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Tang Contemporary Art Beijing

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Rupture of Form and Meaning

by Edward Sanderson
Wang Yuyang’s set of disparate sculptural constructions that make up “Liner,” at Tang Contemporary, betray their design by computer in their fantastically ornate, mathematical shapes, spurs and swoops of material. They seem to express an aesthetic typically seen in the virtual shapes produced by CAD software. In the gallery they become slightly unreal or impractical forms: large cubes of marble are juxtaposed with jointed lengths of the same material, inserted with lengths of gleaming aluminium sheets; jagged wooden elements iterate and displace, their interlockings and overlappings forming a co... [more]
Posted by Edward Sanderson on 4/27/13
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Battleship Museum

by Edward Sanderson
Wang Du thinks big, and his new piece, a model of a split and rusting aircraft carrier hulk, purportedly presents his proposal for a suitably grandiose Chinese Museum of Contemporary Art. Wang’s installation could be taken for a monument to a megalomaniac architect’s visionary plans, or—as he suggests—a country’s obsessive statecraft through the building of overpowering structures. But I see this installation not as a model that looks beyond itself to a completed form. For me the stress remains on this mass of iron as a sculpture in its own right. It does not represent a proposed thing anymore; t... [more]
Posted by Edward Sanderson on 4/2/12
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All in the Family

by Edward Sanderson
Two weeks ago I reviewed Wang Du’s aircraft carrier, sitting in Tang Contemporary’s main spaces, and this week I am returning the same gallery but moving my attention to the group show running alongside: the group show of Irrelevant Commission, on the occasion of their second Beijing show. I was lucky to catch the first appearance of Irrelevant Commission in their self-organised show ‘We Are Irrelevant Commission’ (curated by Gu Jing) at the Miao Pu Art District, but I remember at the time being troubled by the meaning of this group. Although they are forthright in their self-presentation as a group, I... [more]
Posted by Edward Sanderson on 4/16/12
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Lady Liberty and a Dragon

by Edward Sanderson
Photography seems to be the perfect medium for Wang Qingsong’s monumentally theatrical set pieces. In his overblown symbolic constructions and groups of people, the artist addresses issues of both a general and personal nature. In the gallery, these are presented as lush, large-format photographs allowing the artist’s attention to detail in the settings to be held static in front of our eyes for detailed attention. In the spaces of Tang Contemporary the artist is now presenting two set pieces as well as the photographs, which leads to the realization that the extra dimensions may not benefit the wor... [more]
Posted by Edward Sanderson on 1/23/12
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Tang Reaches for the Stars

by Edward Sanderson
It may seem contrary, but I can’t ignore how new or renovated art spaces affect the way works are shown and received as well as how they represent a gallery’s plans and priorities. Any conclusions must remain highly speculative, but in the choices made and priorities focused upon as manifest in physical spaces, we can perhaps gain some insight into the nature of a gallery. Tang Contemporary originally opened their Beijing space in 2006 and have occupied their site with a series of large-scale installations and commissions. One in particular that stands out for me was Sun Yuan and Peng Yu’s F... [more]
Posted by Edward Sanderson on 5/2/11
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Framing India

by Bao Dawei
        The current exhibition at the Tang, The 11th Hour, serves as a brief and very much overdue introduction to a few strands of contemporary Indian and “Indian diaspora” works.  The curator,  Shaheen Merali, seems to have found his niche in the transnational post-colonial identity art discourse, working at the House of World Cultures, Berlin, and recently curating at a variety of venues, including Stux Gallery (NYC) this spring.  His focus tends towards work that responds to “the world spiral into an existential meltdown.” With so little Indian artwork available to view in Beijing, it is... [more]
Posted by Bao Dawei on 7/25/10
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Art to Taste

by Liang Pu
Even today, not many art shows can claim to have something in store for each of our five senses.  An exception is “Ne Travaillez Jamals” (“Don’t Ever Work”), Rirkrit Tiravanija’s first solo show in China.  The artist’s background is as eclectic as the sensual cornucopia he presents—born in Buenos Aires to Tai parents, studying in Bangkok, Toronto, Chicago, and New York, the artist now lives between New York, Berlin, and Chiangmai. The exhibition includes five large-scale installations.  In the main gallery space, Tiranvanija sets up a full-scale brick-making mechanism for the product... [more]
Posted by Liang Pu on 2/22/10