LI MING AT CROSSING BORDERS: SEVEN SHORT VIDEOS FROM CHINA AND INDIA
“Corners in the Cities of China and India,” features contemporary video art from China and India that dwells on the outcome of rapid urbanization since China’s open markets of the 1980s, and India’s globalization in the 1990s. While many of the Chinese artists’ largely conceptual work is dictated by industry, sophistication, and technological prowess, India’s homegrown, low budget modes converge on nature, humanity, and the common man with an emphasis on its earthy, gritty manner. The impact of recent development and mobility is evident from China’s fast-transforming capitalist economy versus India’s slow moving democratic socialism. By combining works of Li Xiaofei, Jennifer Wen Ma, Cheng Ran/Item Idem, and Li Ming/Lin Ke/Yang Junling, with Gigi Scaria and Surekha, one can examine the presentation of reality by artists from both regions. For example, Xiaofei’s focus on Chinese industrial production of salt can be contrasted with Scaria’s poetic rendering of salt farms on the northern border of India. Similarly, Cheng Ran and Item Idem’s literal detonation of mass consumerism in JOSS sparks an interesting dialogue when compared to Scaria’s pithy satirical video POLITICAL REALISM on the demolition of socialist ideologies in India. Such comparisons not only generate an aesthetic discourse but also a socio-political and cultural dialogue.