RESTART | Spiritual Realm | Disillusion
Eli Klein Fine Art is pleased to announce a group show exhibiting video art by Miao Xiaochun and Cui Xiuwen. In each work the artists freely present incorporeal endeavors that call for the psychological conditions set by the boundless medium of video.
“RESTART”, a three-dimensional animated video by Miao Xiaochun, courageously traverses through the complex and fantastical notion of completely restarting. Replenishing, re-exploring, erasing time, re-feeling time. To the score of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Miao Xiaochun reconsiders stipulations of time, space, and human existence through a comprehensive and emotional journey. Almost dream-like, where anything and everything occurs, the three-dimensional characters travel through art history references in montages and mimeses, and leap from optimistic to post-apocalyptic scenes. The artist creates a world of riddles, wonders, and destruction—while constantly incorporating an undertone of examination of the rational and irrational. Through emotional depictions of statuesque figures crumbling, deteriorating, melting, and then fearlessly rebuilding, the video constantly transcends an emotion, a frame of mind, more so than the transbiomorphic narrative. From start to— debatable—finish, RESTART is a visual symphony, continually leaving the viewer in a vulnerable, numinous state.
“Disillusion”, similar to the video “RESTART”, echoes the wordless language of Kafkaesque surrealism embodied in the emotional process of procuring. Exquisite bubbles, representing the fragility and short-lived span of human life, dissolve, split, and reform. Nightmarish and freeing feelings roam in Disillusion, through frames of milky smoke to rigid clarity. In his work, Miao Xiaochun curates a dance of virtual bodies made of lines and bubbles, which is harnessed and then disintegrated, bringing a visual “rescue and relinquish” experience of human transcendence.
Cui Xiuwen’s notable video, “Spiritual Realm”, represents a breath of paradoxical calmness compared to its neighboring videos. Twenty-two images of nude individuals, each on a respective screen, bleed into each other whilst floating in their respective dimensions, existing primitively and purely. Free of chaos, each existing body is allowed to explore realms of spirituality, religion, and in turn, discover multiple levels of solipsism. The mesmerizing representations of the naked human body, each an individual locus, swim and exist in their dark abyss, exploring the inner and outer connection to existence and the metaphysical. This world created by Cui Xiuwen allows the viewer to challenge the existence of spiritual uncertainties, as they shed material complexity and are deconstructed to their bare essentials. Cui Xiuwen beautifully appropriates her response to the phenomenon of spiritual essence through the looped domains of a nearly ceremonial aesthetic.
Stretching the corners of our internal realities, “RESTART” and “Disillusion” by Miao Xiaochun, and “Spiritual Realm” by Cui Xiuwen instantly release an aura of omnipresence by using the human body as an able vessel for metaphysical and philosophical exploration. Confronting our subconscious impulses in dealing with spirituality and existence, the audience is brought through a frightfully beguiling journey from the raw to the metaphysically chaotic, in all, confronting the question, “What does it mean to exist?”
Cui Xiuwen was born in Heilongjiang, China in 1970 and now lives and works in Beijing. She studied at Northeast Normal University and the Central Academy of Fine Arts. Recent solo exhibitions include "The Domain of God," Today Art Museum, Beijing (2010); "Quarter," Florence Museum (2007); "Cui Xiuwen -Kan Xuan," Museum of Contemporary Art, Bordeaux (2004). Major group exhibitions include "Alors, la Chine?," Centre Pompidou, Paris (2003); "Untitled: Julia Loktev, Julika, Cui Xiuwen," Tate Modern, London (2004); "Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China," International Center of Photography and Asia Society, New York; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; The Smart Museum and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Seattle Art Museum; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Santa Barbara Museum of Art; Nasher Museum of Art, Durham (2004-2007); "The Thirteen: Chinese Video Now," MoMA PS1, New York (2006); "55 Days in Valencia – Chinese Art Meeting," Instituto Valencià d'Art Moderno (2008); "China: The Contemporary Rebirth," Palazzo Reale, Milan (2009); "Half the Sky: Women in the New Art of China," Leonard Pearlstein Gallery, Drexel University, Philadelphia (2011).
Miao Xiaochun was born in Wuxi, China in 1964 and now lives and works in Beijing. He studied at the Central Academy of Fine Arts and the Kunsthochschule (Kassel, Germany). Recent solo exhibitions include "Out of Body," White Box Museum of Art, Beijing (2011); "Miao Xiaochun - Two Big Video Works," Today art Museum, Beijing (2010); “Macromania”, Ludwig Museum, Koblenz (2010). Major group exhibitions include "Open Vision," National Gallery, Prague (2009); "Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China," International Center of Photography and Asia Society, New York; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; "Spectacle: To Each His Own," Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei (2009); "Facing Reality," National Art Museum of China, Beijing (2008); "Synthetic Times - Media Art China (2008); National Art Museum of China, Beijing (2008); "China Design Now," Victoria & Albert Museum, London (2008); "Expenditure, Busan Biennale," Busan MoMA (2008); “The Constructed image: Photographic culture," Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto (2007).