Out of the Box

17 Dec 2010 - 31 Jan 2011

© Chen Shaoxiong
Landscape 1
1996 Video
Boers-Li Gallery Group Exhibition
17 December, 2010 - 31 January, 2011

Boers-Li Gallery is pleased to announce a group exhibition ‘"Out of the Box." The exhibition is opening on 16 December 2010 and is running through 31 January 2011.

"Out of the Box" brings together works of 14 Chinese artists which are made before 2000 in the need to break out of the boundaries of the Chinese society defined by a set of restrictive rules and conventional conduct. Out of their studio and using video as new artistic medium, artists focused directly on what was around them, to develop a new perspective in Chinese art that became vital for today’s art production.

Like nothing else, the catchphrase “Art Is to Change What You Expect From It” was defining for the new mind set and attitude: it provokes artists and their audience to question their basic value system - aesthetically and ethically - continually in order to give form a more personal oriented one. Although not always understood or appreciated, in the pre market-adaptive art period of Chinese art it was an invitation to "live in your head" (sub title of the conceptual show When Attitude Becomes Form, Bern, 1971).

Unimpeded from predictable political or commercial strategies and aware of the deceptive role of the ‘Spectacle’ they turned their eyes to the fragmented world of the trivial and neglected. Uncertainty and ambiguity was an attitude they preferred to perform, instead of tuning in with the misleading language of the dominant mass-media. What better to use - in a subversive manner - than tool of the controlling media itself: the video camera in the artist’s own hand.

With only a few exceptions - only through personal contacts or semi-public channels - the video camera as artistic tool became available for artists in mainland china in the years around 1992. It was also a period in which artists found more easily connection with developments in international contemporary art, although under difficult circumstance still. In that period of pre-market dominance, the artists found a unique climate to re-invent their art practice, permanently. That this encouragement to a permanent process of "The New" could lead to a permanent marginalization of preceding art practices, it doesn’t mean that these art works in question are overhauled, obsolete and convicted to disappear. On the contrary, from our contemporary point of view these works are messengers of an enlightened period casting light far ahead.

In "Out of the Box " a series of early Chinese video works are shown. Looking back to those years we have to conclude that a considerable number of these works are only been seen in china by a few, because they were showcased for friends in their apartments, or only abroad, often without travel budgets, or the show was closed at the opening. Even the titles of the shows in that time were not spectacularly inviting: no space, demonstration of video art, or ...(something trivial) "as a reason, etc.

To make this artistic dynamics of that time more comprehensible "Out of the Box" shows also ‘contemporary’ documents like project sketches, documentary images and catalogs. Characteristic ‘administration’ furniture from central planning period supplies its excellent serve as pedestal for these distinctive art works on monitor.

This show is realized with generous support of some of these courageous artists from the early hours: Chen Shaoxiong, Wang Gongxing and Zhang Peili.

Participating artists: Chen Shaoxiong, Geng Jianyi, Li Yongbin, Wang Jinsong& Xiaohong, Wang Gongxin, Wang Jianwei, Wang Peng, Xu Tan, Yang Fudong, Yang Zhenzhong, Zhang Peili, Zhou Tiehai, Zhu Jia,

Boers-Li Gallery thanks Song Haidong and all the artist.

Tags: Catalogs, Po-i Chen, Yang Fudong, Wang Gongxin, Zhu Jia, Wang Jianwei, Geng Jianyi, Wang Jinsong, Zhang Peili, Chen Shaoxiong, Zhou Tiehai, O Zhang, Yang Zhenzhong