Current & Upcoming Solo Exhibition: 

Who Are You

Artist: Li Ran

Media Preview: Nov 6, 2019 14:00 – 16:00

Exhibition Period: Nov 6, 2019 – Dec 29, 2019

AIKE is delighted to present Li Ran’s solo exhibition, “Who Are You”, comprised of the artist’s video work, paintings, and installations over the last two years. At the end of 2016, Li Ran was nominated for the “Future Generation Award” by the Pinchuk Art Center in Ukraine and was commissioned a project for which he embarked on a journey surveying the antagonist roles in theatre, stage art, make-up design, the production of imported films and espionage films.  

The commissioned two-channel video Persona Swap completed this year will be on view in this solo exhibition. Through its stage art, costumes and make-up, performance, this work construct a theatrical dimension parallel to the history of art. In the three chapters of the video, “Thinking in front of the mirror”, “The fox and the grizzly bear, the vulture and the crocodile” and “Besides the indistinguishable illusion, who the hell are you?”, Li Ran reconstructs an “abstract realism” out of his photo archive collection, the juxtaposition of roles and scenes, voice-over monologues, and dynamic playwright. In another work, Somewhat Abstract, Somewhat Realistic, Li Ran and his long-term collaborator for cinematography, played alternatin g roles of the make-up artists and model as they ventured into the shadows of consciousness in artistic practice.  

As the exhibition title Who Are You, without the question mark suggests, Li Ran’s works on canvas, Ranger and his friendsBeyond the Xinzha BridgeDomestic Desk, have placed the subject of the “person” – one that’s forever impossible to restore – permanently on the stage. In these seemingly dichotomous settings, between “front stage” and “backstage”, “master” and “guest”, “friend” and “enemies”, Li Ran adopts a unique approach in conveying the complexity, disruption, and contradictions within these scenarios. Hence, the exhibition mobilizes a rich and diverse theatrical language, where details from each work resonate with the others. For the viewer who enters on either side of the space through the curtains may experience the effect of entering and exiting the stage, where the front stage can also the backstage as they swap roles in these various scenes.