MadeIn Gallery presents “Flickering Boundaries” opening on January 19, 2018, and showcasing the works of Elliot Dodd (U.K., b. 1978), and Xu Zhen® (2013), Yang Jun (b. 1963), Zhang Lian (b. 1984), Zheng Yuan (b. 1988) and Zhu Yu (b. 1970).
The term “boundary” defines an area, which isn’t restricted to a scope of content, but also implies insurmountable barriers. It constitutes a certain basic understanding of the world, with properties varying according to different contexts. The word “flicker” calls into question the notion of border, and reflects uncertainties. Issued from the symbolical image of a signaling light, this metaphor not only plays the role of guidance and discipline, developing hidden boundaries; it also means that expectations and aspirations from the other side point the way in the drowsy shadow.
In this exhibition, “boundary” as a proper metaphor, a once-accepted definition, becomes a subject, an expressing tool and reference for the artists. In the works by Yang Jun and Xu Zhen® subtle changes in displaying methods shake conventional viewing perspectives, re-determining the limits of forms. Zhu Yu’s paintings’ outlines of figurative contents are purposely blurred, disappearing; while Elliot Dodd borrows consumer culture and advertising aesthetics, using real and virtual allegories to question established social awareness. In the works of two artists born in the 80′s, border consciousness further relate to the content itself: Zhang Lian’s paintings depict a state of migration in different time and space: unbalanced pictures appear from the untrusty demarcation of boundaries; and Zheng Yuan’s record of two events explores the fuzzy border between reality and reproduction as well as the structure of media discourse that causes mischiefs.
In these artistic practices, once seemingly solemn definitions have been transformed into an experimental state of easiness, flickering between concrete and illusory nature. “Flickering Boundaries” is a paradoxical state common to the works: in affirmative cases, all defined objects can be developed; while only in negative presupposition, can the deeply rooted forms be considered. “Flickering Boundaries” aims to disturb defined limits, targeting the moment when people set these borders and the failure of dualism, urging the viewer to escape from the traditional logic of non-conformity and prepare oneself to receive in the non-designation of boundary a post contemporary flickering situation.
About the artists
Elliot Dodd (B. 1978 Jersey, Channel Islands) lives and works in London. Dodd studied at the Royal Academy Schools, London 2013–16. Previously he completed his BA at The Slade School of Fine Art, UCL London 1998-2002. Elliot Dodd’s practice comes across numerous different artistic mediums and approaches in response to the complexity and absurdities in the world of consumerism, and to question situations related to masculine control and domination within society, particularly male-orientated quest for expressions of supreme confidence. With references in politics, design, economics and consumerism culture, the works take the form of caricatures with uncompromised highly detailed surfaces, allowing ideas and objects to be humiliated, deformed or celebrated. Recent exhibitions include: “The Manbody”, Zabludowicz Collection, London, 2017; “Virtually Real”, collaboration with HTC, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2017; “Semi Self Reflections”, Rockelmann &, Berlin, 2017; “SUNDAY Art Fair solo presentation”, London, 2016, etc.
Xu Zhen® founded by artist Xu Zhen in 2013, is the flagship art brand of MadeIn Company. Born in 1977, living and working in Shanghai, Xu Zhen is a leading Chinese artist and curator, and the founder of MadeIn Company. He won the prize for ‘Best Artist’ at the China Contemporary Art Award, and participated to the 49th Venice Biennale making him the youngest Chinese artist to be part of this key exhibition. His practice covers various media such as installations, video, painting, performance, etc. He has exhibited internationally, at museums and biennales, such as National Gallery of Victoria Triennial (Melbourne, 2017), Guggenheim (New York, 2017); Al Riwaq Art Center (Doha, 2016), Fondation Louis Vuitton (Paris, 2016), Long Museum (Shanghai, 2015), Lyon Bienniale (Lyon, 2013), Tate Liverpool (Liverpool, 2007), MoMA PS1 (2006), Mori Art Museum (2005), MoMA (New York, 2004), Venice Biennale (2001, 2005), among others.
