White Box is honored to announce Chinese American artist Xi Fei’s first solo exhibition in New York City. In the Belly of the Beast is one of several White Box invitational exhibitions and will be on view from September 5th to 26th. The selection of works focuses on seven paintings from the artist’s large-scale series Pop Art One Hundred Whys – The Offender that Squeezed Out the Last Drop of Milk from Original Sin along with an exciting selection of mixed-media works on paper from the series entitled, Black Hole – The Chaos and Degeneration of Culture.
Combining multiple elements from Eastern and Western cultures, each piece reflects Xi Fei’s shift from growing up in China during the Cultural Revolution to settling as an artist in New York. As an outsider coming into a new, post-industrial and post-capitalist society, He explored the legacy of Pop Art through an unique perspective, quite distinct from a strictly American view of Pop Art’s legacy. Xi Fei’s appropriations are particularly evident in the titles of his paintings. For instance, The Pure Biological Reaction of ‘Popular Art’: a. Phenomenon, b. Concept, c. Gleaners’ Suspicions (2005) reveals his interest in allegory next to parables of a consumerist society with its endless reproductions.
Xi Fei’s works are evocative and narrative, eliciting the viewer’s feelings, ideas, responses and impulses. The works on paper in particular depict imagery of delight and hope – a hope to find ourselves in a new world where one can exit the belly of the beast.
A fully illustrated, color catalog with an introduction by Juan Puntes and texts by Carla Stellweg and Lilly Wei is available upon request.