Outside ART021 and West Bund / Shanghai Art Week

Alvin Jiahuan Li , Flash Art Online, December 10, 2017

[...]Over the past year, a mini art hub has been growing in the center of Shanghai’s former French Concession, with the inauguration of Capsule Gallery, the relocation of BANK Gallery and, now, the new gallery VACANCY located a one-minute walk away from Closing Ceremony, a unique photography bookstore open only on weekends and run by Shanghai-based self-publishing studio Same Paper.

Sociality as a central concern extends beyond Tsang’s exhibition at Antenna Space. Wang Xu and Cici Wu, founders of the New York gallery PRACTICE, make their curatorial debut at Capsule Gallery with “Scraggly Beard Grandpa,” which was being hyped by my close friends even before its opening, most of whom either knew the curators from their time in New York or who have spent time studying and living abroad and thus can relate to the always-ambivalent feeling of communion and displacement. Xu and Wu, who are also artists themselves, invited twelve artists (and alumni of their residency program in New York) to present new works, asking audiences to trace the marks that a memory of a bygone space has left on each artist’s practice. In certain instances, like the sculptural dialogue between Irini Miga’s fragile, hole-in-the-wall installation Landscape for a Thought (2017) and João Vasco Paiva’s The Last Kauai Oo Bird I and II (2017), a sense of communicability is particularly strong. Whereas other works, like Zheng Yuan’s exhaustive video essay, Game (2017), on evolving perspectives in video games, and Xinyi Cheng’s quiet paintings, feel somewhat unaffected by the curatorial premise. An unspoken naiveté may underlie PRACTICE’s celebration of friendship, but in our greatly accelerated, teleological time, there is perhaps much to gain from this sense of purposelessness. [...]





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