Magician Space is delighted to present its third solo exhibition with artist Yu Bogong, featuring newly commissioned sculpture, a participatory work inspired by psychodynamic experiments, and a site-specific installation that will intervene with the gallery space in the building’s front façade. Yu Bogong is one of the enigmatic figures to have emerged from the Yuanming Garden artist village, a founding avant-garde movement in the early 1990s. After the dispersal of this community, Bogong has proceeded to pursue a nomadic approach with a wide-ranging practice comprising sculpture, drawing, game experiments, neon diagrams, and installations.
For his third solo exhibition with Magician Space, the presentation elaborates on motifs from Yu Bogong’s ambitious Mandala Plan, a multi-dimensional project spanning a period of ten years beginning in 2005. Traditionally used as a diagrammatic tool for spiritual exploration, Yu Bogong’s expanded notion of a mandala is directly applied to address the symbolic and physical parameters of the gallery space. In the transitory space of the gallery’s façade, a series of drawings formed by rock and string outline a constellation of stars creating an abstract and figurative reflection of an enduring physical constant in our lives.
Inside the gallery, two parallel presentations take as their influence the Jungian ‘Sand Therapy’ technique, inspired by Tibetan Buddhism, the experiment encourages participants to rationalise intuitive impulses into three-dimensional form. Forming the basis of an interactive sculptural game: visitors are invited to create landscapes with sand and clay objects depicting fragments of human culture connected to ideas of time, nature, history, modernity and the future. As a cumulative open-end game rather than zero-sum, the experiment embodies a continually changing component throughout the exhibition duration, making visible an interchange between internal impulses and external projection by participants.
In the third component of the exhibition, the gallery floor is filled with white sand, playfully disrupting gallery conventions of the white cube. Rather than a collection of isolated works, the sculptural objects constitute a mutable terrain, evoking a mental landscape and a nomadic exploration of materials. Spanning ten years and ending in 2015, the present iteration of the Mandala Plan focuses on the role of temporality, combining durational work with a presentation evoking a fluid reading of this on-going work.
With this immersive setting, the elements selected from the Mandala Plan will survey the artist’s unique trajectory, presenting a discursive journey by highlighting an intimate interplay between abstraction of natural materials through human interaction; each work together demarcates a self-reflexive space positioning audiences as agents of change; and more broadly the Mandala Plan posits questions regarding our connection and potential impact on the world.