Chinese Contemporary Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Huang Rui’s solo exhibition Comerchina. The artist has prepared mixed-media works that will be on display May 23 – June 22, 2009 at Chinese Contemporary’s Beijing gallery in Factory 798. The opening will be May 23, 2009 at 3 pm and the artist will be present. A catalogue has been produced in conjunction with this exhibition.
Highly regarded for his elaborate installations and contemplative performance art, Huang Rui is one of the founding members of the Stars Group of 1979 and a seminal figure of the Dashanzi Factory 798 Art District. Since co-organizing China’s first public art exhibition in Beijing in 1979, Huang Rui has sought to express art’s function as a reflection of society and its strength in addressing contemporary concerns. In his latest work Comerchina, the artist focuses on the latest development of China’s fascination with money and the economy. In the artist’s words, ”Comerchina is a coined word meaning ‘made in China’ or ‘commercial China’”.
For the exhibition, the artist has created 27 silk-screened canvases which placed together resemble a massive, five and a half meter Renminbi note. By referring to currency, Huang Rui calls into question the Chinese contemporary art market. When collectively mounted on a wall, the set of canvases are publicly raised to the level of high art. When broken apart, however, the works revert to their original form – objects to be bartered and sold, a form of artistic currency in itself.
To accompany the RMB work, Huang Rui has composed another series of prints that look at the notion of commercialization. Earlier in 2009, the artist called for submissions of printed material depicting saleable images. These materials serve as base images over which he has silk-screened the layout of a mobile phone touch pad. In 21st century China, the cellular telephone has become a ubiquitous necessity. Often a person will spend an obscene amount of money on a telephone in order to exude an aura of sophistication. The combination of advertisements with this symbol of wealth speaks for the materialistic turn society has taken.
Also included in the exhibition are sculptural works mirroring the idea of the mobile phone as a Comerchina emblem as well as the artist's earlier photography work Super Shopping (2002).
Huang Rui’s works have been shown extensively in China and abroad. In addition to public performances in Japan, Beijing’s Dashanzi Art District and London, his work has been included in major exhibitions at the Louisiana Museum of Denmark, the Museo delle Mura in Rome, the 1st Guangzhou Triennial, and the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art Beijing.
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