White Space presents a solo exhibition by He Xiangyu, running from December 2, 2023, to March 2, 2024.
In his recent work, He revisits a series of sculptures originally crafted in response to the contemporary living conditions of Asians in the West. He reorients their conceptual focus around the notion of ‘identity archaeology.’ Examining the past and present from a near-future perspective, this body of work reflects the evolution in the artist’s thought process and execution, now situated in a broader temporal and spatial context. Contemplating the East as the origin of this expanded time-space, the artist explores how ancient dispositions and philosophies continue to influence people’s actions today, how present challenges shape future possibilities, and whether tomorrow’s vision can lead to a renewed understanding of the past and a critical reflection/correction of the present.
These beliefs were evident in He’s solo presentation at Sifang Art Museum’s offsite space on Shanghai’s Tongren Road earlier this year. In expanding the concept of the ‘readymade,’ He extracts objects, emotions, thoughts, and their full contexts from reality, reshaping them. This new exhibition features works like Circular Resistance, Relic | G021022①DW:7, Relic | T021022③AW:7, and Untitled, focusing on objects imbued with classical Chinese aesthetics and cultural connotations, such as elephants and stones, or drawing from figures and methods representing the cultural and aesthetic convergence of East and West. Recontextualizing these motifs within contemporary crises on both local and global scales, these works open up a subtle crevice where the artist endeavors to resolve complex issues that gradually unfold.
stainless steel, iron, natural stones
from left to right:
492×66×139.5(h) cm, 36 stones
774.5×40×137(h) cm, 51 stones
491×40×132(h) cm, 26 stones
overall dimensions variable
gelatin silver print on glass
image dimensions: 12×10×0.3 cm
framed dimensions: 58×56×3.5 cm