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Song Dong: Window – Mirror
17 September 2021 - 28 October 2021Free
Pace Gallery is honored to present Window – Mirror, the solo exhibition of famed contemporary artist Song Dong, presenting the latest artworks from Usefulness of Uselessness, the artist’s most representative series in recent years. In 2019, Pace staged the artist’s large-scale solo exhibition Same Bed Different Dream in London, then presented his video work as the inaugural show of the “Pace Live” project at the flagship gallery in New York. Two years later, this solo exhibition will feature 9 new works created during the pandemic, reflecting the artist’s concern about the human spiritual condition of our times.
Song Dong is one of the most important figures from the conceptual art movement in China. He continues to challenge the preconceived notions of art with an extremely open-minded approach, and blurs the boundary between art and life. Song Dong is adept at using everyday objects and familiar imageries to carry out his artistic expression, through which is called “invisible form” in his works that brings extensity and richly layered room for interpretation, harmoniously combining the profound reflective thinking with popularize sensible experience.
His work Breathing (1996) is currently on view at the newly-reopened MoMA in New York as part of its permanent collection exhibition, and many of his other works are on display in important art institutions around the world such as Tate Modern in London.
In the new works presented in the solo exhibition Window – Mirror, Song Dong has continued in his sustained development of the cultural imagery of the window. As barriers between daily living space and the wider world, windows serve as a key perspective through which people view the world — through such basic interactions as to “open” and to “close,” windows can alter the relationships between ourselves and the external world, and through changes in color and form, they can alter the way the world appears in the eyes of the viewer. It is precisely that so much rhetorical and aesthetic significance has been attached to windows since ancient times.
The new work Usefulness of Uselessness — Compressed Window is from 2020, the year that the global spread of COVID-19 fundamentally shifted the human social order. “Isolation” replaced “interaction” as the conventional modes of life, and everyday activities were compressed down to the most basic range. In this series created during this unique time, Song Dong has forcefully compressed the original proportions of the window frames, making the installation appear like a cityscape comprising densely packed residences. The artist folds and stacks the cramped space between the window frames using techniques from Chinese screens to produce rich changes and transforms the work into a more ductile, flexible space, while the mirror surfaces embedded on the inside of the installation create an infinite, illusory space within. Within the tightly connected enclosure of the narrow window panes, the artist developed the windows like panels of a folding screen, producing not only a wide range of changes to its physicality but also transforming it into an even more malleable and flexible space; the viewer who enters the space, becomes a living part of the compositional structure, and the work appears like a helmet or even the warrior’s armor that is worn by the viewer.
ABOUT THE ARTIST / ORGANISERSong Dong (b. 1966, Beijing) is a key figure in the progression of Chinese contemporary art with a practice that encompasses performance, installation, video, sculpture, painting, and calligraphy, often combining mediums within a single work. Song explores themes of memory, self-expression, impermanence, and the transience of human endeavors. His projects are often composed with quotidian materials and ephemera, proposing a destabilization of material hierarchies in relationship to personal and global themes.
Song has been the subject of over thirty monographic exhibitions around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2009), Kunsthalle Dusseldorf (2015), Rockbund Art Museum (2017), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (2018). He has participated in international art activities including Documenta 13 (2012), Venice Biennale (2011) and Gwangju Biennale (1995, 2002, 2006), among others. Song’s work is held in numerous collections worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tate, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; M+ West Kowloon, Hong Kong; and Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing. Among his honors and awards, Song is a UNESCO- Aschberg Bursary Laureate (2000), and the recipient of the Grand Award of Gwangju Biennale, Korea (2006). He was presented with a Certificate of Honor from The Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco (2011), the Artron Art China Awards: Artist of the Year (Video and Installation) in Beijing (2011), and the Audience Choice Award at ARSENALE 2012 in Kiev, Ukraine (2012). Song Dong now lives and works in Beijing.
- 17 September 2021
- 28 October 2021
- Event Category:
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