Liberty Leading the People-web
 
 

Liberty Leading The People
CHEN YIZHONG  陈一中
February 21 – March 29, 2014

 
 

tAd is pleased to present this solo exhibition by artist CHEN Yizhong, who currently works and lives in Chongqing, China. His body of work stretches across different media to explore the predominant yet contradictory concepts of the present and history, time and space, the individual and the public. Presented in this exhibition is his new series of interventional photography. Using the globalized context of the rapid socioeconomic development in China as his backdrop, CHEN builds up a flattened photographic space with the intent to juxtapose, compress, and unveil layers of reality and illusion. His ultimate question is one that concerns the meaning of change.

CHEN received a MFA degree from Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in 2012. He has also studied under Prof. Michael Brynntrup’s Filmklasse in Hochshcule für Bildende Künste (HBK) Braunschweig, Germany.

 
 
 
 

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Is China Chinese, or not quite?
by araya vivorakij

China is less a country; likewise, Asia is less a geographical region. In Liberty Leading The People, artist CHEN Yizhong portrays “China” and “Asia” as notions, ideas and concepts. Far from self-referential or self-sufficient, CHEN’s ideas of “China” and “Asia” are intertwined with other ideas, specifically “the West” and “Europe” as shown in his photographic images. Together, these and other interrelated concepts are a system of knowledge which has genealogical roots in history. For example, the constructed meanings of “the East” and “the Orient” can be dated back to the 19th-century European literary discourse, as Edward Said demonstrates in his book, Orientalism. This discourse establishes “the East” as antithetical to “the West” in a kind of relation analogous to Jacques Lacan’s notion of self and the Other. Similarly, the genealogies of “China” and “Asia” can be sketched out in the invention of world history during the European Enlightenment and the rise of colonialism, as WANG Hui shows in “The Politics of Imagining Asia: A Genealogical Analysis.” WANG examines the writings of Western scholars Hegel, Smith, and Marx to uncover their depictions of stages in world history and their narratives that have produced knowledge on regions and peoples. “Asia” and “Europe” are constructed, WANG writes, as “two correlated organic parts of the same historical process,” yet they also “occupy two drastically different stages in this historical continuum.” Underlying these 19th-century writings is a universalist narrative of European modernity around the three central themes – empire, nation-state and capitalism. “Asia” is constructed in opposition to European modernity, and therefore is conceived as a backward stage.

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中国是否中国?

策展人 , 作者:araya vivorakij
翻译者 : 陈一中 (translated by CHEN Yizhong)

“中国”仅仅指代一个国家,就像“亚洲”仅仅是一个地域概念。但在陈一中的个展《自由引导人民》中,他将“中国”和“亚洲”展现为观念和思想。 他们并非自我指涉或自我满足,其作品中的“中国”和“亚洲”还与其他概念相关联,尤其是那些图像作品中所显现的“西方”和“欧洲”。所有这些加在一起,建构了一个具有历史系谱根基的知识系统。例如具有对比性含义的“西方”和“东方”概念,可追溯到19世纪欧洲重要的文学议题——东方主义。就像爱德华·萨义德在他的《东方学》中著述的。在这个议题中,“东方”和“西方”被设立为类似雅各布·拉康的自我与他者之间的对立关系。与此相似,“中国”和“亚洲”的轮廓可以在欧洲启蒙运动时期撰写的世界史以及殖民主义的兴起中被勾勒出来。在汪晖的论文《亚洲想象的系谱》中,通过对西方学者黑格尔,史密斯,以及马克思等人著作的引用来揭示了他们对世界历史舞台的描述,同时指出了他们的叙述所生产出的有关于地区和人民的知识。“亚洲”和“欧洲”是二元对立的,在论文中他指出:“同一历史进程中两个关联的有机部分”,另一方面“又在连续的历史整体中分立于两个截然不同的舞台。”在这些19世纪的书写背后,是一个欧洲现代主义的普世性叙述,并围绕着三个中心议题——帝国主义,单一民族国家,以及资本主义。“亚洲”被看作欧洲现代化的对立面,因此也被设想为一个反面的舞台。

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