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Indepth Arts News:

"Qing Hua Porcelain (blue and white): An Exhibition by XU TAN"
2002-05-23 until 2002-06-29
Location One
New York, NY, USA United States of America

Location One is pleased to announce artist-in-residence Xu Tanís forthcoming debut solo exhibition. Qing Hua Porcelain (blue and white) is a new video/sound installation in which Xu Tan explores the differences in American and Chinese cultural interpretations of what is "real" and what is "fake". Although each culture distinguishes and classifies "real" from "fake", neither clearly defines these terms.

Xu Tan draws his inspiration from the teachings of philosopher Chuang-Tzu (circa 250 BC). Successor to Lao Tzu and a foremost proponent of Taoism, Chuang-Tzu presumed that no matter how alike two things are, a difference between them can always be found and, conversely, no matter how different two things are, one can find a similarity between them. Objective similarities and differences do not justify any particular way of distinguishing between things.

Qing Hua Porcelain (blue and white) consists of 4 videos in which Xu Tan posits that situations play out differently depending upon location (in this case China versus America). Location relates to culture, hence culture plays a role in how one understands the world, interprets "true" and "false," "authentic" and "fake". Through a dialogue with an American female friend, Xu Tan asks the question: "What is true love?" hence shedding light on diverse interpretations of love. Xu Tan further addresses differences between "real" and "fake" by recording specialists of Qing Hua Porcelain - perhaps the most well known Ming China- who discuss the notion of "authenticity" and the controversy around authenticating these imported ceramics. Can anyone be certain that a piece is genuine or counterfeit?

Qing Hua Porcelain (blue and white) was partly inspired by a line from the Chinese short novel, Dream of the Red Chamber that says, "if you turn something fake into something real, then the real things start to lose value becoming fake".

Xu Tan was born in Wuhan, Hubei Province in 1957. In the early 1990ís he joined the "Big Tail Elephant Group" in Guangzhou with Lin Yinlin, Chen Shaoxiong and Liang Juhui. The aim of this group is to develop critical strategies for negotiating the rapidly changing economic and cultural life in China.

Location One is particularly grateful to the Asian Cultural Council for making Xu Tanís residency at Location One possible.

Location One (www.location1.org) is a new not-for profit art center, which fosters the convergence of all types of creative expression. We maintain a gallery space suitable for every form of performance and exhibition, and within this space, multimedia net-broadcasting facilities that allow us to webcast a 24-hour stream of both live and archived events. Our International Residency Program invites artists from other countries to experiment with emerging technologies. Location One is an exploration space for continual creative discovery.

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