Yu Honglei. Solo Exhibition at Magician Space, Beijing

The current exhibition at Magician Space in Beijing (China) is a solo show of the artist Yu Honglei. Yu Honglei’s third solo exhibition is titled Everything is Extremely Important: There is Nothing That Will Not Come Back Again. The artist presents three perspectives with a video work, sculptural objects in the main exhibition room, and the exhibition as a whole (more info after the break).

Yu Honglei was born in Inner Mongolia in 1984. The artist currently lives and works in Beijing.

Yu Honglei: Everything is Extremely Important: There is Nothing That Will Not Come Back Again. Solo Exhibition at Magician Space, Beijing. July 12, 2013. Video by Diana Coca.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

From the press release:

The exhibition title alludes to the artist’s current approach to his art practice, making visible the concept of ‘recurrence’ – a daily phenomenon and a mental way of understanding a revelatory sense that inhabits both life and art. ‘Recurrence’ also functions as a keyword to unlock ideas within the exhibition, shedding light on a glimmer of clues left around different areas of the gallery space.

Sculpture is an art about the ‘object’. According to Yu Honglei, art comes from life; his work as an artist is derived from the everyday objects collected from his life to bring about and create an array of discursive new possibilities. Sharing the exhibition title, the video work instigates the opportunity for the artist to address sculpture’s ‘lack of speech’ in the form of an outburst that underlines his ‘anxiety to speak’ in art. The video consists of two narratives that construct an ingenious mirrored space. The first reveals the subjective narrative of the artist as both the ‘object’s founder and creator. The other part follows a narrative guided by different perspectives in the third-person. The same objects are expressed using different viewpoints and are interwoven with narratives created by this polyphony of voices. The sculptures in the main exhibition room are a presentation of new works; some of the works are featured in the video; and there is an inclusion of works previously exhibited before. Viewed together, the works on display in this room can be regarded as clues, but also as markers to the unfolding dialogic themes explored in the video. However, also functioning independently of the video, each of these objects posses their respective stories of the past and a voice to again instigate new discourses. Similarly, with these characters from different stories, in this new theatre a new dialogue and plot can be generated to further lure audiences into producing their own narratives and stories.

Everything is Extremely Important: There is Nothing That Will Not Come Back Again provides us with a site to work and propose these questions to ourselves: in what way can we look at sculpture? In what way can Yu Honglei’s sculptures, as object-based objects, become new objects? Similarly, in what way can the dialogue among these objects develop new narratives? At the same time, this exhibition provides us with questions concerning the identity of the artist – namely, can an artist be capable of viewing the display of his own work?

Yu Honglei”s work combines order and emotional memory, using literary methods to produce a narrative atmosphere. Through the selection of symbolic objects, the processing and transformation of materials, and intentional repetition and combination in placements, the artist is able to realize the extension of content so that the appearance and name of artworks coalesce into a discourse of unfinished statements. these artworks explore the dialectical relationships between ideas and form. He has also created projects that interact with space, placing audiences into limited or intentionally planned spaces to explore the distances between between degrees and methods among objective and subjective existence.

Yu’s works have been exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum London, the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Korea, Museum of contemporary art Taipei, OCT contemporary Art Terminal Shenzhen and the Shanghai Museum of Art.

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