LEAP 14 out now

LEAP 14 out now


Cover of LEAP 14: Theory Fever, April 2012
April 4, 2012

LEAP 14 out now


Amidst the post-millenial marketization of the Chinese art world, theory here had seemed lonely and left behind. Within the past couple years, however, certain happenings both online and off have alluded to its resurgence. This issue attempts to measure the severity of this newfound “theory fever,” starting with a survey of theory’s place and position in Chinese contemporary art, then on to a look at two heavy-minded art projects in the suburbs of Shanghai and their ideological underpinnings, and finally, a mapping of the imported theorists whose names are most often dropped at gallery openings and on BBS forums, as well as an investigation into the oft-overlooked epistemological vehicle that is translation, and its key drivers. Fittingly, the whole package is visually complemented by a commissioned design from Zhao Yao, an artist who has been central to these debates.

Rounding out our middle section are profiles of Tehching Hsieh—accompanied by a series of commissioned illustrations from comic artist June Lee inspired by the performance artist’s practice—as well as retired artist iconoclast Gu Dexin and the cognitive perspectivist Ma Qiusha. Meanwhile, we sought out painter Liang Yuanwei for an exclusive spread of still-life fashion from around the globe, and secured the recently disclosed photographic memoirs from Agnès Varda‘s trip to China in the 1950s for our portfolio section. Outside of our two covers is yet another commission, as our limited-edition issue supplement this time takes form in a woodcut picture book based on an animated film from Sun Xun, designed by the artist himself.

LEAP 14′s front-end foray peers in on a wide range of people and places, including but not limited to an interview with co-curator of the upcoming Shanghai Biennale Boris Groys, a meditation on the genre-less video productions of the youth collective WAZA, an elegy for graffiti via a look at the life of the late King of Kowloon, and the first in our series of city-specific reconnaissance, an ecological overview of Tokyo’s galleries. 

For our reviews section, our correspondents have mustered up critiques of solo shows from Heman Chong, Fu Baoshi, Leung Chi Wo, Tony Cragg, Yang Mian, He Sen, and Hong Lei, as well as spent great mental energies on deserving group shows in Shanghai, Los Angeles, Beijing, and New York, among others. 

The reality is that Chinese contemporary art is well aware of its anemic state. Yet to advocate for “theory before practice” necessarily invites skepticism…
– Guo Juan (Theory Fever) 

“Fear” and “terror” together have always been one of art’s eternal themes. The evolution of representations of war is one long thread in the evolution of art history at large.
–Xiaoyu Weng (Gu Dexin: Iconoclast) 

Material substance is truly just material substance; only by arousing our senses may it transform into irresistible temptation.
– Duan Lingyu (Review, Hong Lei: Mi Lou) 

The only way for us to be human to one another, for relations between consciousnesses to become transparent, and universality to become fact, will be in a society where past traumas have been wiped out and conditions for effective liberty realized.
– Stephanie Bailey (Review, Leung Chi Wo: We Must Construct As Well As Destroy) 

Subscribe using an international credit card at leapleapleap.com/subscribe or write to subscriptions [​at​] leapleapleap.com with inquiries.

Meanwhile, be sure to stop by our booth and say hello at the upcoming international art fairs:

CIGE | 4.12–4.15
Art Beijing | 4.29–5.2
Frieze NY | 5.4–7
ART HK | 5.17–20
Art Basel | 6.14–17

email: info [​at​] leapleapleap.com
office: LEAP, China View Tower 1 Suite 1106, No. A2 Gongti Dong Lu, Chaoyang, Beijing 100027

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April 4, 2012

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