Li Ming: Inspired by Transliteration

2017.07.01 – 2017.08.01

    Li Ming: Inspired by Transliteration

    HDM Gallery is pleased to present Li Ming’ s solo show “Inspired by Transliteration” in Hangzhou on July 1st, 2017. The exhibition will last until August 1st, 2017.

    “Inspired by Transliteration” initially draws its “inspiration” from a word in modern Chinese which translated to literary Chinese is used as a version of transliteration. The form of the English title imitates the syntax of commercial advertisements, causing this word to be inspired by a facet of excessive consumption. “Inspired by Transliteration” considers HDM Gallery’s current location, Hiwell Tower as a creative loop. At the same time, it is a recording loop of neurology and a graphic loop of art history; whilst entering the gallery through the eastern emergency staircase, the loop closes on exiting through the western side after the exhibition is viewed. This exhibition raises suspicion on the unconsciousness of the display mechanism: why is it that in an exhibition space, there is always a connection of front and back, left and right, flat, far and near in the works and between them? Li Ming makes three kinds of loops cover each other in the foreground, and in the vertical passageway of the tower he reinstalls a vertical connection. And inside of this, his dreamland and creative reality also present a vertical distribution with social networks.

    In the production of the exhibition, the artist pieced all the spaces related to artistic creation together by using a brushstroke style: tower, studio and prison. That is, with regard to Li Ming, the prison of creation is a kind of prison. This is a work made with art history. In particular, the restriction of Chinese contemporary art is partly caused by the message being set up in the English language that is the shared vernacular of contemporary art. This kind of place has no exit, Li Ming sentenced to death can only try to escape from prison. Li Ming’s “exit” is this kind of attempt at jailbreak inspired by transliteration. In this, inspired by transliteration is a kind of teasing attempt at transliteration becoming an inspiration, and making the audiences becoming conscious of the figure-ground relationship between the main body and the copycatting; in some situations, the copy may turn over the main text, the imitating sketch may become the background of the copy.

    When audiences patrol up the building and enter the exhibition space they will see another series of works entitled “The Inspiration of the Dream Seeker”. The information at the back of the work reads: dream is the most personal medium of night-time creativity, and in fact it is also a high-level mean of socialization. In this reflection on what constitutes both a societal investigation and a painted work, Li Ming embarks on interviews of his friends, about whether they have ever encountered the white-bearded old man who gave the inspiration to Li Ming in their dream. This is a process linking Li Ming’s dreamworld and the question of creativity to others’ dreamworld. In this stage, the whole exhibition may start to turn into the set of a dream: as the audience come into the exhibition hall from the corridor, they can see various versions of white-bearded old men stored up in the cerebral cortex of Li Ming: starting with Zhang Daqian, Marx, the theory of New Democracy, Slavoj Zizek and extending directly to him in front of his computer screen during the day, and keep on reading the classical catalogue at night, having seen all sorts of faces with beards, as if it was a simply absurd nightmare. Li Ming says, this dream is his way of looking back on the “architectural foundation” of artistic work, looking at the dreams about creation and inspiration he kept making since he was six years old.

    Installation Views


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