‘Dwellers on the Threshold’ at STAR Gallery Beijing features Kristiina Koskentola (DAI,2007), Qiu Jiongjiong and Tal R.
20.3 – 28.4.2016
Private View: 14:00 – 18:00hrs, Saturday, 19 March 2016
STAR Gallery Beijing is delighted to present Dwellers on the Threshold, an exhibition exploring the idea that the act of creation can shift the human being from one realm of metaphysical understanding to another. The exhibition includes film, painting, sound, installation and performance by Qiu Jiongjiong, Kristiina Koskentola and Tal R.
Dwellers on the Threshold contains three distinct bodies of work from artists with very different kinds of creative practice. Their commonality however lies in each artist’s sense of deep immersion in larger communities of experience and possibility. The works presented all engage, each from the artist’s own particular location, with the spiritual, social and political domains.
Therefore, Dwellers on the Threshold is not intended merely as a viewing experience. Rather, it is a conscious invitation from a group of artists to visit for ourselves the transitional realms of understanding that they habitually inhabit.
Qiu Jiongjiong presents a 331 minute handmade film Chi - Mr. Zhang Believes. Improvised yet meticulously staged, it dramatizes the story of Zhang Xianchi who was imprisoned for 23 years as a victim of China’s 1957 Anti Rightist Campaign. Presented alongside this film document is a sequence of drawings and paintings depicting scenes from the narrative as well some extraordinary staged photographic film stills. Chi creates a multi-layered response to events that strays from the documentary to the theatrically formalised, culminating in a fantastical kind of ritualistised historical myth- making.
Kristiina Koskentola spends extended periods of time in Beijing where she has a studio in the city’s industrialised agricultural eastern suburbs. Encountering graves that are scattered in the family fields led the artist to enquire further into these somehow informal yet highly resonant remembrance practices. Koskentola’s multi-sensory installation One Hundred Ten Thousand reflects upon the fragility of these marginalised enactments of spiritual experience within the highly politicised landscape of intense urbanisation of the countryside. The exhibition also presents works from artist’s Alhenomics series – lead object works inscribed with text in graphite pencil that relate to alchemical transmutations, toxicity and the human body.
Tal R’s Rosa Pagoda is a performative installation in which woodblock prints are produced throughout the course of the exhibition under the cover of a specially constructed pavilion structure. The woodblock print is arguably one of the most immediate forms of image-making and Rosa Pagoda mobilises this simplicity to create a shared moment of creative expression. The exhibition also includes some small scale plein-air paintings from the series Walk Towards Hare Hill. Painted as a kind of visual diary on daily excursions through the countryside, Walk Towards Hare Hill acts as a metaphor for a journey with an unseen destination, a striving for something remarkable which is as yet unknown.
Dwellers on the Threshold is curated with the active participation of the artists by Fang Fang of STAR Gallery and Simon Kirby of Victoria Miro. With special thanks to Frame Finland for their support.