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"Elegant Gathering, Hong Hao’s Opening"
2007-04-19 until 2007-06-02
Chambers Fine Art
New York, NY, USA United States of America

Chambers Fine Art is pleased to announce the opening of Elegant Gathering: Hong Hao’s Opening, beginning April 19, 2007. Born in Beijing in 1965, Hong Hao graduated from the Printmaking Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing in 1989. Although he also studied oil painting, his primary interest has always been in the graphic arts and photography. At the same time as he was working on the series of prints known as Selected Scriptures in the 1990s, however, he began to consider the dynamics of the art world in such works as Invitation (1997) in which working with Yan Lei he sent out fake invitations to submit works for possible inclusion in a special section of Documenta X. This may not have won him many friends at the time but it did demonstrate very clearly the incisive quality of his analysis of the hidden structures of the professional world which he was on the point of entering.

For the exhibition Hong Hao’s Reading Room held at Chambers Fine Art in 2004, the gallery space was converted into the reading room of a provincial library, gathering together examples of his multi-layered graphic works as well as a series of three-dimensional and illusionistic works on the theme of books. During the intervening three years, Hong Hao has become fascinated with openings, the ritual gatherings that mark the calendars of museums and art galleries with increasing frequency. Works in the current exhibition include a new series titled Opening; handscrolls on the traditional Chinese theme of the Elegant Gathering and a new addition to the artist’s My Things series (2001-2004), all related to exhibition openings.

In the two works based on handscrolls, Elegant Gathering in the Western Garden on Mt. Hua and Elegant Gathering, contemporary figures are inserted into theses records of civilized gatherings of the past, creating piquant juxtapositions of ancient and modern. In the Opening series of photographs, he offers panoramic views of notable recent openings of works by Liu Xiaodong and Fang Lijun in Beijing in October 2006. Finally, in the carefully orchestrated compositions of invitations in My Things, Britta Erickson suggests that “Hong Hao’s arrangement of the invitations according to their physical characteristics (size, shape, color), rather than aspects of the exhibitions they represent, suggests that in the end openings are undifferentiated markers massing together to fill the lives of gallery habitués.”

Both a participator in and detached observer of the hyperactive art world in China today, Hong Hao is a visual diarist and a chronicler of his time.


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