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"Samples from the Transition – Treasure: Liu Ding’s Installation Project"
2005-07-23 until 2005-08-23
Project Room, Long March Space
Beijing, , CN China

Liu Ding’s installation project “Samples from the Transition – Treasure” will be presented from July 23 to August 23 in the project room of Long March Space, 2005. The co-existence and interchange of hope and disappointment, desire and disillusion, reality and absurdity have always been the central issues of Liu Ding’s works, which are distinctively marked by a sense of sharp-edged and precarious-looking aesthetics. From the deceivingly shiny and handsomely attractive “Mushrooms,” “Chinese Mushrooms,” “Gray Goo”, to “Silver Tooth,” (made of silver) and “White Bombs” (made of porcelain), these minimalist installations are a manifestation of the artist’s profound doubts towards the hectic, full of temptations but soulless, treacherous, excessive and aimless way of living prescribed to us by modern society.

“Treasure” is one of Liu Ding’s installation works under the theme of “Samples from the Transition.” It will be presented independently in the project room of Long March Space. “Samples from the Transition” is a sequence of works Liu Ding conceptualizes as a way to continuously examine and contemplate the various aspects of contemporary society on a microcosmic level. They are the results from the artist’s attempts to re-interpret, represent and magnify the all kinds of contradictions, absurd events, bizarre phenomena, and outrageous concepts prevalent in the society today. As the artist carefully obscures the borderlines between the existing order and disorder, the logical and the incredible, and highlight the confusion, disharmony, complication, the out of place and the absur! d in his projection of the reality from various perspectives, the audience is led to experience alienation, uneasiness and confusion over the common way of life that they are familiar to.

In many historical images and memories, the great person would always be standing on top of a mountain, overlooking and pointing out to the world under his feet. The mountaintop thus comes to be considered a synonym for power. In the world of Alibaba, the treasure is always hidden in the depth of the mountain. If you venture there and obtain the password, you can then get your hands on the treasure. Power and treasure seem to be out of reach but in the meantime, they might be just around the corner. In reality, many of us are fully committed to being a player in this Vanity Fair, full of ambitions and desires. We all hope that one day we could reach the peak of the mountain and we would do it at any cost, and by any means. Some people thus become workaholics; some become a visionary of! the new age by making “flying machines;” some become profitable psychiatrists and gym bosses; some become artists who reflect on this mass “hiking” movement in the society. What would happen then once we reach the top of a mountain? Is there really priceless treasure or simply a fantasy of ours? Besides, there are always higher mountains beyond the ones we’ve conquered. Is there an end to this venture?

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