Born in 1963, Yang Jun graduated in 1985 from the Central Academy of Fine Arts. He then lived in Germany starting from 1993 and now lives and works in Berlin and Beijing. His works include paintings, photographs, installations and other media. Constantly traveling between the East and the West he defines himself as an art nomad. Using various media, Yang creates works of various kinds that aren’t limited to one style only, and leave them to be completed by the ‘users’. His exhibitions include: “China Avant-Garde Exhibition”, National Art Museum, (Beijing, 1989); “Asiana: Contemporary Art from the Far East”, 46th Venice Biennale satellite exhibition (Palazzo Vendramin Calergi, Venice, Italy, 1995); “New Asian Art Show – 1995: China, Korea, Japan – Now a Dream of East” Tokyo, Osaka, Japan, 1995; among other.
Zhang Lian born in 1984 in Hangzhou, China, currently lives and works in London. She received her first MA in Painting from the China Academy of Art, Hangzhou (2007-2010) and a second MA from the Royal College of Art, London (2011-2013). She has won several painting prizes including Curator’s Prize The Open West 2014, Hine Painting Prize 2013, and was shortlisted for Valerie Beston Award 2013. Zhang Lian’s recent painting practice focuses on the collection and combination of images with various spatiotemporal aspects. Through these pictorial compositions, spatial memory is fabricated, leading to multiple narrative threads that disrupt subject-predicate relations, creating a new-temporal painting language. Recent exhibitions include “Mingled Spaces”, Lychee One (London, 2017); “Elsewhere”, Lychee One (London, 2015); “The Open West”, The Wilson | Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum, (Cheltenham, 2014); “Deserts of Humanity”, Display (London, 2014); “Painting Show & Performances”, Winter Projects, (London, 2014); “Young Masters”, Sphinx Fine Art, (London, 2013), etc.
Zheng Yuan, born in Lanzhou in 1988, lives and works in Beijing. Zheng received his MFA in Film, Video, New Media and Animation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2015. His work addresses questions about image-based representations that embody the state of contemporary visual culture, history and technology. Recent projects and exhibitions include: “Zheng Yuan: Up in the Air”, Taikang Space, (Beijing, 2017); “The Ecstasy of Time”, He Xiangning Museum, (Shenzhen, 2017); “A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth glancing at”, Beijing Commune, (Beijing, 2017); “Rebel Cities”, Yang Art Museum (Beijing, 2017); “Limited Access Festival”, (Tehran, 2017); “The 55th Ann Arbor Film Festival”, (Ann Arbor, 2017); “Toward the Emergence of Resistance”, Taikang Space, (Beijing, 2016); “An Open Studio”, PRACTICE, (New York, 2016); “European Media Arts Festival”, (Osnabrueck 2016); “MEDIA FUTURES”, Sullivan Galleries, (Chicago 2015), etc. In 2017, he was nominated at the Art Sanya for the Young Chinese Artists Award.
Zhu Yu born in Chengdu in 1970 in Sichuan Province, currently lives and works in Beijing. He was one of the pioneer artists of 1990s conceptualism. From the 1990s until the early 2000s, Zhu Yu’s art practice was centered on action art, until he turned into painting with his hyperrealist series “Leftovers”, started in 2004, followed by “Tea stains”, “Stone”, “Vestige” and other series. Zhu Yu’s painting attempts to avoid any social metaphors, and from a strict critical practice extracts a unique way of seeing and reconstructing the world. Recent solo exhibitions include: “Separation”, Long March Space, (Beijing, 2015); “Play Thing”, Long March Space, (Beijing, 2010). Group exhibitions: “Resurrection II”, Surplus Space, (Wuhan, 2017); “Post-sense-sensibility: Trepidation and Will”, Shanghai Ming Contemporary Art Museum, (Shanghai, 2017); “Extravagant bodies – Crime and Punishment”, (Zagreb, 2016); “The Exhibition of Annual of Contemporary Art of China 2015”, Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, (Chongqing, 2016); “Stereognosis Zone”, Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art, (Guangzhou, 2015), among others.