Li Ming, Rendering the Mind, 2017, video still
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LEAP 9

Wang Xingwei was born in 1969 in Shenyang, Liaoning Province. He did not come from an artistic family; rather, as a natural-born lover of painting, he ended up in all sorts of interest groups and classes. He took an exam and wound up in the art department of Shenyang Normal University. Growing up in an…

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For Huang Kui, a serious accident was the beginning of an entirely new understanding of the concept of life, and what triggered a reconsideration of his relationship to the world. From Me to The World I See, Huang Kui has engaged in a series of reflections and creative works that make up his current exhibition,…

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Ironically, for a show titled “Guanxi” after the Chinese word for “connection” or “relation,” each artist enjoys the benefit of an independent space, minimizing the possibility of mutual interference among the works. To give just one example, it appears that curator Jiang Jiehong had some problems showing the work of artist Xiang Jing: here her…

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Biennales have largely become marketing events for nations and cities, used to show off an idealized image to outsiders. This edition of the Singapore Biennale, taking place in venues such as the National Museum of Singapore, Singapore Art Museum, Old Kallang Airport, and Marina Bay, continues to demonstrate the cultural strata of the country by…

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Following artist Rong Rong’s lead, people have flocked into the little village of Caochangdi from all corners of the photography world. Right after the conclusion of the opening ceremony, the recipients of three much-anticipated awards were finally announced. Twenty-two year old female photographer Zhe Chen was awarded the Three Shadows Photography Award; Luo Dan (see…

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The title of MadeIn Company’s latest exhibition at Long March Space is something of an awkward phrase— after all, how can consciousness be physical? But the phrase is deceiving: the four character Chinese phrase for “Physique of Consciousness” is just one character different from the Chinese for “ideology,” suggesting that through minor manipulation, ideology can…

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“Nineteen Solo Shows About Painting” is in many ways a sort of classroom exercise— one through which featured artists can express their individual revelations with regard to painting, art, and existence. Coincidence or not, the majority of these paintings— derived from scenes of daily life— depict similar and universal experiences. The words of Jia Aili…

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To recognize and identify artworks by Zhao Zhao (b. 1982) in terms of a certain style or medium is virtually impossible. Without prior knowledge, one might assume that Zhao’s current solo show at Alexander Ochs Galleries was in fact a group show of various artists. The pluralism on display is part of the artist’s critical…

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The customarily stark ambience of art galleries took on a warmer if still largely minimal feel in Lee Kit’s first solo show in the United States. Gauzy cerulean cotton sheets hung over the gallery’s floor-to-ceiling front windows, while cardboard pieces lined the walls, featuring layers of paint half-obscuring the logotypes of various drugstore products, from…

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A distinctively Chinese designation, “academic experimental art (xueyuan shiyan yishu) refers not to experimental art within the academy in general, but to the work produced in academic programs on experimental art, particularly those at the Central Academy of Fine Arts and the China Academy of Art. Unlike the more canonical “COPS” (Chinese painting, Oil painting,…

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The collective creation of a group of sculptors from the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in 1965, Rent Collection Courtyard was first displayed in Beijing forty-five years ago. Making a return to Beijing, the current exhibition displays copper-plated fiberglass replicas of the original clay sculptures, produced from 1974 to 1978. Compared to its first grand opening…

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It’s an easy mistake, for those of us who came to contemporary art by way of China, to think that a big face painting is a big face painting. From Luo Zhongli’s coining of the genre with his penwielding peasant Father, to Geng Jianyi’s analytical innovation on the form in 1988 with his monotone “Second…

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South Africa – New York – South Africa LEAP: So, what got you into making art? Kendell Geers: Well, it’s very simple. In South Africa during apartheid, every white male was supposed to go into the military. Conscription was mandatory and involuntary. I was against apartheid and therefore against the military. And the only way…

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The ongoing curricularization of contemporary art from Asia continues with this anthology, edited by the husband-and-wife, museum-director-and-magazine-editor duo of Chiu & Genocchio. They take 2008 as their starting point, noting that the year of the financial crisis was also the year “Asian artists stormed the citadel of the New York art world.” Stormed? Or were…

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LATE IN MARCH, China’s wandering tribe of independent documentary filmmakers converged on the city of Kunming for the fifth edition of the Yunnan Multi Culture Visual Festival (Yunfest). Since the founding of the documentary biennale in 2003, Yunfest has become a mecca for alternative film culture in China, a voice for an emerging generation of…

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For the performance of Man on The Chairs, a group of trained dancers, following instructions and exerting great effort, clambered back and forth across the gallery space. Admiring this scene, and trying to figure out the narrative of the performance, spectators soon realize that its crux lies in an emphasis of the new “surface” created…

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PHOTOGRAPHY: Birdhead STYLIST: Clément Buyi Z. (CLÉMENT & CLÉMENT PRODUCTION) HAIR & MAKE-UP: Kevin Long (MANWOMAN_management) PRODUCER: Aimee Lin PRODUCTION ASSISTANT: Zinn Zhou STYLIST ASSISTANT: Daqian Yongko Leslie MODELS: Lilac H(PARAS) LOCATION: KEE Shanghai

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In rhetoric, things come in threes, and Liu Wei is above all a rhetor. Thus his largest exhibition to date was divided, like Caesar’s Gaul— unevenly by size, but evenly by impact— into three parts. To the right of the entrance, the installation Golden Section offered a space divided into several by the lurking furniture…

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The Sharjah Biennial was hardly the biggest thing afoot in the Arab world this spring, even if the halo effect of the concurrent Art Dubai seems to have tipped it over into critical mass. (The 2011 iteration of both shows were the largest in their respective histories). Of course, any historic change is inseparable from…

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Chinese ink and brush painting is in a strange place. On the one hand, quality works are in short supply, and a “lack of methodology” has rendered the field, as art critic Gao Minglu critiques it, “unsalvageable.” Yet on the other, strong attendance at recent exhibitions speaks to an uptick in interest in the genre,…

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LEAP 47 | Spring/Summer 2018

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