Exhibition Opening: Duan Yingmei & Cai Yuan: OPTIMISM

On 27/01/2014 by Site Default

Reception: January 31st, 2014, 6 – 8pm
Exhibition: January 31 – February 28

Office of Contemporary Chinese Art
11, St. Clements Street
Oxford, OX4 1AB
United Kingdom
T: +44 (0)7976 373667
info@occa-art.com | www.occa-art.com
Opening Times: Tuesday – Saturday, 11-6pm

OCCA, the Oxford-based Office of Contemporary Chinese Art, is pleased to announce a month-long collaborative project with artists Yingmei Duan and Cai Yuan, supported by Arts Council England.

OPTIMISM is an interdisciplinary exhibition project by two established artists each of whom has developed a distinctive practice over a number of years working with a variety of media. The project combines drawing, writing and performance and will take place from 31st January to 28th February 2014 in the OCCA Gallery on 11, St. Clements Street, Oxford.

The project brings the two artists together for the first time and is designed to create a dynamic, multi-faceted process of collaboration and interaction of words and images. Communication and messages are at the heart of the project, as engagements of psychological and political states of being manifested through inner and external experience. Here the title Optimism signals a message of hope, a glass half-full attitude and even a strategy of survival.

Duan’s work entails passing on messages in the form of speech, texts and drawings to visitors to draw out social and cultural articulations across differing individual and collective experiences. Cai Yuan forcefully engages the broader political and cultural reality of the moment, using and manipulating texts from news and internet sources to contest and confound their assumed function.

About the artists
Born in China, Duan Yingmei was part of the Chinese avant-garde, having lived in the art district of Beijing’s East Village in the 1990s and participated in one of the classic performances of contemporary Chinese art ‘To add one meter to an anonymous mountain’ (1995). She studied at the HBK Braunschweig in Germany from 2000 to 2004 where she continued to develop performance as her principal medium under the influence of Marina Abramović. Yingmei recently exhibited at the Hayward Gallery’s Art of Change: New Directions from China (2012) and has been selected for the Sydney Biennial 2014.

Cai Yuan, born in China in 1956, has been living in the UK since the 1980s. His work aims to tackle critical, social and political questions through the use of the body and everyday domestic materials. Evoking politics, war and social change in a global context, his anarchic performances present an alternative perspective on the mainstream, operating at the nexus of social, political and artistic life. Using forms of intervention and satire to question the individual’s relationship with power and the institution, the work is an incisive and often hilarious comment on the absurdity of the artificial structures of political or institutional power.

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