News Releases -- New Installations by Huang Yong Ping and Xu Bing

February 28th, 1998

New Installations by Huang Yong Ping and Xu Bing

Vancouver, B.C. In collaboration with the city-wide project titled Jiang Nan- Modern & Contemporary Chinese Art from the South of the Yangzi River, Art Beatus Gallery and the Annie Wong Art Foundation are pleased to present new installations by artists Huang Yong Ping and Xu Bing from March 6 until April 11, 1998. The installations of Huang Yong Ping and Xu Bing expose the different mediation processes that occur in an culturally pluralistic environment. Bombarded by multiple linguistic and value perspectives, we are increasingly impelled to engage in a vigorous process of realigning the identity of self relative to the influence of the others. It is often our attempts to reconcile cultural differences which render the fragility of identity construction more apparent.

Huang Yong Ping's installation titled Terminal is a miniature replica of Amsterdam's Schiphol International Airport. The multitude of different life forms- spiders, scorpions, snakes, locusts, lizards, crickets, centipedes housed in the departure level are juxtaposed with dead specimens of insects in "arrivals". Viewers are left to witness a contested state of global immigration in progress here, only the fittest will survive, begging the question, are our cultural identities in the 1990's being devalued at the expense of power and basic survival?

Xu Bing's installation, entitled New English Calligraphy, is a controlled experiment of language that takes place in a simulated classroom. Written language is used as a didactic tool for us to document and to attribute meaning to an event. Bing reconditions this process by grouping recognizable English letters to form seemingly unfamiliar Chinese characters and asks the participants to copy these characters with ink and Chinese ink painting brush onto a practice book in a tightly defined order, thus subverting and invalidating our innate language ability. Ultimately we are left with a sense of self-denial and ambivalence common to many when confronted by a foreign culture.

The gallery will host a discussion with the artists at the gallery on March 7 at 4:30 pm. Art Beatus, with galleries in

Vancouver, Canada and Hong Kong, focuses on international contemporary Chinese art. The Vancouver gallery is on the upper plaza at 888 Nelson Street.

For further information, please contact:

Canada: tel: (1) 604.688.2633, fax: (1) 604.688.2685