Next exhibition:
Previous exhibition:

Gallery I. - Golden Grave by Mona Leau 
              Gallery II. - Virtual Installation by Yichen Chen 
      Gallery III. - Dream by Moon Yuezhu Wang

Opening: December 17th, 2020, Thursday at 7:30pm
until December 31st, 2020

{ Gallery I. }

Golden Grave
By Mona Leau 

Click “Exhibition” on the front page.
Click “Collection” to see more details. 

Fig.1 Web 2.0 Prototype of the exhibition Gold Grave (2020)

Artist Statement

*Notes: This article is written by the artist herself indeed by using the third-person narration as a part of her experimental practice. It should be emphasized that Mona Leau is the artistic alter-ego of Jinmeng Liu. The main reason for doing so is to objectify her perspective as a critic and a curator of her own works, thereby discovering ‘blind spots’ that might be ignored during the previous stages of creating and displaying art.

Fig.2 Floor Plan

Golden Grave is an one-woman exhibition of the emerging artist-cum-curator Mona Leau from China, in which shows approximately 20 original works executed by various media (Fig.1). It consists a series of old photos from the artist’s family, documentaries presented in both still and moving images, also, an assemblage with curatorial quality. 
Born as a typical member of ‘Gen Z’, the artist has multicultural backgrounds. After studying abroad and being educated with the Western critical thinking, she has started to epistemologically question everything, for example, the complicated traditional rituals that link material reality to spiritual world together: why do we still have them after modern a half-century endeavor of China's ‘modernization’?
Although the exhibition is simple, it dramatically highlights several paradoxical relationships: personal feminist aspiration and male-dominant Confucian culture, mechanical camera work and traditionally customary rite, Chinese cemetery and world wide massive mortality, family reunion and self-quarantine, etc. They seem contradictory yet simultaneously poetically inter-dependent. 
Family photo or Quan Jia Fu, which can be literally translated into ‘the fortune of the whole family’, has unique aesthetic, social and financial values in Chinese contemporary art. One of the prime examples belongs to the celebrated Chinese artist Xiaogang Zhao, whose photo-realistic style painting to depict families during the Cultural Revolution. In China, family photos is quite different from what it is in other cultures. Every time when family gather together during the Spring Festival or special events and dine out, normally ask waiters in the restaurant to take a photo for us. Some restaurants even have professional photographers and printing techniques - people can buy prints, or cups with photo printed on it directly from the restaurant. Chinese see it as a formal but not serious thing, thus family photo always records joyful moments, which echos to its Chinese connotation. 
It might be noticed that, as a formal exhibition, the only thing missing is literature. Although subtitles are presented in the short film, there is no artist’s statement or curatorial prelude which normally printed onto the wall panel or/and brochure to explain the whole show. 
As a photographer at that time, the artist believed that the documentary image is an introverted and best visual language to express her intention. The British artist and curator David Company also considers that “the term ‘photographic’ has come about to designate a whole range of important partial practices.” She comprehended Company’s explanation as all forms of art are photographic except for texts.
However, a basic problem concerning audience’s perception also emerged: most viewers are American-based whose knowledge of Chinese culture is generally scarce. It unavoidably leads to confusion during exhibition, because the subject-matter is relatively uncommon. 

Fig.3 A View from Exhibition Entrance

As can be seen from the floor plan (Fig.2), the show room is structured into a conch shape, which is divided into dual sections of different works surrounding an identical motif. One part interweaves to another, explaining the quintessence of the artist’s weltanschauung-- ‘the love and filial piety of family’. 
A range of old photos can be encountered immediately while entering through the door(Fig.3). The provenance of this reminiscent materials are the family members of the artist. The purpose to present this pieces of family memory not only is emotionally cultivating audiences’ expectation and curiosity of this exhibition, but offering background information of the Chinese artist, even thought they reveal a rather ‘fragmentary’ state in terms of both display form and heart-broken trauma generated in the artist’s early years, while other pictures are arranged in a rationally chronological order. 
On the right corner is a single booth which is numbered as section 2 on the map, there comes an expanded cinema in capsule size that each time only one audience can get in and comfortably enjoy the 10-minute long bilingual video ‘This is Not the Work I Made’ (2019). For audiences, confusion of the old photos may emerge at the beginning of the exhibition, yet after watching this biographical tragicomedy with audio narration and English subtitles, it maybe possibly solved. On the one hand, it seems that a string of Quan Jia Fu and other types of family photos mirror the artist’s happy childhood; on the other hand, voice-over provides critical opinions towards the unpleasant reality of her actual family life, which highly contrasts to the photographic surface.

Fig.4 Documentary Photos and the Assemblage

Opposite to the theatrical installation, a square area standing out on its own, like a winding corridor. Two original works made by the artist form the final section. This series of documentary photos taken during the Spring Festival is entitled ‘Cemetery, Crematory and Grave’ (2019), recording a contemporary ritual activity of ancestor worship in northern China (Fig.4).
Although method of photographic display is rather conventional, a smaller-scale replica of the grave pictured in photos is placed at the center of this area. ‘The Grave of Humanity’ (2020)is a total installation in terms of aesthetic genre. Sandy earth, connective ropes that represent family bound and papers golden coins collectively reminiscence both the ceremony and the exhibition title. 
About this single assemblage with monumental implication, the artist didn’t plan on making one, until the time when she went to home depot getting materials for the single-person-only-cinema that she built for the film. She saw a chain, and a rope, then the idea flashed through her brain - she imagined to make a symbolic and metaphorical grave.

{ Gallery II. }

Virtual Installation
By Yichen Chen

By myself, I see things quiet and monochromatic. They are pronounced, dreamlike. Feelings come from life beyond words and sounds, and I cannot find other ways than art to catch them. 
There’s always things unsaid. But art brings people together. It embeds the power to touch the common ground in everyone, a tacit in-between. I wish to bring hope, virtue, and courage, to ask people, quietly, do you see me? I can see you also. So life is not alone.

{ Gallery III. }

By Moon Yuezhu Wang

This is one of my strangest dreams!
A glowing flower grows slowly from a wound on my leg.
I recorded it in watercolor.

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