Poster of Unapproachable  Light presented by Telescope Beijing

Telescope presents two artists from Xi’An in their first solo exhibitions in Beijing. “who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see” is from a verse in the Bible referring to a place or a state of being that is beyond the abilities and senses of humankind to enter or perceive, but it exists and bekons nonetheless.

Light is essential in the work of Bai Ye and Cheng Qianning. One works with light from within to reveal what is hidden in darkness hoping to find a way out into the day, the other works with light from without surveying from unseen vantage points the lives and remnants of cities and people below. One is intimate, the other is objective, but both reveal vulnerable states of man.

About Bai Ye

Bai Ye’s photos are made with his mobile phone and a flashlight in abandoned buildings often inhabited by anonymous figures. They are alien and haunting landscapes imbued with the hope of transcendence and flight but still mired in a dark oppressive reality. The central focal point in his photos is a burning white pupil of light from which all else is illuminated, unlike that of a human eye or dark star that sees by consuming light. Bai Ye’s imagery is enigmatic but occasionally a clue is left behind to give you a foothold of meaning; a cigarette butt, a stone, a strand of barbed wire, moon, clouds… but this trail of crumbs is short lived. What seem to be moonlit nighttime skies are really just opaque concrete walls. What appears to be a way out of one’s imprisonment is just an illusion. But in this place even illusions are welcomed and provide a ray of hope for the freedom of a brighter tomorrow.

Also included in Unapproachable Light are Bai Ye’s video observations of the strange world around him in short abstracted daily actions, places, and sounds; emotional, provocative, and haunting microscopic animations from life.

About Cheng Qianning

Lonely Satellite, is a beautiful but technologically imposing object suspended above a pool of black glass surrounded by what looks like volcanic stones. The wing portions of the satellite resemble solar panels but play video reconnaissance of ancient ruins, as seen from far above. These forlorn landscapes depict a world where all of the anxieties of humanity have faded away into dust and silence. We wonder if this information has taken only minutes or thousands of years to collect, transport to a distant region of space, then be returned for analysis. Perhaps by the time of arrival no one is left to receive it or life and technology have changed so drastically that it is difficult to decipher its meaning. Looking from the outside into our world below Cheng’s satellite endlessly receives and transmits visual information from life or remnants of past life on earth below. Today’s commercial surveillance material is usually mundane and inconsequential, but for the Lonely Satellite floating in the dark recesses of space, it offers the endless possibility of finding clues to the mysteries of life and death and what it means to be human.


Telescope {artist studio} is a non-profit styled project space located in Cao Chang Di, Beijing. Its aim is to serve the emerging artists and art communities of China by providing exhibition, curatorial, writing, and mentoring opportunities in its gallery space. Founded by James Elaine, US artist and curator, Telescope will also be a cultural bridge providing exposure and opportunities for China’s emerging artists abroad. Telescope is supported by a grant from the Metabolic Studio, Los Angeles, and by the assistance of Beam Contemporary Art, New York, London.

About the exhibition

Duration: Jun 15 – Aug 11, 2013

Venue: Telescope {artist studio}

Opening: Jun 15, 2013 Sat 15:00

Opening hours: Thur-Sun 11:00-18:00 (other hours by appointment)

Tel: 010-64337031

Add: 10 CaoChangDi, Beijing

Courtesy of the artists and Telescope, for further information please visit

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