Barbara Gladstone

Huang Yong Ping

01 May - 31 Jul 2009

© Huang Yong Ping
Tower Snake, 2009
Aluminum, bamboo, steel
22 x 39 x 37 feet (660 x 1189 x 1128 cm)
May 1 through July 31, 2009

530 West 21st Street, New York

Gladstone Gallery is pleased to announce a new large-scale installation by Huang Yong Ping. A founding member of the Xiamen Dada group in China during the mid-1980s, Huang Yong Ping has garnered an international reputation as an avant-garde provocateur. Exploring both formal and conceptual practices from Eastern and Western art history, Huang Yong Ping incorporates various media to develop a conceptual program utilizing the power of art to instigate reform. Redefining the notion of hybridization, Huang Yong Ping conflates the symbols of Eastern and Western art historical traditions and political events to explore the intersection of individual experience and broader manifestations of culture.
For this exhibition, Huang Yong Ping will create a monumental installation comprised of a single temple-like construction. Taking its form from the spiral of a coiled snake skeleton, a ramp of bamboo gradually rises taking the viewers from the tail toward its head. In transforming the rib cage of the snake into a series of arches, Huang Yong Ping echoes the architecture of a Gothic cathedral, simultaneously reworking this Western style with Eastern materials and subtly transforming the cruciform symbol of Christian salvation into the tangled figure of Edenic temptation. More importantly, this Tower of Babel-like sculpture depends upon the natural material of bamboo reaffirming its link to Eastern construction. Huang Yong Ping subverts well-worn cultural symbols to create seemingly disparate juxtapositions that unfold into nuanced takes on history, national identity, and artistic practice
Born in 1954, Huang Yong Ping participated in the seminal exhibition “Magiciens de la Terre” at Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris in 1989, and represented France at the 1999 Venice Biennale. In 2006, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis organized and premiered his retrospective “House of Oracles,” which traveled to Mass MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts; Vancouver Art Gallery; and Ullens Center, Beijing. Other solo exhibitions include: CCA Kitakyushu, Japan; De Appel, Amsterdam; Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Paris; Atelier d’Artistes de la Ville de Marseille; Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo; Barbican Art Gallery, London; and New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York.

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