Chen Shaoxiong

Sight Adjuster 3, 1996
single-channel video installation

Chen Shaoxiong, Sight Adjuster 3, 1996. Installation view, OCAT Shanghai, 2020.
Image courtesy of OCAT Shanghai.

  • Sight Adjuster 3 (1996), adopts two visual channels to separate the viewer’s vision into two objects (televisions). The content of these two TV screens are both related and paradoxical, they are ‘connected’ at times, and ‘separate’, or even be in conflicting positions with each other. The information received to both eyes force the brain to process these images together in order to find establish their logical relationships. In the course of processing these information, the eyes and the brain experienced the trouble of “looking”, by which the artwork achieves to “adjust the sight” of the viewers. The design of this installation is tailored to the physiological requirements of medical equipment, its height and distant are both fitted to contain a person receiving ‘sight-adjustments’. The artist wishes to improve one’s adjustability to the constantly changing and complex social environment through ‘sight-adjustments’.
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    • Change the TV Channel, Change the Bride’s Decision, 1994
    • single-channel video installation (1 TV, 1 shelf, 1 wedding gown, 1 picture frame, and other everyday objects)
    • Chen Shaoxiong, Change the TV Channel, Change the Bride’s Decision, 1994. Installation view, OCAT Shanghai, 2020.
      Image courtesy of OCAT Shanghai.

      Chen Shaoxiong, Change the TV Channel, Change the Bride’s Decision (detail), 1994. Installation view, OCAT Shanghai, 2020.
      Image courtesy of OCAT Shanghai.

      Chen Shaoxiong, Change the TV Channel, Change the Bride’s Decision (detail), 1994. Installation view, OCAT Shanghai, 2020.
      Image courtesy of OCAT Shanghai.

    The installation assembles the figure of a bride through a wedding dress suspended on a clothes hanger underneath a metal framework that is topped with a television set. The television is consequently interpreted as the head of the bridal dress body. By employing the real time content of any broadcast television programming on this monitor, the work ignites a dynamic interaction between the TV content and the symbolic persona of the bride. Putting aside the social and political content that streams through the real-time official broadcasts and the highly symbolic metaphor of the bride, the artist’s approach to the medium of video has constructed an ever-changing-real-time proposal to consider. (Text/ Kim Machan)

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    Chen Shaoxiong
    1962-2016, Shantou, China

  • Born in Shantou, Guangdong province in 1962, Chen Shaoxiong was educated in the printmaking department of the Guangzhou Fine Art Academy, is a founding member of the Big Tail Elephant Collective, one of the most important artistic collectives in Chinese contemporary art history.The artist’s conceptual work employs a variety of media, including photography, video, installation and ink painting, to investigate the dynamics of China’s rapidly changing cityscapes. Often set against the background of an imaginative or imaginary skyline, the artist records the hectic pace and absurdity of everyday existence: fragments from family life, political issues, rumors from the entertainment industry, restaurants, nightlife, and prostitution.

    Chen Shaoxiong begins with the directness of media such as traditional ink painting and transforms it into technical media such as video; it is a combination of this and the uncomplicated manner in which the everyday confront more extraordinary issues of modern life that gives the work added import. Thematically, his work often deals with the rapidly urbanizing and constantly changing environments of his home province in southern China, the nature of the crowd, the dominance of the image, the aesthetics of globalization, and public or collective memory.

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