Illustration by Vanilla.Specially made for the latest issue's feature article "Accent Trilogy: Like Dew, or a Lightning".
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New Directions

Samson Young is a genre artist: everything he does builds on his training as a composer, an approach that is increasingly rare in the multi-disciplinary art world of today. Young is also a rare exampl…

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Hu Yun is neat and self-controlled, calm and collected. He seems to be the antithesis of a madman, yet he uses Foucault’s notion of “the ship of fools” to explain his practice. In the Middle Ages, people would use these endless maritime voyages to exile madmen, in part to restore the peace, and in part…

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In years past, the work of Liu Shiyuan (b. 1985) has allowed itself to wear many loose-fitting forms. She has held a bar of wet soap in her hands for a prolonged period (One Day With A Soap, 2011); “directed” a “play” (Secondhand Stabilization, 2011); filmed the interactions between actors she has prompted but who…

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Visitors to this year’s inaugural “Future” exhibition at the Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum, should they have ascended the rampway between the third and fourth floors, could not have missed a several meter long array of hand drawings haphazardly strewn along the wall: a detailed outline of all employees of a southern Guangdong municipal…

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AT A VERY young age, Chen Zhe has already widely been touted as one of the most compelling Chinese photographers practicing today. In 2011 alone, she was the recipient of the Inga Morath Award, the Three Shadows Photography Award, and the Lianzhou Photographer of the Year award. These accolades are due, not in small part,…

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THE YOUNG ARTIST Li Ran (born 1986) is able to eloquently delineate nearly every facet of his burgeoning artistic practice. This should come as no surprise: in the last two years, his work, through the lens of video, has come to hinge almost entirely on the spoken word and the collation of written text. Li’s…

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THE PERFORMANCE ARTIST Hu Xiangqian (b. 1983) is quick to point out that he does not agree with that classification. More appropriate, he claims, would be “performer” or “actor.” For one, his work is rarely prepared for a live audience, and furthermore, although he readily admits to have never studied, say, Jacques Lecoq or Jerzy…

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The artists’ talk that followed GUEST’s recent show at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) was more an extension of the exhibition than an explanation thereof. Three group members, Zhao Yao, Xu Qu, and Lu Pingyuan— Li Ming and Lin Ke were absent— spent a good deal of time showing images and videos downloaded from…

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The artist He Xiangyu (born 1986) has made a quick name for himself in the contemporary art world. His reputation, for the most part, owes itself to the scale and grandeur his work has taken on, both uncommon for an artist his age. The huge, post-apocalyptic landscape mountains of black crystalline residue seen in his…

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WESTERN PHILOSOPHY, especially Kantian philosophy, is consistent on one point: the distinction between noumenon— the thing in and of itself— and phenomenon— the thing as perceived. Traditional Chinese philosophy, however, holds no such distinction; if anything, the two are combined in the arching concept of the bengen (literally, the “root” of all things). If one…

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Yan Xing adores Hans Belting. He doubts so-called “innovation” in contemporary art. He prefers his work to be visually pure in classic black and white, and as beautiful as possible, as sharp as a knife. He might not even object to being called less an artist than a raconteur, a carefully voiced plurality of the…

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One need look no further than de Sade’s salacious masterpiece Justine (1791) to see that his philosophy posits God as a mercilessly evil being. In it, the hapless twelve-yearold protagonist naïvely places faith in the virtuous magnanimity of strangers, all of whom end up either raping, beating, robbing, or otherwise enslaving her. Morality thus bows…

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LEAP F/W 2023 Little Utopias

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