Useless Value
Curator / Liu Chunfeng
Opening Reception / 24 December , 2017
Duration / 24 December,2017 —— 17 March,2018


Since the economic takeoff in the last century, China has changed dramatically in social structure. The invasion of the new culture has led to disintegration and dislocation in the whole society in the political, economic and cultural fields. Most of the traditional culture has been lost. Cultural dislocation, to some extent, makes it impossible for the later generations to truly absorb the nutrition of traditional culture. “Returning to the native land (tradition)" has become hard. It compels the new generation of intellectuals to be equipped with a deeper foundation of knowledge. It can be said that artists, as a special group of intellectuals, are facing a fragmented tradition, which is a complex realistic context mixed with all kinds of sophisticated technologies. However, cultural contradiction, and the rapid development of politics and economy have given unique confounding characteristics to the social appearance of China. This exhibition presents the artistic creation of the "Useless Value" in view of this complex cultural landscape, to respond to the turn of local culture under the interweaving influence of economic and cultural globalization.

Though the continuous accumulation and reproduction of materials have brought convenience to our life, they are objects of deliberate evasion for artists. It can be said that "Useless Value" is a counter force to the material world. The attribute of self contradiction determines the logical relationship of internal dialogue carried by artistic creation itself. “Useless Value” have embodied the unique self exploration, reasoning, and even teasingly declination of female artists, a mental analysis outlook of repeated spiral rise. On the one hand, "Useless Value" has shown the attitude of Ai Jing, Lin Yan and Yin Xiuzhen in observing the social reality. They are voicing their attention to reality in a retreating, indirect and manual way. Inactive, ambiguous methodology guides their art practice of perfecting the values. On the other hand, the "Useless Value" is also a representation of the art method, showing the contradictory coexistence of strangeness and reality. We can see from the exhibited works of the three artists that a large number of natural or ready-made materials, such as silk, wood, pig iron, cotton, paper and thread, are copied, regrouped by the artists in the modes of “Useless Value” and “reciting”, and associated in inter-linkage with the real space, unfolding the alienated sensory context that transcends the original "object" (material) itself. In addition, on another dimension, the "Useless Value" also interprets a process of artistic creation. The performance of this process is different from the expression of the value of western art. To a certain extent, the women's art in the west is promoted and developed around the Feminist Revolution. The three artists in this exhibition carry out their artistic creation based on sorting out the traditional oriental culture and tracing the local cultural context. The process is slow and rhythmic. We are pleased to see that Ai Jing, Lin Yan and Yin Xiuzhen, in the "repetitive work" of art, have gradually gained recognition of identity and the molded artistic conception, showing unique oriental philosophical wisdom.


Lin Yan / Yin Xiuzhen / Ai Jing