From darkness to a bright future

The booming “Tangle of Revolution and Political Soul” exhibition at the Shanghai Space & Gallery Association explores the inner space of human turmoil, desires and worries, in the hope of finding a way out. fear so that we can regain our sovereignty, especially after the global pandemic.

The exhibition is curated by Lu Mingjun, holder of a doctorate in history and researcher at the School of Philosophy of Fudan University. Works of art by more than 30 artists are on display, ranging from paintings, photos, videos and performances to site-specific sculptures and installations. The works are presented in five sections to form a grand narrative, telling how humanity strives to move from primordial chaos and darkness to a bright future.

The “Plantain Trees” performance video shows artist Tong Wenmin standing in a plantain plot after the plants have been burnt. She moves slowly and trembles violently, performing a mysterious ritual to invite lost souls to return.

Li Nu’s “Migration” video echoes Tong’s. He wore a cotton jacket with a hand-painted “Sichuan AD4445” car license plate on the back and ran for three days on the Beijing highways. He got lost in the city – a giant concrete jungle.

Song Yuanyuan’s oil painting “Come on Pigs No.1” continues the classic fairy tale “Three Piglets” after they defeat the big bad wolf and defend their home. For Song, the story isn’t over yet. It depicts how pigs live after victory – happily and sadly. The party never ends and their new enemy – the Void – lurks in beer bottles, ashtrays and dirty dishes.

Can humans find permanent spiritual shelter on Earth? The answer is no, because there is probably nowhere to hide. Xu Zhen’s “Safe House A” facility is a camping tent. With a pair of crosses erected atop the structure, the tent looks like a Christian church for emergencies.

Xu’s installation illustrates the so-called “faith” in modern times. An easily transportable tent temporarily provides a spiritual home with little sense of security. The temporary nature of a tent and the eternity of faith consolidate and clash, imbuing the facility with a slight sense of absurdity.

Ti Gong

“Tangle of Revolution and Political Soul” features works of art ranging from paintings, photos, videos and performances to site-specific sculptures and installations.

Exhibition information

Dates: Until January 16 (closed Mondays), 10 am-6pm

Location: Shanghai Space & Gallery Association

Address: 3 / F, 3 Zhongshan Road E1

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