Li Linlin (b. 1992, Beian, Heilongjiang) holds BFA in Spatial Design from Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA). Since graduation in 2016, she has been working and living in Beijing. She was a participant in Shibijia’s Young Artist Program (2015), a recipient of LALIQUE Nova Art Prize (2016), a Luo Zhongli Fellowship (2016) and the winner of 1912 New Star Art Prize. Li’s works and manuscript sketches are in collections of the CAFA Art Museum and CAFA Foundation Department. Her large-scale installation works has been exhibited or collected by the Yinchuan Contemporary Art Museum, Sichuan Art Academy Museum, Guanshanyue Museum, Anren Biennial, Yuandian Art Museum, Jingjihu Museum, and other private art galleries including Zero Art Center, 1X3 Gallery, among others.
Stable Composition is a multimedia installation. The main body consists of two industrial foot ladders, one is hanging upside down from the ceiling and the other one has fallen to the ground. Mounted on the two ladders are daily objects of various materials, such as windows, LED light tubes, old-fashioned outdoor lights, clothing, shoes, and colored branches wrapped in woolen thread. The roof and floor are made with stainless steel mirrors; the ladders are reflected repeatedly through the mirrors, connecting infinite amounts of ladders together and extending the limited height to infinity. This work takes “the dimension/latitude of the home” as the theme, the main triangle structure outlined by the ladders implies stability. Similarly, the notion of “home” represents individuals’ natural needs for stability and security, is the continuation of spiritual support and hope. “Home” is an abstract concept, it does not fully refer to the social composition or legal family model that people can see or touch. The essence of “home” lies in everyone’s senses of belonging and imagination. Everyone is trying their best to live the kind of material and spiritual life that they see as ideal.
野人花园Savage Garden, 2016
综合材料, (每件木箱的尺寸) 3m x 2.1m x 2.6m 9 Mixed Media, (Size of each box) 3m x 2.1m x 2.6m
Thriving in the Barbarian Garden are beings beyond known civilizations. These innocent new creatures are free from old traditions and not bound by any existing social norms. As humans, we live in an era where the civilizations created by us get to define us. The structure of society becomes more and more complicated, forming a gigantic cage. This system of this cage operates at a high speed, a speed beyond our control, just like a very fast train running onward not being able to stop. We are pulled away from nature, or nature is pulled away from us. Yet the deep core of our body lies our primal desire of breaking through, running away, and escaping–civilizations and traditions. This is why I made this work. So much of it is centered around the idea of “restriction”. The shipping containers themselves are closed and suffocating. They embody values of industrialization and transactions. The 8 containers are their own individual statement on the relationship between nature and civilizations.
Born and raised in Pakistan, Sobia Ahmad moved to the United States at the age of fourteen. She graduated in 2016 with Honors from the Bachelor’s in Studio Art Program at the University of Maryland College Park. Her work has been reviewed in several major publications such as Al Jazeera English, The Washington Post, and The Huffington Post and has been included in multiple collections. She has exhibited internationally–including at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles, the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art in Ithaca, New York, Queen Mary University in London, and the Women Filmmakers Festival at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC. Ahmad received a Vermont Studio Center fellowship award in 2018, was the 2019 recipient of the Next Generation/Sanctuary Artist Fellowship at VisArts in Rockville, MD, and is a 2019-2020 Halcyon Arts Lab Fellow in Washington DC. Sobia Ahmad’s interdisciplinary practice maps the various ways the personal and the political overlap. By charting her own experiences and community narratives and weaving them with current and historical socio-political contexts, she highlights the inseparability of the self and larger power structures. The work poses questions like: What confirms or dissipates our sense of belonging? What effects do policies have on our personal and collective psyches? And how can our deeply intimate struggles of belonging inform larger conversations about national identity, notions of home, cultural memory, and gender?
