Huang Yong Ping: Circus

When 12 Nov 2012 - 22 Dec 2012
Where Gladstone Gallery
515 West 24 Street
New York, NY 10011
United States
Enquiry (212)-206-9300

Image courtesy of the artist

November 12 – December 22 2012

Opening: November 12, 6-8pm

Press Release:

Gladstone Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Huang Yong Ping. A founding member of the Xiamen Dada group in China during the mid-1980s – a movement that espoused the idea that “a new life calls for a new art, a new life has no need of art” – Huang Yong Ping strives to create a new mode of connecting art, politics, and cultural awareness, using art to instigate reform. Drawing on formal and conceptual practices from both Eastern and Western art historical traditions, Huang Yong Ping probes issues of national identity, politics, and social phenomenon to create works that call cultural stereotypes and philosophical narratives into question.

For this exhibition Huang Yong Ping will use taxidermied animals, a material present in his earlier work, to create three installations that explore notions of time, chaos, and the relationship between religion and power. The main gallery space will feature “Circus,” a monumental installation composed of a massive wooden hand hovering over a bamboo enclosure, orchestrating a puppet show before fifteen headless animals. The animals gaze upwards at a robed monkey skeleton, inspired by the character Sun WuKong from the classic Chinese novel “Journey to the West,” who holds in his hand a smaller puppet. The confrontation between an absent mechanical god and his captive audience begs the question of who or what is in control, and invites the viewer to reassess his understanding of relationships – both to others and to the world he inhabits. With his presentation of “Circus” and the two other works on view, Huang Yong Ping meditates on an apocalyptic vision of the world’s end. Lingering in the abstract space where it is possible for time to end and man to cease to exist, the artist creates a theatrical vision of our own destruction, asking what it means to bear witness to the tragedy of humanity’s evolution and ruin.

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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