A unique voice in the landscape of contemporary Chinese art, Ran Huang (b. 1982, Xichang, Sichuan, China) is a multidisciplinary artist known primarily for his film and video work, whose practice also encompasses painting, sculpture, installation, drawing and film. Despite his multi-faceted approach, Huang’s thesis remains consistent: the instability of the human experience, the tensions that arise between narratives of truth and fiction, and the deconstruction of the concept of history. Critically engaged by the nature of perception, Huang’s oeuvre deals in juxtaposition and paradox, deconstructing systems of representation and rearranging the resulting elements in new and unsettling ways.
Huang’s films, such as Disruptive Desires, Tranquillity and the Loss of Lucidity (2012), Blithe Tragedy (2010) and Fake Action Truth (2009) have garnered international attention and critical acclaim. His most recent short film, The Administration of Glory (2014) was selected for the Palme d’Or at the 67th Cannes International Film Festival. It brings together five parallel narratives exploring themes of deception, theft and violation. Working from an autobiographical perspective, the film asserts the possibilities of drama, often exhibiting tensions between surface and story, where the seduction of image and narrative serve as a façade for the artist’s interrogation of the conditions of artistic practice and the possibility of historical credibility. For Huang, film represents a compelling medium that he hopes will induce his viewers to bypass a cynical inclination towards reason, in favour of a state of unadulterated belief. He observes, ‘you know that everything is designed, everything is faked, but you still believe it. Everything is about image and everything can be superficial, but at the same time, it is very complex and potent’.
Simon Lee Gallery is proud to present ‘Faux Amis’, a group exhibition that centres on the dialogue between the work of gallery artists and their chosen ‘false friend’.
For this, the first exhibition to cover both the ground and the new first floor spaces of the London gallery, Simon Lee Gallery artists are invited to exhibit alongside, and in dialogue with, the work of an artist of their choice which they find forges a relevant, interesting, distracting, misleading, or stimulating relationship with their own practice. The resultant selection of works not only highlights the interesting discourses that can exist between artists of divergent practices and generations, but also suggests new readings of the individual works on display.
Ran Huang An Experience Shaped by An Experience I Never Experienced
Simon Lee Gallery is proud to present Elective Affinities, an exhibition which brings together a group of sculptures which share an interest in narrative and prioritise content, reference and resonance over pure form. Proposing an alternative to the drive toward abstraction and the evacuation of content, the works in this exhibition insist on their relationships to their sources and antecedents and combine physical transformation with continuity of meaning. Whether through performance or materiality, as replicas or relics, they force the recognition of the ideas and processes by which they are made.
Simon Lee Gallery is proud to present a solo exhibition of new work by Los Angeles-based artist Jim Shaw.
Shaw graduated from California Institute of the Arts in the late-1970s as part of a pioneering creative scene including Mike Kelley and Tony Oursler. His multidisciplinary practice proves as influential today as when he first burst onto the scene, as a founding member of cult proto-punk band Destroy All Monsters.