In his assay Presence and Resistance critic and writer Philip Auslander states that in our present mediatized culture we can’t possibly justify the traditional ontological association of evanescence and disappearance between a live performance and the reproduction or filing by mediatic tools.
In this view the interpretation of a work of art endures a travel through layers of different deconstructing passages, editing its value in a superficial appearance, whose significance is always-at first sight-buffling and undisclosed.
The soft brightness of smooth and shining surfaces is for the players presented in this "two-man" show the common ephemeral medium by which "dissimilar subject matter and psychological experiences are lead to a new boundry"(From the intorducing assay written by Ai Weiwei). Two lustres (thus 10 years) run between Liu Ding (1976), the first a young artist from Nanjing and Yu Fan(1966), a well-established sculptor teaching at the Central Academy in Beijing.
Despite their generatioanal differences the works exhibited here at CAAW and curated by Ai Weiwei, shares the dazzling magical nature of the spellbound.
The gigantic sculptures by Yu Fan (as Hallo, 1999 -100x100x320 cm; Horse, 2002 -220x50x195cm; San Sebastiano, 2001 -55x70x165cm) are fixed up with a unique kind of texture and colour. The technical polish and ripeness of the execution, as well as the minimal rendering of the portrayed subject, are evidence of an underground inner world. This world is still confused and misleading, where the unpredictable universe he’s constructed hides within the glimmering effect of the spray paint (i.e. car varnish) he uses to cover those objects.
A silver mane horse, a saint, a waving Mao Zedong, a "personal" tower…they all bear the secrets of a personal path searching for answers, be it in art or life, in what one can see in it’s own visual experience.
On the other hand Liu Ding, whose experiments with installation and potograpfhic media, are the result of a unitary muse.
A silver life-size tooth drowned in a 10.000 watt flow of light (Silver Tooth, 2002 -installation work), capsules mushrooms, n.5 capsules hanging dipersed over his installation and photographic works are unexpected results of clearcut and conscious replacements of ultimate answers (Fragrant Essence Good for Spring, 2002; Chinese Mushroom - installation, 2002 and photography, 2003; Mushroom - installation, 2002 and photography, 2003).
Liu Ding is fascinated by the texture and physical appearance of things. Ding uses it as the platform for arguing the liability and legitimacy of their existence. You can only think about what you can see (2002) was an installation made up simply of a mirror. Thus under the apparent confusing consistency of his unpredictable objects, hides a meaningfull set of ontological rules inspired by the observation of everyday life details in the ingenious inventions of a thoughtfull new arrangement.
Existence is for both of these two artists a multi-layered set of images taken from the stock market of the real world and the visual kingdom which history keeps on reinterpreting.