Yibin Tian: Our New York

When 5 Mar 2010 - 1 May 2010
Where Chelsea Art Museum
556 W 22nd St
New York, NY 10011
United States
Enquiry 212-255-0719

Our New York, C-print.  Courtesy of the artist and the Chelsea Art Museum, NY

March 5 – May 1 2010

Press Release:

Our New York by Yibin Tian (a.k.a. Lao Liu or Old Six) is an installation that continues his last year’s series All for One and One for All.  His work is a result of being reared in a totalitarian government in Bejing, China. This rigid environment provoked him to explore the contrary lifestyle of individualism. Many of the works express the North Korean Songun (military first) politics, yet simultaneously touch upon democratic values as they combine western figures and ideas. Tian’s photographs and sculptures of North Korean military authoritarianism (Songun) where a nation is at the service of its leader Jong-Il Kim, are metaphors for power.  Juche is akin to a religious philosophy that espouses worship of a charismatic leader and is informed by Confucianist values advocating the notion of filial piety and familial hierarchy. While exhibiting the last series in New York the artist enacted a pre-set visual dialogue between western and eastern militarism by posing together North Korean officers juxtaposed against New York uniformed policemen.

True to his desire to recognize human uniqueness, Tian has cast one of his many soldiers with a funny smirk in his facial characteristics while his body is lined up in unison with the rest. Surrounded by his large-scale photographs of North Korean soldiers goose-stepping in orchestrated simultaneity in front of their national banner, his soldier sculptures are reminiscent of army formations that in their sheer number and similitude strike terror in the hearts of viewers.

While the tension continues between the communist block and the west, Tian’s world as seen in his many political photographs, videos and sculptures critiques a much larger form of power, one that is more insidious in its sublimity, and that controls everyone’s fate.

For more information please visit www.chelseaartmuseum.org.