From July 10 to October 10, 2022, Macalline Art Center is proud to present two solo exhibitions: “We Are All Mothers” for Chinese-American artist Patty Chang and “From South to North” for Chinese artist Tong Wenmin.
“From South to North” is the first presentation of a series of performance projects by the same name that Tong Wenmin has recently initiated. As a member of the younger generation of Chinese performance artists, Tong’s work often focuses on the places where the external environment intersects with individual perceptions. Through seemingly illogical acts, she activates subtle and inspiring gestures and their visual poetry. Her often simple or regulated movements suggest the allegorical nature of the body and action in a rich semantic context.
In her previous investigations of urban ruins, Tong Wenmin noticed wild plants’ will to survive and started to collect plants that grew in different regions. Through a long process of sun exposure, she “imprinted” these plant patterns on her body, ceremonially imbuing her body with their spirits. The six video works in the exhibition record a series of performances that the artist made with her body covered in plant designs, ranging from Manzhao, a village in Menghai County, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan. In these pieces, she climbs into trees on the mountain at night, she hangs upside down and brushes the earth, she is involved in a strangling, and she rotates around the bonfire with a group of people as to feel the temperature. These fleeting, hallucinatory scenarios are the results of the artist’s countless physical adaptations, as well as her examination of local knowledge and interest in the natural environment. These prior preparations could be seen as delayed works of art. The artist’s body is an image and a medium that occupies the liminal space between a trance-like state and a sense of presence; she balances unavoidable self-politicization and finds meaning in the simple and mysterious.
By presenting solo shows for two women artists from different cultural backgrounds and generations, Macalline Art Center hopes to explore more deeply the aesthetic and lived dimensions of contemporary performance practice. These solo exhibitions have been curated by Chief Curator-at-Large Yuan Fuca and presented by Curatorial Assistant Chen Baichao and the Curatorial Department. The exhibitions were designed by Fang Yuan.
About Macalline Art Center
Macalline Art Center’s physical space in Beijing’s 798 Art District has formally opened to the public on January 15, 2022.Macalline Art Center is a non-profit art institution founded by philanthropist Che Xuanqiao and supported by the Red Star Macalline Holding Group Co., Ltd. Based in a 900-square-meter, two-story building, Macalline Art Center will bring together artists, curators, and cultural professionals from around the world working in a range of forms. The Center will build a practice-oriented site focused on contemporary visual inventions and become a new cultural coordinate on the contemporary art map.