This is Cai Hui’s first solo exhibition at A+ Contemporary. Cai Hui’s practice is primarily based in videos. The exhibiting 5 artworks circle the subject of “salesmen”, launching multiple forms of narrative spaces. Through behind the scenes footages, interviews, tracking shots, documentations, performances and various other methods, the everyday sales and transactions between salesmen and customers are presented. The strongly evocative subject is the artist’s means to display a living space and a survival approach in reality; at the same time, the “one on one” dialogue allows the settings to become increasingly intimate, in other words, perhaps more real.
The work Credit Salesman’s Afternoon offers the audience room to fathom a salesman’s interpretation of their own occupation; the inspiration behind Watches comes from the plotline of the opening chapter in The Voyeur by Alain Robbe-Grillet– the artist sets off to an island to sell watches in order to fully experience life as a salesman, while attempting to transform this commercial activity into a rather poetic gesture through trading with the inhabitants on the island; Passenger is a reflection of a strange passenger and a driver as they confront the emptiness in life, highlighting the survival instinct while desperately in search of one true purpose. The other side of the screen is your client appropriates real estate agents’ expectations of clients and the service mentality of always putting the customers first. Through the salesman’s moments of nervousness, excitement and exhaustion, his complex emotional shifts reflect the warring between business mentality and self-pride. Change Shifts! Take Over! are like the footnote of the entire exhibition. Shift handovers and takeovers imitate the change between leading and supporting roles just as the ways in which we prioritize rearranging relationships with our surroundings over the society in reality.
In this exhibition, the viewers have become voyeurs of various events. The works launch a dialogue through varied “sales” activities, plain and honest. The intriguing things are the principles and mechanisms of human emotional shifts in contemporary society that reveal themselves in those moments of simplicity.
Cai Hui was born in 1983 in Zhan jiang. Graduated in 2010 from South China Normal University with a MA in Fine Art, Cai Hui currently lives and works in Guangzhou. His selected solo exhibitions include: Salesmen (A+ Contemporary, Shanghai, 2017) (Upcoming), Forgive (Arrow Factory, Beijing, 2015), The dream of creditors (Observation Society, Guangzhou 2014). His group exhibitions include: The end of the world (Parasite art space, Hong Kong, 2015), Chongqing Sydney (Gaffa gallery, Sidney, 2015), Lending Art (Times Museum, Guangzhou, 2013), The Youth Sale Store (Pékin Fine Arts, Beijing, 2010), Youth Apartment (Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, 2009), The Second Art Exhibition by Guangdong Young Generation—Go！Go！Go！(Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, 2007).
About the exhibition
Dates: Sep. 9 – Oct. 29, 2017
Venue: A+ Contemporary
Address: Room 106, Bldg. 7, 50 Moganshan Road, Shanghai, China
Courtesy of the artist and A+ Contemporary, for further information please visit http://apluscontemporary.org.