Li Ming, Rendering the Mind, 2017, video still
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LEAP 38

It often feels like the 1990s are an undigested pellet in the gut of artistic culture. Presented with the aesthetics of that era, it’s still unclear quite how to deal with them. Appropriate and critique? Wax nostalgic? Gag? Since then, technology has become so frictionless that we often ignore it rather than revel in its…

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Entering the former prison of Miguelete is like entering a temple. The striking exhibition “Teetering at the Edge of the World,” curated by Zandie Brockett and Uruguayan artist Sebastian Alonso, was unexpected for the Montevideo cultural world, pushing the audience immediately into the fast track of urbanization processes in China and elsewhere. The exhibition starts…

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While it’s hard to imagine anything more idyllic than a clear, blue sky, the general willingness to accept that the sky could be either clear or blue—impressions caused by the scattering of the sun’s light by molecules in the atmosphere—is disturbing, in that it speaks to our compliance in accepting what we observe on a…

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Pour être honnête, je ne sais comment s’y prend Guan Xiao. Lorsqu’on se penche sur la manière dont elle s’empare des matériaux et les unit dans son œuvre, on se sent un peu comme dans une séquence de l’émission The Brain (1), où un participant examinait au microscope une centaine de poissons rouges. L’analogie n’est…

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To be honest, I don’t know how Guan Xiao does it. Looking at the ways she grabs and synthesizes materials in her work, it’s a bit like watching a contestant on The Brain(1) microscopically examining a thousand goldfish. This isn’t a totally apt analogy, for today it’s nearly impossible to quantify—and to describe, even—just how…

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A foam machine gushes a massive cloud of soap lather from a black oil barrel in the courtyard. Plastic flowers stick out from a miniature blue Hanjin shipping container in the foyer. A bucket of murky peanut oil, collected from a trendy local restaurant, sits on the floor in a side room; a few shiny…

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How does the body, rationally hijacked by tools, escape the fate of materialization that is such an integral byproduct of modernity? Japanese curator Yuko Hasegawa’s exhibition is an announcement that attempts to deconstruct the tale of a western monopoly on technology in the postcolonial world by showcasing Asian, Middle Eastern, and eastern European artists as…

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Enough information about war-torn regions and political mayhem circulates through the media; Minouk Lim turns statistics and facts into emotionally intense and beguiling scenarios. This exhibition is full of mythological creatures, dried marine life, rusty shipping containers, cameras, and melting sculptures of mountains. Objects melt into each other, creating a flow of connections that explore…

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The M+ Sigg Collection of Chinese contemporary art travels to Hong Kong after two touring exhibitions in Europe over the past two years. Since the 1990s, Hong Kong has acted as a mediator in the institutionalization of Chinese contemporary art in the global system; with the recent creation of this collection, the city has become…

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To encounter the paintings of Sascha Braunig is to be confronted with an unsettling, hypnotic world. She creates portraits of figures dissolving within their own borders, moving in and out of corporeality and bending the laws of reality. In her technically brilliant paintings, studio portraiture merges with science fiction, and patterns merge into the skin…

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Li Liao’s “Art is Vacuum” starts with a low-ceilinged vestibule housing documentation of a spat between himself, his pregnant girlfriend Yang Jun, and her brother and father. The father virulently rejects their relationship and derides Li’s career prospects by remarking, “You’re living in [a] vacuum.” Their argument is displayed alongside a torn sweater and a…

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Seldom do we get this close to the sun. Unexpectedly, a glowing red surface appears in the dark; it’s the sun in Katharina Sieverding’s film Looking at the Sun at Midnight (2011–12). The mesmerizing close-up of the giant fireball is made from animated data gathered by NASA, which is condensed into a dynamic portrait of…

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Michael Lin has always aspired to beauty. From his repeated use of the floral print cloth to the installation Model Home, his work never fails to capture a sense of space and form. This is again the case with his latest solo exhibition “A Tale of Today.” For this show, he has arranged nine brand-new…

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For the increasingly urbanized Chinese population, web and mobile apps like Taobao expedite various social and monetary transactions, whether to schedule wakeup calls from fictitious boyfriends and girlfriends or seek a graphic designer for a company logo at 3:00 AM. It is against this social backdrop that we can come to understand the power in…

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Against all odds, the much-maligned genre of the China show seems to be making a comeback, some decade since it largely disappeared from major international museum programs. In addition to the Fondation Louis Vuitton’s “Bentu,” comparable projects on the docket for the next two years include both an historical exhibition and a thematic group show…

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In 2013, Edward Snowden sent an encrypted file containing evidence of the United States government’s mass surveillance of civilians to Laura Poitras. The file was named Astro Noise, a reference to the thermal radiation left from the Big Bang. In her current exhibition, Poitras traces the echoes of September 11, 2001, around the globe. Poitras…

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Headless is a multimedia, long-term project by Goldin+Senneby (Simon Goldin and Jakob Senneby) initiated in 2007. It has been realized through a number of contracted collaborators, including a private investigator, filmmakers, a mystery novelist, a curator, a scenographer, and a scholar of economic geography, to name a few, in order to explore how jurisdiction constructs…

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Shenyang, a representative industrial city built during the socialist era, is one of eight Chinese cities with a major art institute. The pace of life is relatively slow, the pressures of daily life relatively light, and, even if the city is, in many respects, somewhat backwards compared to first tier cities, it is not particularly…

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LEAP 47 | Spring/Summer 2018

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