Becoming - Experimental Video Works
Curated by Zhang Fang
398 West Street, New York, NY 10014 October 26 - December 23, 2019
Artist talk with the curator Zhang Fang and Xie Sichong: Saturday, October 26, 5-6 PM Opening reception: Saturday, October 26, 6-8 PM
Eli Klein Gallery is proud to present "Becoming - Experimental Video Works," a group exhibition of eight contemporary Chinese female artists. Similar to performance art's openness for experimentation,video art, a relatively new medium that only started to gain attention from the art world in the 1960s, has offered female artists a chance to develop their own perspectives without the limitation of a male-dominatedtradition. In 1996, China held its first video art exhibition, "Phenomenon and Image." Though decades later than the West, avant-garde Chinese artists had fully utilized this exotic medium, of self-reflection,to challenge the traditional painting. Curated by Zhang Fang, this exhibition presents a group of Chinese female artists' self-searching journeys and their ways of transcending the mundane. "Becoming-Experimental Video Works" will be on view from October 26th to December 23rd, 2019.
Famous for her traditional Chinese ink paintings and folk-art style sculptures, Guo Zhen has also embarked on a journey of exploring the new media of video art. New Moon: Cleansing the Women (2018) tells a story of a woman's relationship with water and nature. Showering behind an opaque glass, the protagonist can only be identified through her silhouette. The water drops running down in front of the glass, turn from clear to red, suggesting a woman's menstrual cycle. The video has no visual articulation of a "new moon," however, it subtly indicates a woman's intimate connection with nature. He Chengyao's Broadcast Exercise (2004) echoes Guo's exploration with women's bodies and sexuality. Wrapping herself up with duct tapes, He, the time-based media artist, performs a routine of Broadcast Exercise - a nearly mandatory public exercise popularized in Chinese schools. He's performance suggests a repressed sexuality through the contrast between the bondage body and mundane exercise routine. The restriction of the duct tapes also symbolizes the conservatism of the government, while a desire for individuality remains indestructible.