, Li Zhenhua, Dajuin Yao, and others figure into a sweeping survey of the stop-and-go history of sound art on the Mainland, and cultural activist Ya-Zhu Xu organizes a textual quartet on noise in Taiwan: Huang Sun-Quan considers noise and neo-liberal social order; Wang Mo-Lin and Dawang Huang discuss the resistance of noise against capitalism’s structural exclusion of the body; Liao Ming-He traces the history of materials in his noise work; and Yannick Dauby narrates two journeys into the materiality of peripheral sounds. The package culminates with Shanghai sound artist Lou Nanli, commissioned by LEAP to transform an ancient Chinese scroll into a work of contemporary electro-acoustic music.
The lower body of our middle section is a case-by-case study of art’s treatment of power. Sun Dongdong delineates political allegory throughout the ink wash of Yun-Fei Ji; the artist Jiang Zhi shies away from statement, but infers himself and everyman in his self-curated latest solo show; architect Wang Jiahao deconstructs the rhetorics of power and exhibition via the practice of Shi Qing; and Aimee Lin elucidates the carelessness of Birdhead in the face of the ruling aesthetics of photography.
LEAP 16 opens with an overarching review of dOCUMENTA (13) and its host city by Kito Nedo, which is followed by an optimistically elegiac round-up of all things contemporary in Athens from Stephanie Bailey. Further on: An argument for the metaphoric functionality of the images of Andreas Gursky; profiles of the painter Gong Jian and the actor/artist Hu Xiangqian; in conversation with Shumon Basar, a leisurely serious reiteration of Posthastism; over the information superhighway, the corporation MadeIn Company get acquainted with the collective LuckyPDF; and so much more.
June and July offer plenty of critical fodder, as this month’s reviews section takes us to Manifesta 9, La Triennale 2012, the 7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale, ten solo shows including Zhao Yao, Zhang Hui, Paola Pivi, Yang Xinguang, Zhang Ding, and Song Kun, and group outings in Taiwan and Hong Kong.