作品两则 Two Selected Works:
渺小的身份 Small Identities, 2017–ongoing 至今
穆斯林移民的证件照片被印制在陶瓷片上 | 尺寸可变 (2019年6月展出时共计108 件陶瓷片) Photo-transferred ID photos of Muslim immigrants on ceramic tiles | 108 tiles, as of February 2020, Dimensions variable
In 2017, as the United States president issued an Executive Order to ban travel from several predominantly-Muslim countries, I began collecting passport-sized ID photos of my family, relatives, friends, and colleagues that are Muslim immigrants in the U.S. Interested in drawing connections between home and architecture and othering of this community, I began to transfer the ID photos onto Islamic-shaped ‘Arabesque’ tiles, a popular interior decoration motif in American homes. Soon, I learned that people were afraid to submit their photos, citing intense fear of violence and hatred. For every person who told me they were too afraid to submit their ID photo, I added a blank tile to the installation to represent them. Over the last two years, this project has transformed into a documentation of the widespread fear among Muslim immigrants in my immediate community. This is an ongoing project and I am also collecting anonymous interviews with those who choose not to submit their ID photo. (If you would like to participate either by submitting your ID photo or sharing why you don’t feel comfortable doing so, please contact me at SobiaAhmad92@gmail.com.)
In June 2018, the Supreme Court upheld President Trump’s Executive Order, which bans travel to the U.S. from several predominantly Muslim countries. While reading the official Case Syllabus and Opinion of the Court, the artist was struck by the violent and dehumanizing language used to describe those who are not U.S. citizens. The artist created a poem using text directly from the Supreme Court decision on President Trump’s Travel Ban, and engraved the words on passport size acrylic boards. The viewers were invited to dissolve these words in water, yet soon they would realize while the words may become ghostly as the ink dissolves in water, they will remain engraved. Similarly, Supreme Court rulings can be overturned, but the impact of such historical events is long lasting. The damage has already been done and the wound will take a long time to heal. It might never heal.
Ye Su (b. 1983, Shaoxing, China) holds a BA in Oil Painting from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts and a MA in Experimental Art from the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA). Ye Su is now living and working in Beijing. His art practice involves painting, installation, video and novel. He has been working on Oil Bottle, a novel that documents dreams. Plots and scenes from this book often inspire his art creation. Ye Su has exhibited at CAFA Art Museum, AMAUA Museum, Songzhuang Art Gallery, UCCA, Taikang Space, Inside-out Art Museum, Beijing Minsheng Art Museum, Tang Contemporary Art, Platform China, Gallery 55, Bridge Projects, Blue Roof Museum, Telescope Beijing, Hua International.
作品两则 Two Selected Works:
美术字 The Art Word, 2012–ongoing 至今
其实我是人 Actually I Am Human Being, 2012 | 北京 Beijing
我们写完 “其实我是人” 之后两年, 大字被环卫部门清除。2016年发现有不知名的人在旁边写下 “其实我们都是人” “Actually I Am Human Being” was erased by a sanitation worker two years after. In 2016, an unknown person wrote “Actually We Are All Human Beings” on the same wall.
Since 2012, three artists, Song Xi, Yang Xinjia and Yesu, have launched a series of collaborative artistic practices in public spaces. The artists were not confined to any particular form or method. Depending on the chosen space and its environmental context, the artists implemented the works quickly as if they were “encounters” and “assaults.” “Artistic Words” is one of the many iterations. It started at the end of 2012 and has been ongoing since then. In the past four years, the three artists occasionally come together to host discussions, and they would go back to investigate and scout their own surrounding environment. Based on their findings, they then design the form and message of “Artistic Words”–slogans–to be painted on public surfaces. So far, they have created slogans in bright red paint in public areas in Beijing and Shanghai. Types of urban landscapes they’ve engaged include factories, fences, embankments, buildings and so on.
The artist created More You More Me as part of a larger project “Hoarding” during his residency at Fo Tan Art District, HK. The residency lasted for more than 10 days. Each day, the artist wrote or drew down his inspirations, ideas, memories on pieces of letter-sized paper. He would then crumble the paper into a ball and attach them to the wall. On weekends, the artist opened up his studio to the public. Visitors were encouraged to interact with the paper balls on the wall, open them up and examine the writings. At the same time, they could also take part in the project and add their own creations to the paper ball collections following the artist’s prompt. More You More Me serves as a direct outlet for young audiences to assert their presence and express their truth thoughts, while preserving anonymity. At the same time, when reading through the paper ball collections, one might unexpectedly encounter messages left by other people that resonate strongly.
