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daadgalerie presents Xiē: To bind, embed, shimmer, and brace

October 21–December 18, 2022

As a spatial outcome of ongoing group cooperation with artists Hao Jingban, Shen Xin, Yunyu Ayo Shih, and writer Qu Chang, the new exhibition at daadgalerie by the collective Xi offers an immense installation that also includes video works and drawings.

Xi was created in 2020, while Hao Jingban was a Visual Arts fellow with the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program while living in Berlin. Topics including the Black Lives Matter movement, the consequences of the Covid-19 outbreak, the conflict in Ukraine, and the rising tensions in Taiwan have been discussed via chat messages and internet forums. Joint readings, photos, drawings, and videos were produced as a result of this ongoing conversation and were first shown to the public at daadgalerie.

The Chinese character “Xi,” which shows a tree and a person carving a wedge out of it, is whence the group gets its name. Discussion is designed to promote a beneficial climate for group collaboration in a time of global crises and societal upheavals, much to how a wedge is driven into a gap to (re-)establish a link, stabilizing or opening things up in the process.

The importance of the house in times of forced seclusion has been the main focus of the group’s collective reflections.

In the brochure accompanying the exhibition one of the voices of Xiē’s collective dialogue says: “During the pandemic, the greatest change I’ve experienced is the recognition of thoughts and feelings from within as my exposure to information and knowledge slowed down. Without the illusion of rapid circulation, values had to be tested and put to work locally, domestically.  All our old concepts and values are examined in spaces of isolation reinforced by quarantine. Like waiting for the revelation of the shallows when the river recedes, or the growth of seedlings come May, I’m also waiting for my own emergence and sedimentation. Waiting for something that can be felt, something that can be carried on.” 

Hao Jingban uses film and video to explore the historical separation between the spectator of today and a certain historical period. The artist uses historical investigation, archival research, fieldwork, in-person interviews, and live performances in her research-based practice. Among other places, Hao’s art has been exhibited at Matadero Madrid and OCAT Xi’an.

Qu Chang is a Hong Kong and Shenzhen-based curator and writer contributing to journals such as Artforum, Ocula, and Yishu. Having  worked as curator at Para Site, herrecent curatorial projects include Sea Breeze (2019, Jogja Biennale, co-curated with Cosmin Costinas), Café do Brasil (2019, Para Site), Doreen Chan: Hard Cream (2019, HB Station), Crush (2018, Para Site).

Shen Xin engages in activities that promote positive alternative histories, relationships, and potentials between people and nation-states. Understanding culture on its own terms is what they are most interested in. It opens up to embodying the diversity of the selves via the prism of time if it is seen as an active commitment to learning, teaching, and interacting with relating to places as land. Among others, the Swiss Institute in New York and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis both featured their work.

Yunyu Ayo Shih currently lives and works in Taipei. He frequently explores different appearances of memorial and memory while at the same time involving interactions between himself and state apparatus. Shih’s work was shown at Taipei Fine Art Museum, Para Site, Time Museum, Power Station Art Museum in Shanghai, Taipei Contemporary Art Center, 4-18 Space (Bogota), among others.

DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program

One of the most known residencies for foreign artists and cultural practitioners in the domains of visual arts, film, literature, and music & sound is the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program. The residency gives the selected fellows the freedom to concentrate on their innovative ideas, projects, and research endeavors without being pressured to accomplish anything. Meetings with other artists and cultural producers inspire transdisciplinary collaboration and launch learning processes that are reciprocal.

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