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Kiang Malingiue – Tao Hui, Tromarama, & Wang Zhibo
14 January 2023 - 25 February 2023
Kiang Malingue is pleased to collaborate with Stevenson in Amsterdam to present an exhibition of recent video installations, photographs, paintings and reliefs by Tao Hui, Tromarama and Wang Zhibo.
The selected artworks ponder various conceptual and physical aspects of masks and disguise, exploring the fundamental significance of faces, bodies and voices. Concurrently, Stevenson exhibits at Kiang Malingue’s gallery space in Tin Wan, Hong Kong, showcasing recent works by Frida Orupabo, Mawande Ka Zenzile, Simphiwe Ndzube and Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi.
Wang Zhibo’s three paintings made in 2022 revolve around the Berlin-based painter’s favourite motifs: an absurd sense of theatricality, meticulously textured surfaces, and the emergence of personas in life. In recent years Wang has been interested in depicting circular, spherical forms, and in designating iconographic roles to the shape. With Winter tale (Storyteller), she arranges a scene that resembles either a window display, or a passively performative scenario, revealing the messiness of the backstage and the stillness of the intermission. The aerial view in Unmanned 1 makes it possible for Wang to filter her visual experience through a rare degree of abstraction, tracing ambiguously specific environments; Untitled, on the other hand, is a story of playful metamorphosis: being camouflaged into a background of woodblocks, the sitter that resembles the artist herself retains the hairstyle and the pink turtleneck, hinting at an ambiguous sense of fashion as impermanence.
Tromarama’s Sweat dreams #1 is a wall piece that consists of attendance record cards commonly used as a productivity index in the workplace. The red patterns on the surface were taken from Indonesian mattress designs. The installation Pacupicu consists of a latex horse mask, a speaker, and a monitor, all mounted on a custom metal tripod. The monitor displays live tweets that use the hashtag #contest, collected in real-time. All the collected tweets will activate various children’s voices for creating a sound composition that could be heard through the horse’s mouth. In the collective’s signature style, both artworks highlight the mechanism of analog and digital social media, blurring the boundaries between work, play and leisure.
First shown at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea in 2018, Tao Hui’s two-channel video installation Double Talk is a haunting story that focuses on the afterlife of a Korean idol. The first layer of the mise-en-abyme narrative shows confrontations between the ghost of the idol and inquisitive journalists; the second layer of the film in a classroom setup freely exploits the story of the idol, treating it not so much as a supernatural event but just another occasion for a case study. Made in South Korea, Double Talk is a mature development of Tao Hui’s video art practice that deals with the dark side of the K-pop industry and with a complex, sensitive film aesthetic. Tao Hui’s latest photographic series Similar Disguise Stills speaks of another long-term interest: the photos are based upon a suite of five videos Tao Hui made in a distinctly Tik Tok format. Here, Tao Hui presents once again his playful idea of “don’t be yourself, be others,” delineating over-romanticised scenes in which characters consciously put on a disguise and are, as a result, alienated.
The conversation about this joint project started when Stevenson partner Joost Bosland and Lorraine Kiang met through the organizing committee of the International Galleries Alliance. The galleries shared an interest in alternative models for global reach that are open to midsize galleries, beyond digital presentations and art fairs. One prime asset that all galleries already have is their physical spaces, designed and maintained with great care. Sharing this asset in specific strategic ways as well as their networks and highly specialised knowledge of the local audience allows them to thrive in ways that are particularly in tune with what art is all about.
Tao Hui was born in Yunyang, Chongqing, China and currently lives and works in Beijing. He graduated from Sichuan Fine Arts Institute with a BFA in 2010. His oeuvre comprises video and installation, and the artist often draws from personal memories, visual experiences and popular culture to weave an experimental visual narration, the focus of which is the human collective experience. He is the recipient of the special award of Contemporary Art Archive from the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute (2008); the Huayu Youth Award from the Huayu Art Foundation (2015) and the Grand Prize of 19th SESC Videobrasil Contemporary Art Festival (2015). Tao was shortlisted for the Hugo Boss Asia Art Award; the Kino Der Kunst Festival international sector award (both 2017) and the inaugural Sigg Prize, M+, Hong Kong (2019). He has presented solo exhibitions at OCAT Xi’an, China and UCCA, Beijing, China. His work has featured in group exhibitions at institutions including Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, France; MACRO ASILO, Rome, Italy; Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig, Germany; Belem Cultural Center, Lisbon, Portugal; The Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, Geneva, Switzerland; Hong-gah Museum, Taipei; Kyoto Art Center, Japan; Asia Culture Center(ACC), Korea; National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea; the 4th Vancouver Biennale, Vancouver, Canada among others.
Tromarama is a Bandung-based artist collective founded in 2006 by Febie Babyrose, Herbert Hans and Ruddy Hatumena. Engaging with the notion of hyperreality in the digital age, their projects explore the interrelationship between the virtual and the physical world. Their works combine video, installations, computer programming and public participation depicting the influence of digital media on society’s perception towards their surroundings. They have held solo exhibitions at DOCUMENT, Chicago, USA (2021); Centre A, Vancouver, Canada (2017); Liverpool Biennial Fringe, UK (2016); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (2015); National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2015), and Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan (2010) among other locations. They have taken part in group exhibitions at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2020); National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (2019); the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila, Philippines (2018); Singapore Art Museum, Singapore (2017), Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2016); Frankfurter Kunstverein, Germany (2015); Samstag Museum of Art, Adelaide, Australia (2014), and the 7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Brisbane, Australia (2012).
Wang Zhibo was born 1981 in Zhejiang, China and currently lives in Berlin, Germany. She received a MFA from China Academy of Art Oil Painting Department, Hangzhou, China in 2008. Wang creates oil paintings that confound conventional notions of time and space. Transcending traditionalism through curious and challenging subject matter, Wang usues painting to represent the variances of visual experiences, similar to the reflection on the surface of water. Wang was awarded the prestigious Luo Zhongli Scholarship in 2008. Solo exhibitions include He No Longer Looks Human, Edouard Malingue Gallery, Shanghai (2018); There is a place with four suns in the sky – red, white, blue and yellow, Edouard Malingue Gallery, Hong Kong (2016) and a presentation titled Standing Wave at the Armory Show, New York (2013). She participated in group exhibitions at Times Art Center, Berlin, Germany (2019); Villa Vassilieff, Paris, France (2017); Times Art Center, Guangdong, China (2017); Chongqing Art Museum, Chongqing, China (2015); Penrith Regional Art Gallery, Sydney, Australia (2014); Today Art Museum, Beijing, China (2008); Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei (2008) and the Shanghai Art Museum, China (2007). Wang features in Great Women Painterspublished by Phaidon in 2022.
HOURS The gallery is open Thursday to Saturday, 12 to 6pm.