Xue Mu: A Childish Nothingness
21 November 2014 - 11 January 2015

The exhibition presents the most recent body of work by Xue Mu. It visualises the artist’s current investigation on value paradox through an otherworldly perceptual experience. Large abstract charcoal drawings, juxtaposed against a series of still-life photographs, together with a formation of small objects and flows of silk banners; all the works are displayed atmospherically in the gallery space in Mu’s signature installation style. As the title alludes to, the presentation shows lightness, playfulness, and spontaneous yet efficient arrangement on the contemplative thoughts of the artist.

The artist is one of the many individuals who are experiencing the ideological confusion and identity struggle in the current system of globalization. She is interested in the doubts, curiosity and cognition for the potential new value orientations and its unpredictable future possibilities. These large charcoal drawings (Black Diamond 2014 series) can be considered as visual registrations on the process of crystallizations on complex thoughts and flows of emotions that are generated by the artists. The marks on the one hand attempt to perceive multi-layered social relations in a neutral, open scale, remaining in the meanwhile sceptical and reflective. The process of making the drawings is the process of digesting circumstantial information and thought and takes a fundamental role in Mu’s practice. The accumulated series of drawings construct a personal universe of thoughts, doubts, struggles and observations on the collective events.

The whitish pristine photographic prints (A Childish Nothingness 2014 series) however explore the paradoxical aspect of value experiences in a contrary realm within the scheme. Applying the cutting-edge visual techniques that are normally employed in the advertising industry, the large and detailed photographs successfully capture the highly-charged moments among groups of insignificant objects. The alien and almost perfect imagery emphasizes the details of imperfections, opposed to the seductiveness of the explosive commercial image-experiences, unreservedly exposing the fleetingness and unfamiliarity; contrasting themselves to the conventional perceptions of value, quality and luxury. These images not only efficiently highlight the visual quality in things that are normally ignored, but also expose the inherent quality in them which could enrich our existential experiences.

Combining different work in one space, the presentation contextualizes Xue Mu’s seemingly unrelated practices and research; However with the nonlinear aesthetical harmony it unfolds a fullness of experience. 

Events & Projects

29 November 2014, 4:30pm - How Life Mimics Art and Art Mimics Life: Tangential Activities That Influence Art Practice