Making Transcendents On Demand

August 24 – September 28, 2019
HdM Gallery, Beijing, China

Installation view of Making Transcendents On Demand, HdM Gallery, Beijing, China, 2019
Courtesy of HdM Gallery
Photo: YangChao Photography Studio

From the beginning of Li’s career, the expression of materialism within painting and sculpture has always been the core of his artistic experiment. Starting from his different treatments of materials (including Styrofoam, hugely popular online T-shirts, fireproof fabric, abandoned computer and so on) expressively using collage, these works have been gradually seen by the artist as a synecdoche: parts that contain information on the whole. The title of this exhibition originates fromthe transcendent culture of Chinese online literature. The artist sees the system of symbols constructed by Capitalism as ‘ubiquitously invisible’ because it is everywhere yet impossible to find. This exhibition combines three series of new works. Altogether, they express Li Jingxiong’sinterest in the system of symbols pervading our lives. He created a series of paintings, sculptures and video works withspecial characteristics inspired by Chinese fantasy novels,by celebrities’ interviews, by hacker techniques, by the fashion industry and documentaries on genetic science.

“It requires a heart three inches long, a soul five feet large, which do not melt in fire, do not dissolve in water, although everyone is different but you shall always find a way, it is a difficult and eerie process, and takes some time to discover”Modern fantasy literature came into vogue at the beginning of the 21st century in the Chinese Internet world. Because of its complete view of world and direct expression of human desires, it became one of the most influential popular literature; in it, the artist sees the possibility of new expressions. Names of fantasy novels areformed into the shapes of and exhibited as sculptures. In 2018, the first DNA editing of infants who are still developing inside their mothers proclaimed the birth of a new kind of art – “the collage of life”. The digitalization of metaphysical principles being simulating patterns, – DNA becoming its origin – the “DNA” series of painting and sculpture describes these strange genomeimages. Besides, the computing technique of changing a face with algorithms was applied to his video latest work ‘Hyperfake.’ In it, Li Jingxiong combines knock-off products and a celebrity’s interview together to suggest the total division between substantial iconic material and sheer image production. As a result, we can find out the narrative pattern shaping truth and falsehood.At the same time the images of celebrities are robbed of their candour.