Tang Yongxiang in “Each to His Own: Li Wendong and Wei Xingye Collection Exhibition” at OCAT Xi’an

Each to His Own: Li Wendong | Wei Xingye Collection Exhibition

Exhibition Dates: 2016.09.24 – 10.16

Exhibition Venue: OCAT Xi’an

Curator: Dai Zhuoqun


Collecting is not only an adventure but another form of art; a simple, rugged path to the unknown. On this winding path leading into the distance, sometimes you arrive at a junction and must choose a fork in the road; in this way you move forward. Thusly collecting art is like a one-way street. For as collectors explore a collecting philosophy they may be led towards the unknown. They have to become expert decision-makers and risk-takers. They may have access to all manner of information, but eventually, they have to make their own choices.

“One-way Street” is not only the topic of this exhibition but also a view put forward by Walter Benjamin about putting aside conventional ways of thinking as guided by concept and deduction. In a changeable, puzzling world, individual judgment becomes reliant on perceptual intuition. Rather than rational thinking, art collecting relies entirely on personal emotion and intuition.

However, in a sophisticated, modern society, people usually follow prior experience and existing choices when making decisions instead of focusing on exploring the true meaning of the subject itself. The public convention of making a judgment is not judgment in a real sense for the options available are not real. Judgment and choice is merely based on the compliance of the greatest number of people by way of experience.

In fact, every person makes choices on the basis of their own individual instinct and emotion are unique. In other words, every judgment, every choice of object is itself a one-way street.

Collections directly reflect the thinking and judgment of art exacted by the collectors who put them together. Great collectors are unafraid of being inventive and or of exploring new methods by following their own discretion, which also can be seen as the significance of collecting.