press release

Opening: March 19, 3–5pm, curator tour at 3:30pm

You Space
Building 2#, Room 201 Nanhai E- Cool
Shekou, Shenzhen

Curated by Biljana Ciric
Invited artists/hosts: Joyce Ho, Lee Kit and Li Liao With works by Liam Gillick, Tracey Emin, Danh Vo, Guo Xi, Zhang Jianling, Yang Xinguang

For the annual exhibition at the Frank F. Yang Art and Education Foundation (FY Foundation) that focuses on its collection and the notion of collecting, this iteration proposes a different approach that is less interested in presenting an editorial selection of works from the collection, but instead attempts to reframe the collection through its inherent opportunities for unexpected encounter. With this shift in approach, new readings and understandings of what the collection consists of and is about will emerge.

An annual program that trains its focus on the ever-changing nature of collecting, this exhibition intends to delve into and unpack what happens when a private gesture leaks into the public realm, asking: what does it mean to collect today? What kind of history does collecting attempt to inscribe, and what happens when artists and curators use this archive-in-making as an object of inquiry?

The investigation of different approaches to collecting and their meanings within local and global contexts is a highly relevant issue within the current expansion of private institutions in China. These institutions invariably frame themselves as museums, which carries a specific sense of weight and significance. In response to this evolving climate, the exhibition questions whether present notions of the importance of collecting could be understood in different terms by also considering a more expanded notion of institutions beyond the white cube space of the museum. These spaces have at their core practices of collecting, preserving, and presenting art and culture which today seem to be hinged on an unsustainable view of the world, based on the colonial notion of taking something from one context and moving it to another, without much acknowledgement of the role of context. These ruminations are some of the exhibition’s primary concerns. For what new relationships to the object might we be able to think about and produce if we were to critically engage with this phenomenon?

In order to do so, three artists whose works are already present within the collection have been invited to work together closely with the curator to develop an exhibition, themselves playing the role of a host within its overall format. Their immediate point of departure is their own work from the FY Foundation Collection, from which they will develop a new body of work, while also including other works from the collection. In this way, they will propose a new set of relationships between the exhibition itself and the collection.

To further explore the notion of context, the exhibition will also span both areas that the Foundation oversees: the exhibition space and the company, thereby blending the ritual of exhibition-making with the day-to-day necessities of the corporate environment. Through this the artists and curator attempt to set different stages upon which the audience can encounter different works and wander through different spaces, again, blurring the boundaries between the private, public, and corporate. The artists will create works within different areas of the spaces as well—from the reception, kitchen, and office areas—purposely meddling with the sanctity of the exhibiting ritual and the seemingly more mundane rituals of daily life.