September 10, 2017 - Shanghai Himalayas Museum - CURRENT: Contemporary Art from Scotland
September 10, 2017

Shanghai Himalayas Museum

Image courtesy: Cooper Gallery DJCAD, University of Dundee and Shanghai Himalayas Museum. 

CURRENT: Contemporary Art from Scotland
Phase Three
September 22–November 10, 2017

Preview: September 22, 3–6pm

Shanghai Himalayas Museum
Please take A1/A2 Elevator of Himalayas Center to the 3rd Floor
No. 869, Yinghua Rd., Pudong District
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm

T +86 21 5033 9801
Twitter / Instagram / Facebook

Exhibition programme:
Bruce McLean: I Want My Crown
Ross Sinclair: Real Life Is Dead/Long Live Real Life

Organised by:
Cooper Gallery DJCAD University of Dundee
Shanghai Himalayas Museum
In partnership with the British Council 


"The contemporary" is measured in gesture and pose. It is an impulse, a setting into motion.

Embodying this momentum, Phase Three of CURRENT: Contemporary Art from Scotland declares "the contemporary" to be the only imperative to action. Always here and now, the duration and conditions of "the contemporary" define its reality. Composed and choreographed as utterance, appearance and manner, yet disavowing spectacle, Phase Three of CURRENT focuses on the elusive details, the nuances of gesture and pose that give "the contemporary" its concrete “Real Life."

Comprised of two solo exhibitions from Bruce McLean and Ross Sinclair, Phase Three of CURRENT illuminates how different experiences of "the contemporary" are constituted in time. In the details of a particular walk, a well-rehearsed move or a polished rhetorical phrase, the incidental is transformed by the medium of time into moments of utterance, appearance and manner that inherently matter. Yet what matters is not the solitude of individual acts or soliloquies spoken alone, "the contemporary" can only make its claim when “deeds and words” are seen and heard. Without appearing to and for others "the contemporary" is insubstantial. The exhibitions in Phase Three of CURRENT capture “a space of appearance” inscribed as duration and action, revealing "the contemporary" as a collective fabric of the many.

Spanning 48 years and enthused with an ironic take on sculpture, the first major exhibition in China of the preeminent British artist Bruce McLean will capture his subversive wit at its most "posed" and incisive. At the forefront of Conceptual art in Britain in the 1960s, McLean’s work embodies a playful and critical stance on formalities and hierarchies. Not content to let it rest on a plinth, McLean levers sculpture onto the screen and into the photograph, opening up a subtle and complex mediation on the condition of sculpture, confronting institutional politics and the pretensions of the art world. Exemplified in his iconic works Fallen Warrior (1969), Pose Work for Plinths (1971) and Urban Turban (1997), McLean’s exhibition I Want My Crown is a timely rebuttal of the spectacle of "the contemporary." 

Ross Sinclair’s exhibition Real Life Is Dead/Long Live Real Life brings a specific inscription of "real life" to China. Heralding a new phase in an ongoing project that critiques the experience of the "real," Sinclair’s exhibition is a statement of commitment to a future that explores the complexity and tensions of “being in the world”. A leading figure in contemporary art in Scotland, Sinclair began the Real Life project in 1994 with the phrase tattooed on his back. Following this definitive act Sinclair developed Real Life as a series of exhibitions, performances and installations that summons a determination for individual and collective "real lifers" to stand as the multiplicity and reality of "the contemporary."


Curated by Cooper Gallery, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee in the UK in collaboration with Shanghai Himalayas Museum and organised in partnership with the British Council, CURRENT: Contemporary Art from Scotland is a four-phase contemporary art exhibition programme, showcasing for the first time in China the distinctiveness of contemporary art made in Scotland, its grass-roots spirit and its keen debates with the social dimensions of art and culture.

Phase Three of CURRENT: Contemporary Art from Scotland is kindly supported by the British Council, China-UK Connections through Culture, The National Lottery through Creative Scotland, Scottish Government, and is part of the Spirit of Youth programme. CURRENT is a direct result of the Research and Development Trip (January 2014) funded by Creative Scotland. 

Shanghai Himalayas Museum
Share - CURRENT: Contemporary Art from Scotland
  • Share
Click to subscribe to e-flux and be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements
Subscribe to e-flux
Be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements.
Subscribe to architecture
Explore the most recent content from e-flux architecture and urbanism
Subscribe to e-flux programs
Keep up-to-date on all upcoming talks, screenings, and exhibitions at e-flux in New York