Liu Chuang in “Focus Section” at Frieze London 2016
“Focus Section” Frieze London
VIP Preview: 2016.10.05
Public Days: 2016.10.06 – 09
Exhibition Venue: Regent’s Park, London
Magician Space is pleased to mark its debut at this year’s Frieze London with a solo presentation of recent work by Beijing-based artist Liu Chuang. Known for engaging the borders of social, economic, and urban realities, Liu Chuang charts a manifold understanding of systems underlying the everyday, analysing patterns impressed within an object’s evolution through time.
The presentation focuses on the form of ‘Fang Sheng’, an auspicious motif of Ancient Chinese origin, which can be found embedded into a vast array of objects and carriers, which span different dynasties, up to the events after China’s open door reform following the 80s, and into the contemporary era of today. Bearing a resilient life-like instinct to survive, historical variants of the Fang Sheng motif can be found intertwined within weaves of cloth found in the Liao Dynasty, the back of copper mirrors in the Song Dynasty, to event the paper folds of an old love letter from the past. For Liu Chuang, the unpredictable ability of this motif to shift form reveals poetic turns in China’s own trajectory towards modernity. His work meticulously traces the capacity of objects and symbols to adapt in relation to the material conditions they emerge from – a process where vestigial remnants of ancient culture unexpectedly find themselves merged with elements such as Western modernism – creating a chain of relations triggering adaptations that move beyond the anticipation of human intention and desire.
Here, modernity is considered as a generative ecology – a field of possibilities dovetailing nature, inorganic matter, and technological structures together. Seeking to re-animate this process, the presentation features a series of material ‘photograms’ – each work looking to activate and hover between the segmentation of patterns formed by the interaction between the symbol and its material host. These layers within the presentation will manifest through sculpture, an animation work, and new installation work, activating the pattern as it appears in different areas of the booth space.