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Galerie Urs Meile is honored to announce our latest exhibition A Place for Concealment (2022). This exhibition will present works from more than twenty Chinese contemporary artists born from the 1960s to the 1990s, including works in painting, photography, video and installation. Curated by independent curator Yang Zi, this exhibition takes the form of two painting storage racks, inviting the viewer to enter a game of partial concealment: the artists “conceal” their mental visions within the confines of the artwork, and creation can be seen as a journey of activating these visions, but at the same time, they are awaiting the moment these visions are activated by the gaze. The psychological visions emerge and then disappear, and capturing them becomes an impetus for the act of creation. With the actions of the body as medium, revealed through creation, the vision is tactfully transmitted to the viewer—to the audience, to the collector, or to the artist himself—while also planting a distant, indistinct origin point in their minds, awaiting the next act of targeting and correction.
One could say that one aspect of the process of creating an artwork is for the artist to thoroughly observe the object of depiction multiple times in their mind. In the process of modeling what they see with the naked eye, the artist is free, free to move around the object of depiction, to enter it, to fuse with it, or to break it down into fragments. The elements of painting can be employed as actors in a play, interacting according to the artist’s will. What is fluid can be cut off, what is scattered can be linked together, the near made blurry, the distant made clear, the flat given depth, the solid rendered flat.
We cannot say that the spatial image in the mind is “transposed” into reality. That is because when the contents of the mind are materialized, the artist must deal with the material of reality, and that material in turn shapes the artist’s mind. The process of presenting the mind’s spatial image is a process of contention with the conditions of creation. The impression concealed within the mind is also a process—the created object takes on increasing clarity as it is gradually born, revised, or transformed.
This exhibition is also a tribute to artist Wang Guangle’s project Artwork Apartment—A Presupposed Storage Rack at the 2019 Beijing Contemporary Art Fair. In this project, Wang Guangle brought together over thirty young artists, and hung their works close together in a storage rack. Viewers had to pull each artwork out individually in order to take in the whole. At the time, this served as a metaphor for the growth of the nascent Beijing art business ecosystem. Within a few short years, the same form alludes to the vanishing subjectivity of the artist amidst the flourishing activity of art collecting.
We would like to express special thanks to young collector Mr. Luo Xudong, whose strong support made this project possible. In a time filled with obstacles and uncertainty due to the pandemic, we hope that this gathering of artists from different generations and artworks of different creative languages and artistic expressions can initiate a discussion.
杨紫，独立策展人，毕业于南京大学哲学系、宗教学系。他于2020年获选为首届“希克中国艺术研究资助计划”研究学人，并担任画廊周北京评委；2019年担任年度华宇青年奖初选评委；2017年入围 Hyundai Blue Prize 年度艺术大奖。
杨紫具有近十年的艺术评论写作及策展经验，2011年任《艺术界 LEAP》杂志编辑，并长期为《艺术界 LEAP》、《艺术论坛》中文网和《艺术新闻中文版》等杂志撰写文章。杨紫还曾任UCCA尤伦斯当代艺术中心策展人及公共项目总监，策划多场展览及公共项目活动，包括参与策划了“例外状态：中国境况与艺术考察2017”、“Pity Party”、“敢当：当代神石注疏”、“韶华”等群展，以及赵半狄、谢南星、张允菡、杨露子、尉洪磊、朱昶全等艺术家个展。
Yang Zi is an independent curator. He received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy and religious studies from Nanjing University. In 2020, he was awarded the first Sigg Fellowship for Chinese Art Research; he was the jury member of 2020 Gallery Weekend Beijing; in 2019 he served as one of the primary judges of Huayu Youth Award; he was a finalist for the 2017 Hyundai Blue Prize.
Yang Zi has nearly ten years of experience in art critic writing and curation. In 2011, he served as editor of LEAP, and wrote extensively for a range of publications such as LEAP, Artforum China and the Art Newspaper China. He was the curator and the head of Public Programs in UCCA. He curated numerous exhibitions and public programs, including “The New Normal: Art and China in 2017”, “Pity Party”, “Land of the Lustrous”, “In Younger Days”, and other projects, as well as solo exhibitions by artists such as Zhao Bandi, Xie Nanxing, Zhang Yunhan, Yang Luzi, Yu Honglei, and Zhu Changquan.
Cai Jian, Cai Zebin, Han Mengyun, He Chi, Hu Liwei, Huang Yuxing, Jin Haofan, Lau Wai, Liu Xiaohui, Tang Yongxiang, Tao Hui, Wang Guangle, Wang Shang, Wang Xingwei, Wei Jia, Wei Xiaoguang, Xie Nanxing, Xie Qi, Winnie Yan Wai-yin, Xiong Jiaxiang, Yan Bing, Zeng Hao, Zhao Yao