Art Basel | China: six must-see exhibitions – Hu Jieming

China: six must-see exhibitions (select)

By Fiona He

For their first exhibitions following the Lunar New Year, galleries in Beijing and Shanghai are shining the spotlight on Chinese artists. Through painting, sculpture, installation, and video, these artists contemplate unique aspects of the human condition – from our relationship with mundane objects to absurd, idealized beauty standards.


‘Hu Jieming: The Things’ Magician Space, Beijing Through April 17, 2021

When most people were preoccupied by the gloom of sheltering-in-place due to the global pandemic, Hu Jieming (b. 1957) began his photographic series ‘The Things’ (2020). By zooming in on objects, décor, and views of his home, he transformed his domestic space into a theater stage. He further dramatized the space by digitally manipulating the images’ colors: The yellow of bananas contrasts a living room bathed entirely in turquoise; an ultramarine orchid stands out amongst an otherwise green-hued bathroom. Hu’s renewed fascination with objects from everyday life compel the viewer to reassess their own relationship to materiality, with his photographs acting as prisms refracting a ‘new normal’.

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