Rural China has long been a place of both pining and endeavor for artists, intellectuals, and all other sorts, but our cover feature “The Call of Home” steps outside the aesthetics of nostalgia to probe this vast yellow land through the hard lens of artistic practice. Documentary filmmaker Wu Wenguang discusses the implications of his “Folk Memory” oral history project; Ou Ning and Zuo Jing discover a disparity between utopian vision and expectations of economic prosperity in Anhui; He Wenzhao investigates how the village can create a stronger awareness of community; “Kunshan—Under Construction” focuses on the official “New Countryside” by way of research, workshops, exhibitions, and other activities; and the Urban-Rural Fringe Group seeks new imaginings and possibilities for that hazy area between city and countryside. Finally, artists Liang Shuo, Chen Yujun, and Duan Jianyu voice the intricacies of their working relationship with the spaces, places, and cultures of China outside its cities.
Following the cover story, and acting as an appendix to our August issue’s theme, is a powerful delineation of Beijing-based Taiwanese sound artist Lin Chi-Wei from Yu Wei. Anthony Yung investigates the beautiful impurity behind the thinking of Yang Jiechang, and researcher-collector Thomas Sauvin introduces the agenda of The Archive of Modern Conflict. Curator and gallerist Zhang Li, meanwhile, pens a touching memoir of one of the earliest champions of Chinese contemporary, the late Hans van Dijk.
The top of LEAP 17, as usual, bounces around between a variety of people, places, and events. From pensive excerpts from the artist seminar “Pulse Reaction” at the Times Museum and a heart-to-heart with super-collector Budi Tek to a visit to Xinjiang with Liu Xiaodong and a survey of contemporary comic art in China, the variegated reader shall not be left wanting. Beyond, Karen Archey outlines the work of Ed Fornieles, Josh Kline, Ed Atkins, Ahmet Öğüt, and Cecile B. Evans; we peek into the operations of the independent archive Video Bureau; steal a glance at the agendas of this year’s SH Contemporary; and offer up a playful take on the practice of budding parodist-artiste Li Ran to round out the bulk of the section.
The bountiful harvest of the autumn exhibition season is in our October issue pruned down to reviews of solo exhibitions from Liu Wei, He Xiangyu, Xie Molin, Li Dafang, Liu Ye, Hai Bo, Li Liao, and others. We also consider group gatherings in Beijing and Shanghai, as well as CAFAM’s inaugural Future exhibition, the 18th Biennale of Sydney, and the New Museum’s “Ghosts in the Machine.”