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


Accompanied by the sound of firecrackers, LEAP’s latest issue “Children of Empire” arrives at the end of the Spring Festival. For the first time, we’ve handed over the reins of Middle, our thematic feature, to our contributing editor Stephanie Bailey. She’s done something very different with the issue to be distributed in both Dubai and Hong Kong this spring, bringing together a broad range of contributors from across the post-Bandung world to investigate how colonialism and postcolonialism remain tied together in the global cultural network we call the art world. With “Children of Empire,” Bailey strikes at the core of what LEAP can do as a bilingual publication close to the heart of the Chinese media universe. The proposal is that we are all children of empire, regardless of whether we belong to the dominant imperialist forces of the past 500 years or not. Our personal, political, and cultural identities are intertwined with inheritances that are painful, violent, and foreign. This issue attempts at a gathering across time and space narrated by voices brought together through the art world’s trans-global networks in order to explore the complex inheritances that have shaped us all.

Our top section profiles young artists Samson Young, Heidi Lau, Julien Nguyen, Cyprien Gaillard, and Jamian Juliano-Villani. 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. Heidi Lau creates highly expressionistic, tactile, and fiercely imaginative ceramic sculptures, drawing from sources as diverse as Chinese folklore, Greek mythology, Japanese science fiction manga, and craft traditions associated with clay. Jamian Juliano-Villani, this issue’s cover artist, translates the densely packed, noisy, and always interrelated media landscape of the present into a decidedly human, hands-on format of painting. Her approach poses a fascinating and contradictory question for how it references digital media while remaining defiantly analogue. Readers will also find analyses on the oeuvre of Diana Thater, Ouyang Chun, Liu Chuang, and Zhang Guangyu, an overlooked “Master of Chinese Modernism” from the last century. Additionally, this issue features two special portfolios, inviting readers to the backstage of Ye Funa’s “Peep Stream” live performance series, and Aaajiao’s latest project.

In our bottom section, readers will find 30 reviews on exhibitions around the world, including “Song Dong: Surplus Value” at Pace Beijing, “Hugo Boss Asia Art Award” at Rockbund Art Musuem, the 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art in Brisbane, “Ocean of Images: New Photography 2015” at MoMA, and many more.

027 Samson Young: Composing at a Distance
Text: Robin Peckham

030 Cyprien Gaillard: A History Scattered by Images
Text: He Jing

034 Heidi Lau: Nowhere Home
Text: Connie Kang

038 Ye Funa: Revelries of the Spectator

044 Ouyang Chun: Arrival
Text: Xi Wrinkler

049 Liu Chuang: Against Entropy
Text: Sasha Zhao

052 AAAJIAO: In Progress

056 Diana Thater: Why Look at Animals?
Text: Weng Xiaoyu

061 Jamian Juliano-Villani: Digital Palette
Text: Simon Frank

064 Zhang Guangyu: Republican Renaissance Man
Text: He Jing

068 The Nomadic Community
Text: Zhang Xiyuan

070 From Left to Left: Modes of Critique
Text: Robin Peckham

073 Julien Nguyen: All Too Human
Text: Scott Norton



090 Be Here, Now: An Introduction to an Introduction
Text: Stephanie Bailey

096 Verses on Decolonization
Text: Walter D. Mignolo

100 The Oracle of Empire
Text: Uzma Z.Rizvi and Lantian Xie

108 Post-War, Pre-Fab: Concrete in the Global South
Text: Anna Kats

112 From La Town, to la Town, to La Town from China and Venice, to Greece
Text: Iliana Fokianaki

118 Nation State x Unreal State: Larissa Sansour in conversation with Lawrence Lek

125 Intersection: Lu Yang x Nazrin Mammadova

132 Being Post-: How to be a Bird, Not a Tree
Text: Madina Tlostanova

135 An Exhibition of the Self
Text: Vera Mey

138 A Fabric of History
Text: Keli Safia Maksud

142 Spectres of A Setting Sun
Text: Rahel Aima

148 Moscow Metaphysics
Text: Sergey Guskov

152 23andMe
Text: Adnan Yildiz

158 13 Essential Rules for Understanding the World

162 Continuous Arrivals, Continuous Departures: The elusive location of places between and among cultures
Text: Claudina Pestana

166 Into the Circle: A Greek Collector of Chinese Art
Text: George Manginis

170 Fifty Shades of Fu Manchu
Text: Efe Levant

178 Finding Agency
Text: Xu Tan

Lü Shengzhong Today Art Museum
Song Dong Pace Gallery
Polit-Sheer-Form Taikang Space
Hu Xiaoyuan Beijing Commune
Yoko Ono Faurschou Foundation
Zhai Liang White Space

Figures of Speech Shanghai Center of Photography
Hugo Boss Rockbund Art Museum
Media——Dali chi K11 Art Museum
Chen Wei Leo Xu Projects

Asia Biennial Guangdong Museum of Art

Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture Former Dacheng Flour Factory

Ni Youyu Museum of Contemporary Art
Chang Yun-Han Taipei Contemporary Art Center

Hong Kong
Around Sound Art Festival 2015 Osage Gallery
The World is Our Home Para Site

Haroon Mirza Name June Paik Art Center
Dancing Mama Coreana Museum of Art
Siapa Nama Kamu? National Gallery Singapore

Jakarta Biennale Gudang Sarinah

Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter YARAT Contemporary Art Space

Preis der Nationalgalerie 2015 Hamburger Bahnhof
On Curbstone Jewels and Cobblestones Daimler Contemporary

CO-WORKERS Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

Seth Siegelaub Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Athens Biennale Bageion Hotel

Emily Clair Whitechapel Gallery

New York
New Photography Museum of Modern Art
Jim Shaw New Museum


  • LEAP F/W 2023 Little Utopias

  • LEAP S/S 2023 Sleek Surfaces

  • LEAP F/W 2022 Crisis as Norm

  • LEAP S/S 2022 Recipes for Resilience




  • LEAP S/S 2020 In the Field


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