Interrupted Dream Xiong Jiaxiang

Curated by Zhang Chen

July 9–August 20, 2022

MINE PROJECT is pleased to present the solo exhibition, “Interrupted Dream,” by Chinese artist Xiong Jiaxiang (b. 1991, Shanghai, China). Curated by Zhang Chen, this exhibition features the artist’s latest installations and sculptures, and creates a physical space to reach the intricacy between reality and virtuality while attempting to interrupt the temporary dreams constructed on the massive image production today. It is the artist’s first solo exhibition as well as the first exhibition with the gallery.

Viewing imagery as the medium, dragging, and fracturing as the gesture, Xiong thermal transfers the virtual images shot by phones or screenshots on computers onto elastic fabric, and, in turn, places the distorted images into everyday scenes to capture, reprint and distort them anew. The repetition constructs the dialectics between virtuality and reality, revealing the various discrepancies embedded in image production and consumption. In his recent sculptures, the dialogue between the two grows into an even more complicated context. Through a publicly well-known image research engine of Taobao, an absurd connection has been established between an up-side-down red portrait and the works of Francis Bacon. Concerning only the external similarity, the algorithm bypasses the internal logic in reality; nonetheless, on the other hand, the massive data and the strict calculation seem to be conferring a sense of authority on the result. The consequent contradiction does not only inspire the artist to work on his recent Triptychs (2020–22), but also contributes to the possibility for him to further transfer the virtual, online image production into real, concrete sculptures.

Through uploading the images of his works onto Taobao repetitively and purchasing the algorithm-approved, recommended products constantly, Xiong’s studio is again occupied by the unrelated, bizarre objects, which are filling up the exhibition venue as if from an alternative dimension. These real products have given up their past attributes and identity, turning into sculptures that have escaped from the world order, that cannot be logically manipulated and that cannot be explicated by words. Yet, among Xiong’s sculptures, there are books that do not lack letters and words. The work, Thirteen Books (2022), exhibits 13 books from different fields, selected and recommended by Taobao. They are solemnly sitting there as saints but, still, being circumvented and disturbed by sexy lingerie, children’s toys and cookies, as everyone of us who are suffering from the manipulation and intrusion of big data today.

Likewise, the words have also escaped from the linguistic regulation and, with the external images, in the process of Xiong’s production and reproduction, have entered into a new, inexplicable, chaotic principle, cutting off the navel string that sustains the illusionary dreams.

(Press release refers to and quotes much from the article, “Interrupted Dream: Xiong Jiaxiang and Image” by the curator, Zhang Chen)


About the Artist

Xiong Jiaxiang (b. 1991, Shanghai, China) focuses on the mixed media of image installation and has long investigated the conditions and impact of image production. His works create dialogues with key pieces in art history and combine his own ideas with those of historically important artists while contradicting them by his own personal practices.

In his recent works, Xiong Jiaxiang draws materials from the banality of everyday life, focusing on the fluid relationship between the material reality and the virtual nature of images, bodies, and spaces and presenting the paradoxical dilemmas of contemporary life from the perspectives of affection and politics, data and the everydayness of life. Xiong Jiaxiang uses an ethereal, dynamic narrative approach to describe the world and constructs a virtual initiative to create images, a new sensual connection with the world. In his view, the “fracture” among images is the place storing the poetics.

Xiong Jiaxiang received his MFA in Free Art Painting from the Academy of Fine Arts in Bremen, Germany in 2018. The artist currently lives and works in Beijing.

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