June 17, 2013 - UCCA, Beijing - Tehching Hsieh and Teppei Kaneuji
June 17, 2013

Tehching Hsieh and Teppei Kaneuji

Left: Tehching Hsieh, One Year Performance 1980–1981, Waiting to Punch the Time Clock, 1981. Right: Teppei Kaneuji, White Discharge (Built-up Objects #28), 2012.*

Tehching Hsieh One Year Performance 1980–1981

Teppei Kaneuji

Towering Something
28 June–25 August 2013 

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

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


The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art is pleased to present two summer exhibitions opening on June 28, 2013. Tehching Hsieh One Year Performance 1980–1981 marks the first time that the work of one of the world’s most important performance artists will be shown in mainland China. The full installation from one of Hsieh’s most iconic works, Time Clock Piece (One Year Performance 1980–1981)—a work in which the artist punches a time clock every hour for an entire year—will be shown in the UCCA Long Gallery alongside documentary materials on his other works. Teppei Kaneuji: Towering Something showcases new work produced by the Japanese sculptor during a residency at UCCA in summer 2012. Comprising installation, collage, and video, the exhibition will be held in the UCCA Central Gallery and Nave and will be accompanied by a bilingual monograph. 

Tehching Hsieh is renowned for the way his pieces collapse the distance between art and life. The founding influence on Chinese performance art after 1989, Hsieh (b. 1950, Taiwan) conceived and executed five One Year Performances in New York between 1978 and 1986 before abruptly ceasing to make and show new work. Hsieh’s performances gives flesh to concepts central to theoretical investigations into the mechanics of both late capitalism and authoritarian governance—presence and surveillance, production and control, discipline and submission. With performance criteria variously including being locked in a cell; punching a time clock every hour on the hour; never going inside; being bound to a female performance artist—but with no touching; and cutting out all art practice, his works demonstrate extraordinary levels of individual will. The five One Year Performances were followed by Thirteen-Year Plan, a period in which Hsieh made art but did not show it publicly, ending on December 31, 1999. 

Though currently undergoing a scholarly reexamination, one of the reasons Hsieh’s work is so compelling is because it is so opaque. Time Clock Piece comprises the time clock itself, 366 time cards, 366 filmstrips, the uniform that Hsieh chose for himself, an artist’s statement and witness statements, a record of missed punches, a 16mm time-lapse film, as well as a poster and photographic portraits made for the piece. The second part of the exhibition is a six-part collection of posters and statements covering Hsieh’s output from 1978 to 1999. The exhibition is part of an ongoing focus on performance at UCCA this year, marked also by the inclusion of several performative pieces in the recent exhibition, DUCHAMP and/or/in CHINA and to be capped with an exhibition by Tino Sehgal this coming autumn.

In Teppei Kaneuji: Towering Something, the artist (b. 1978, Kyoto) gathers icons of modern culture and everyday objects—hula hoops, shopping carts, plastic dinosaurs, Doraemon—and assembles them into sculptural and cut-paper collages, resulting in Frankenstein sculptures that explore a separation of purpose and form. White discharge, or plastic resin, is poured over the mass of objects and then drips down to cover some pieces entirely, harden into stalactites, and pool on the ground. By connecting lines, turning shapes inside out, and flip-flopping roles of “inner” and “outer,” Kaneuji’s work smothers the projected meanings of symbol-object relationships, and explores the possibility of interacting with materials in ways other than those preordained by the social and economic values usually assigned to them.

Teppei Kaneuji describes the effect he hopes to engender with his art as “a sense of encountering things that seem familiar but that we do not really understand.” In addition to presenting pieces from Kaneuji’s signature White Discharge series—work inspired by the leveling effect a blanket of snow had on a Mercedes Benz and adjacent pile of dog excrement—this exhibition also includes the Games, Dance & the Constructions and Ghost Building series, with featured works made from manga cutouts, photographs, mirrors, and the skeletal frames of children’s sticker sheets. 

Wang Xingwei will remain on view in the UCCA Great Hall through August 18.

Editorial contacts: 
Carmen Yuan, UCCA: carmen.yuan [​at​] ucca.org.cn
Jade Ouk, Sutton PR Asia: jade [​at​] suttonprasia.com

*Left: Tehching Hsieh, One Year Performance 1980–1981, Waiting to Punch the Time Clock, 1981. Performance. Courtesy the artist and Sean Kelly Gallery, New York. Photo: Cheng Wei Kuong. © Tehching Hsieh. Right: Teppei Kaneuji, White Discharge (Built-up Objects #28), 2012. Wood, plastic, steel, resin, 80 x 70 x 36 cm. Courtesy the artist and ShugoArts. Photo: Yusuke Nishimitsu. 

UCCA, Beijing
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