乔瑟夫·奥尔佐 Joseph Orzal (华盛顿哥伦比亚特区 D.C.)
乔瑟夫·奥尔佐是一个来自华盛顿的菲律宾和墨西哥裔美国艺术家, 策展人和艺术合伙人。他于2010年从Corcoran College of the Art艺术学院取得学士学位。自那以后, 他便广泛参与各类艺术展览。2019年, 他取得了美国马里兰艺术学院 (MICA) 策展实践硕士学位。他的作品从实体和情感两个层面相结合的视角, 对于人类生活状态以及西方社会中可感知但不可言说的有关种族, 性和阶级区分等议题作出观察与反思。在Corcoran艺术馆工作一段时间并离开后, 他在华盛顿联合创立了NoMüNoMü,一个专注艺术家社群和策展的文艺平台。该平台主要关注艺术界的独立性和自主性。
Joseph Orzal is a Filipino-Mexican-American artist, curator, and serial collaborator from Washington DC. He received his BFA from the Corcoran College of the Art in 2010 and has been actively exhibiting since then. His works combine physical and emotional observations of the human state and mine the palpable yet unspoken intricacies of racial, sexual, and class distinctions in Western societies. After his glorious departure from the Corcoran Gallery of Art, amidst his involvement with the Save the Corcoran group, he co-founded NoMüNoMü–an intersectional artist collective and curatorial platform in Washington DC working towards liberation from the perpetual systems of oppression and class domination that permeate throughout the artworld.
作品两则 Two Selected Works:
清仓大甩卖 Everything Must Go, 2018
展览：“清仓大甩卖”, 空间营地艺术空间 Everything Must Go took place at SpaceCamp Gallery, Baltimore MD.
Everything Must Go ambiguously sits in between Art and Non Art. The project is a bartering experiment, an Utopian proposal of an alternative mode to capitalism trade rules. Questions central to the artwork’s examination: Where do the things we consume come from? Who makes them? How do we determine the value of a thing? How do we decide that it no longer has value? What do we exchange in order to obtain it? And who decides how this is done? The project invites audiences to rethink established systems of exchange and the elements of creation, production, consumption, possession, waste, and value(s) functioning within them. The title, “Everything Must Go”, intentionally repurposed an advertising slogan and a call to action. During the exhibition–or say, flea market–the concept of “prices” were shaken and seriously challenged, as creative labor can be exchanged for anything in this store that is deemed to be of equal value. Money’s no good here. All art objects are free to be disassembled, reassembled, disregarded, or destroyed, and in this way the visitors become consumers, laborers and artists. Anything altered and produced within this space becomes a work of art as well as a product. (The exhibition is co-curated with Joan Cen 岑璟峣, Jared Christensen, Rhonda Dallas, Maria Emilia Duno, Josh Gamma, Tracey Jen, Minzi Li 李旻姿, Allie Linn & Jiayi Zhong 仲嘉懿.)
乐观主义佛教徒 Hedonist Buddhist, 2019
Hedonist Buddhist took place at the Washington Project for the Arts, D.C.
The project’s name “Hedonist Buddhist” originally came from the philosopher Slavoj Zizek, who once elaborated that Buddhism is probably like the new spirit of capitalism, as opposed to Protestantism. This project responds to the rise of gentrifiers who have imposed a new consumptive lifestyle upon several historically marginalized neighborhoods in DC and endangered local histories and cultural traditions. The artist himself is one of the many who are impacted by this process. Growing up in D.C., he had to move several times because of rising housing and living costs. He also lost his art studio space due to new real estate development — luxury apartments, bars and commercial projects. This personal experience of insecurity and precarity led to an artistic intervention in partnership with the Washington Project for the Arts, resulting in an artist-curated bookstore, exhibition, and performance space that showcased and supported the works of eight local artists. Through transforming an exclusionary retail environment in Shaw into a solution-oriented community space, the artist aimed to physically and symbolically provide a temporary sanctuary for people feeling the consumptive pressures of gentrification, the loss of cultural connection, and the inevitability of displacement. In this space for dialogues and critical examination, like-minded allies will find opportunities to cultivate new methods of resistance.