Li Ming, Rendering the Mind, 2017, video still
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LEAP 2

On our cover this month you’ll see an image that might not make sense at first. From a corner, our photographer captures the workshop in which sculptor Zhan Wang’s stainless steel scholar’s rocks come to life. Under Zhan’s direction, a team of highly skilled workers bring these unlikely objects into existence, first hammering out shapes…

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Zhang Huan’s solo show “Dawn of Time” opened at the Shanghai Art Museum in early February, showcasing five works: three installations and two ash paintings. Either because this was trumpeted as Zhang’…

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The Department of New Media Art at the China Academy of Art (CAA) in Hangzhou has been very active since its inception, and the fifty artists participating in “Youth in Combustion” were mostly its cur…

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Things at Shenzhen’s OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT) are gradually heating up. On January 28, the center’s fifth anniversary celebration, it launched the “Youth OCAT Programs” initiative featurin…

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As the title of his show suggests, Zhang Dali seeks to present a “second history” that differs from the official historical narrative. Zhang reveals the cracks in the “historical fact” to which the photographs he presents are meant to bear witness by juxtaposing different versions in a genealogy of the image. By doing this, he also pokes…

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This is in all respects a very low-carbon show. Besides its lighting and a few red projections (not necessarily turned on) on some pieces, the exhibition does not consume any energy, and the materials used in the installations are simply paper and cardboard boxes that can be turned back to pulp and reused. Any strangeness about the…

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Compared to the works on view in Yu Bogong’s 2007 show “Karma” at China Art Archives & Warehouse, those of his recent outing “Crossing the Riverbed” at Beijing’s Magician Space assume more complex forms. Yu has always been engaged in exploring connections between the internal spiritual world and religion, historical memory, psychoanalysis and cultural symbols. This exhibition confirmed…

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For the past decade or so, Qiu Shihua has been painting beige canvases. His paintings are mostly large, usually more than a meter in height and width and covered in several washes of a natural flax color so neutral that it absorbs the warmth and tone of whatever light is shone upon them. Sometimes swaths of white…

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The range of Xie Zhiliu’s talents, recognized even in his own day, seems particularly astounding when viewed from our age of hyper-specialization. Calligrapher, poet, painter, connoisseur, and art historian, Xie belonged to a group of polymaths who came of age as the classical Confucian educational system ended and the high-stakes game of redefining the literatus for a New…

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For Yun-Fei Ji, history is a spinning whirlwind that picks up people, objects and landscapes, throws them into the open air and catches them in an endless loop. It is a tangible, driving force in the artist’s ink and watercolor paintings, a threat and a promise that whatever humanity has created can be unceremoniously put…

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The British Council’s last major contemporary-art undertaking in China—the 2006 exhibition “Aftershock” at the Capital Museum in Beijing—did not make its way to Shanghai. The current show “The Future Demands Your Participation,” while long overdue, has finally granted this city’s audience its unfulfilled wish. But if “Aftershock” was an exposition ten years after the fact of the significance…

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A description of this show can only begin with its unconventional site—one had to make quite a few phone calls before finding, at first without much confidence, the remote and desolate “Lao Xia Field,…

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On Shanghai’s Shaoxing Road, a comparatively “made-over” street, Oriental Vista Gallery has put on the fifteen-artist group show “Make Over.” The show’s Chinese name translates directly as “The Facade Project”; for Chinese readers, mention of the word “facade” will conjure up knowing smiles and abundant associations that do not stop at architecture. I could of course describe the…

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CURRENT ISSUE

LEAP 47 | Spring/Summer 2018

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