Touching Feeling: Rebecca Horn, Chen Dandizi, Fanny Gicquel, Tong Kunniao, Stella Zhong, and Zhang Yibei

29 August - 25 October 2020

How can we touch a feeling? How might sensation, memory, and personal history adopt physical forms? In its exploration of non-dualism, affectivity, and performativity, the exhibition Touching Feeling considers how flesh cannot be separated from the sensing body itself—how we perceive with and through the body, and the spaces it inhabits. We sense the tangible not through a medium but simultaneously with the medium.


Touching Feeling will feature the work of six artists, from different geographies and generations, who confront the convergence of personal and social histories as experienced on an intimate, affective level through works of sculpture, video, painting, and photography.


German body art and performance pioneer Rebecca Horn began making her “body extensions” in the 1960s as a response to the isolation she felt while confined in her body during an illness. Her artistic universe teems with dreamlike prosthetics that trouble the boundary between the human and non-human.


In her multi-media works Chen Dandizi explores the boundary of sensibility in secret. The spikes on the horseshoes refer to the pain people experience in their relationships. Sharp or vague, the pain seems to be inevitable.


Many of Tong Kunniao’s works foreground the fragility of equilibrium—whether finding balance within the self, one’s community, or with the other. A number of his works exemplify the ongoing struggle to achieve equilibrium and harmony by emphasizing the act of teetering, of falling in and out of balance, which appears again and again in his practice as a formal and conceptual preoccupation.


Stella Zhong’s paintings and installations articulate a poetics of space in which the body resonates with the built environment, articulating intimate spaces in which the corporeal exists in dynamic resonance with the architectural.


Fanny Gicquel created a hand-made installations that seem cold and indifferent, alienating the corporal experience; displaying together with it, though, is a video of performance, which bring back the flesh into the artwork.


Zhang Yibei’s new piece originates from her observation at an open-air morning market. Based on a photo, the artist translates the experience with the medium of sculpture, expressing a subtle feeling despite the somewhat straightforward and dreadful image, reminding the viewers of the matter of life and death in such a time of emergency.

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