ODYSSEY – EXTENSION OF A JOURNEY
For the occasion of Gallery Weekend Berlin 2013, Mindpirates invites the Beijing and Hong Kong based gallery Platform China to curate an exhibition in Mindpirates Projektraum. Video work by media artist Jin Shan and recent paintings and drawings by Ma Ke will be presented for the first time in Berlin.
The image of a journey is a figuration of the one year Platform China project Jungle II, a concept more than a project that highlights and researches new exhibition modes. In the exhibition at Mindpirates Projektraum in Berlin the project Jungle II – Thriving Morphology presents works by two young up-and-coming Chinese artists, Jin Shan and Ma Ke under the title Odyssey, extension of a journey expressing Jin Shan’s quest of digging in people’s habits and life as well as Ma Ke’s experience with emotions.
By “jungle”, Platform China refers to a space-time pattern. Without an ultimate spatial concept or time line, Jungle is a project that presents itself in the shape of a diffusing, proliferating and gradually growing process than presenting itself in a conventional exhibition mode.
The dialogue between Jin Shan and Ma Ke to be highlighted with this exhibition functions as a sub-project: it is to introduce a context for the audience to emulate, discuss and interact with. The blending of various shapes and art forms contribute to creating a new systematic territory of the peculiarities which are strongly related to its inner formation.
The themes Jin Shan is interested to discuss and work with tie in with individual experience and contemporary history. He therefore chooses to use different narrative methods to better express these links: video, photography, sound, painting.
Ma Ke’s approach to painting is minimal, provoking the reaction of the viewer and stressing the visual power of his technique, hence Ma Ke tries to convert his obsession with means of expression into concrete forms. His forms are nonetheless a way to pursue a spiritual elevation, they become a tool to display his questions about the action of painting and the meaning it carries.
Both engaged with conceptual and minimal tones, Jin Shan and Ma Ke are about to create a space for the spectator to ponder and question the potentialities of the artistic language; they collaborate in a process of decomposition and re-assemblage; breakthrough and re-creation of new structural processes; to investigate the contemporary and the individual’s own positions within.
I forgot how I got to this place. It was dark around when I woke up and nothing could be seen. I stretched out my hand, separated my five fingers and finally I could see a half moon. The moonlight penetrated through my fingers and poured onto my face. I felt cool; the wind was up. I stood up and flipped off the mud on my bottom. The light went on and there was a lonely chair in the corner near the window, covered with dust. I looked down, but there was not a single footprint on the dusty floor. I became more confused. How did I get here? How long had I been here?
Excerpt out of the manuscript to Jin Shan, One Man’s Island (Beijing: Platform China Contemporary Art Institute, 2010), p 85-86