September 23, 2013 - Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) - Tino Sehgal, Wang Keping, and Taryn Simon
September 23, 2013

Tino Sehgal, Wang Keping, and Taryn Simon

Left: Wang Keping’s studio, Paris, summer 2013. Photo: Michel Lunardelli. Right: Taryn Simon, Excerpt from Chapter XV, “A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters I–XVIII,” 2011. 17. Zhang, Jing, 27 July 1975. Homemaker. Qingdao, China. 18. Ma, Yucheng, 06 Sept. 2009. Qingdao, China. © Taryn Simon. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery.

Tino Sehgal
27 September–17 November

Wang Keping
27 September 2013–5 January 2014

Taryn Simon: A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters I-XVIII
27 September 2013–5 January 2014

Ullens Center for Contemporary Art
798 Art District, No. 4 Jiuxianqiao Lu
Beijing, China

T +86 10 5780 0200
visitor [​at​] ucca.org.cn

www.ucca.org.cn

The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art proudly presents three new exhibitions opening on September 27, 2013. Tino Sehgal questions fundamental assumptions about material value, social convention, and the aesthetics of daily life through interactive, objectless artworks. Wang Keping includes 50 works by one of China’s first contemporary sculptors, covering various moments in the artist’s 35-year career and a wide range of different subjects and themes. Taryn Simon: A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters I-XVIII comprises an expansive multimedia documentary project, the culmination of four years of extensive research into eighteen bloodlines and their individual stories. The exhibitions mark the largest presentations in China to date for all three artists.

Tino Sehgal creates artworks out of the interactions and exchanges that constitute daily social life. Sehgal (b. 1976, London) designs “constructed situations” in which one or more people stage live works within the exhibition space according to the artist’s directions. Through these encounters, the Berlin-based artist asks the museum visitor to reflect upon their participation in the landscape of value and meaning that comprises their everyday. These questions take on a particular resonance in China, a nation that has only recently shifted from an economy of scarcity to one of affluence. Once a society reaches a certain level of material comfort, what more do its members desire?

Using the art museum as a space to inspire dialogue and reflection, Sehgal’s open-ended artworks provide the scaffolding by which visitors might engage these questions. Sehgal’s exhibition at UCCA includes works that span the continuum of his artistic practice—from the choreographic to the discursive. Sehgal won the Golden Lion award at the 2013 Venice Biennale. In the same year, he was selected as one of four finalists for the Turner Prize, the winner to be announced in December.

A founding member of the Stars avant-garde art group in the 1970s, Wang Keping is an artist of near-monomaniacal dedication to his chosen medium: wood. To prepare the wood for his sculptures, Wang (b. 1949, Beijing) will let logs dry for months, sometimes years, allowing the innate features and fissures of the material to grow and deepen until they take on their own distinctive, biologically determined shapes. Wang’s decades of woodworking experience allows him some measure of foresight into how the wood will splinter, though every piece contains an element of chance.

Wang’s artworks range in size from 30 cm to several meters tall, variously evoking grotesque deformity, sensual beauty, and sublime abstraction. The artist started out making political sculpture as part of the charged environment of late 1970s Beijing. After moving to France in 1984, he shifted to a more naturalistic mode of practice. Though he has lived abroad for nearly 30 years, his defiant streak persists, now articulated as aesthetic rather than political rebellion.

For Taryn Simon: A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters I-XVIII, the artist (b. 1975, New York) spent four years crossing the globe to research bloodlines and their related stories. In each of the work’s chapters, the external forces of territory, power, circumstance, or religion collide with the internal forces of psychological and physical inheritance. Simon’s subjects span a wide range of topics and social relations: the titular Indian man whose relatives had him declared dead in official records to inherit his father’s land; victims of the Bosnian Genocide, represented by the bones used to identify them; and a group of Ukrainian orphans, united by their lack of discernible bloodline.

Each chapter includes an archive of all living family members, a narrative text, and a collection of documentary images chosen by the artist to represent the narrative. The cumulative effect of the installations leads to one overarching question: Is there a pattern to these events, something by which we might change the course of our existence, or are we, in Simon’s words, merely on repeat, enacting the same histories over and over again?

Editorial contacts: 
Carmen Yuan, UCCA: carmen.yuan [​at​] ucca.org.cn
Phoebe Moore, Sutton PR Asia: phoebe [​at​] suttonprasia.com

Tino Sehgal, Wang Keping, and Taryn Simon at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA)
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