Title ← → A+ Contemporary Opening Exhibition
Artist(s) Chu Chunteng, Hsu Chiawei, Lee Kit, Morgan Wong, Liu Yue
Duration Aug.1-Oct.31, 2015
Reception Aug.1 (Sat.) 3pm
A+ Contemporary|Room 106, Bldg. 7, 50 Moganshan Road, Shanghai, China 

← → A+ Contemporary Opening Exhibition

← →

Today, the fast-paced world is shaping and changing our collective and personal experience with unprecedented velocity. “China” after the Open Door Policy has grown into an economy and cultural giant that contends with West, and has been gradually leading the trend in Asia. However, one might still wonder, under which context did the “qualitative” changes of Chinese contemporary art happen? In fact, China’s earlier socialism feature (relying on collective force such as seen in the ‘85 New Wave Movement, Star Group, and Political Pop) has slowly given way to individual expression (the evolution of perception from immediate reflection to eternal aspiration). The transformation continues on, artists who were born in the late ’70s and ‘80s (the Post-Mao Period) enjoy better quality of life and liberty, but they also inevitably face competitors from all over the world – and the same challenge applies to most young artists from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, and Korea, who must strive to adapt globalization.

We can therefore say that the works we see are artists’ honest respond to the contemporary time, but at the same time, none is able to define the context. This paradoxical connotation reminds me of a passage by Okwui Enwezor, curator of the 56th Venice Biennale: “I came to this title because I was imagining what role a Biennale could play in a moment of such uncertainty. I cannot remember a time more unstable, more ominous than this generation.” Indeed, the time may confuse and fill us with doubts; the question is how should we embrace the diversity of “contemporaneity” and discover some patterns? The curatorial programme of A+ Contemporary consists of exhibition, forum, and publication of scholarly catalog; its selected presentations center around the different facets of artistic innovation and concept, and the research scope extends to cross-disciplinary analysis.

The opening exhibition features artists from Taiwan and Hong Kong, both settle within the greater Chinese culture, similar yet not identical, correlated yet unlike one another. The exhibition title “← →” implies a bilateral expansion which also mutually attracts, while the departure point of both arrows represents China. China, Asia’s largest carrier of art and culture, no longer imitates the West but rather has adapted and integrated Western ideas, and evolved to become a unique autonomous entity. When China becomes one of the mainstream players in the field of contemporary art, its various representations, which contain social and cultural significance, are highly discussed in the global art scene. Artists from Taiwan and Hong Kong inherit the essence of Chinese culture, witness the legacy of colonialism, and open to Western art education—such complex cultural identity remains a distinctive trait that I have never seen in any contemporary artists who were born and raised in China. “Art”, after all, is essentially a performance that transcends emotions and imaginations inspired by daily experiences, the cognitive and imaginative expressions of these artists therefore possess further significance and wit, and must to be reviewed seriously in the course of Asian contemporary art.

Exhibition “← →” consists of artists Chu ChunTeng, Hsu ChiaWei, Lee Kit, and Morgan Wong. Morgan Wong (Hong Kong) focuses on durational performance and temporality with pieces ranging from performance, video, and installation to works on paper. He exploits the language of technology and interactive media to encourage active engagement with the artist’s thoughts. His work The Remnant of My Volition Series reconstructs reality through which profound societal metaphor is being communicated.

The steaming vapor, scent and vibration of The Foaming Weariness by Chu ChunTeng (Taiwan) exhibit his uneasiness to conform to a different culture and lifestyle during his time abroad in Europe. Through video work How Kind of You to Let Me Come, one can observe the fascinating dynamics of learning and being educated, the shift from ambivalence to adaptation and various aggressive and passive attitudes- this incessant anxiety is in fact a truthful reflection of our society.

Hsu ChiaWei’s (Taiwan) creative method is a specific kind of “narrative” – a way of documenting that interferes with the text in reality by focusing on site-specific and peculiar characteristics, such as memory, imagination, or identification. “Huatung Village” was once an Amis tribal settlement located in the Xizhi district of Taipei. The artist invited the previous chieftain of Huatung Village to give a narrative in the Amis language of what had happened there via juxtaposing separate audio and video tracks to reconstruct an already non-existent tribe in a real area.

Among the exhibiting artists, Lee Kit’s (Hong Kong) art practice spans the widest range of media including painting, drawing, video, and installation. His work embodies the spontaneity of combining chosen “object” with one’s emotional state, creating a diversity of expressions that reflect artist’s contemplation about life.


The involvement of artist Liu Yue in the exhibition “← →” is meant to be experimental, consciously, and intentionally.

What makes an “exhibition”? What does its title suggest? What does it mean to have an exhibition period and opening? What is the significance upon announcing an exhibition’s curator and exhibiting artist(s)? As artists strive to present their imaginations onsite, how we, the audience, are supposed to think about the essence of an exhibition? Indeed, Liu Yue’s appearance has allowed such event to escape its “fate”, whether he is willing or not, the inclusion of his last piece intervenes the time and space of an ongoing exhibition that opened on 1st August.

The creation of Liu Yue’s artwork is related to “object, time, and participation,” and manifest itselves through witty practice with macroscopic contemplation. The Archetype of Infinity discusses the definition of an object’s present being and its permanent existence in art, and how he breaks our attachment to traditional concept and presentation about art through bodily performance. Starting 9th September, the artwork shall grow and change as time progresses, slowly pushing forward, causing the exhibition to undergo “physical” transformation.

In terms of the arrangement, the unique context provided by artists from Hong Kong and Taiwan during the first stage of “← →” gets to have an interesting juxtaposition with Liu Yue, an artist based in Shanghai. The dialogue was deliberately staged for Liu to see the above-mentioned 4 artists’ work on the opening day of 1st August, and then come up with a responding proposal that fulfills the meaning behind “← →”(Text/ Yuyun Chiang)



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