modu : A Tale of Urban China

Brillant City – Exhibition

David Zwirner Gallery’s Hong Kong location presents Brilliant City, a group exhibition featuring work by Francis Alÿs, Chen Wei, Stan Douglas, Li Qing, Michael Lin, Gordon Matta-Clark, and Ming Wong. Drawing inspiration from Hong Kong, an archetypal dystopian metropolis characterized by its unparalleled density and lofty high rises, this exhibition explores how artists across generations and locations have engaged with the complexity of urban space.

Li Qing’s Neighbor’s Window, a window paintings series, is made out of frames sourced from demolished neighborhoods while imagery is being inspired by Hong Kong and Shanghai rapid gentrification. Michael Lin explores Shanghai city’s new forms of commerce and urban mobility with his Forever Shanghai wall painting. With his Blackout series vignettes, Stan Douglas scripted and staged scenes from a hypothetical present-day emergency scenario of the total loss of power in New York City. Chen Wei’s photographs depict dramatically lit scenes, including vacated interiors and streetscapes devoid of people, that the artist constructs in miniature in his studio. Shot across multiple venues in Shanghai’s old French Concession, the black-and-white short film Next Year/L’Année Prochaine/明年 by Ming Wong reinterprets Alain Resnais’s 1961 film, Last Year at Marienbad. The exhibition also features Zócalo, May 22, 1999 by artist Francis Alÿs, a film capturing the social function of Mexico’s Plaza de la Constitución’ flag hypnotical raising and descent – the flag becoming a gigantic moving shade shelter for local people to escape the sweltering sun. Deceased artist Gordon Matta-Clark’s film Conical Intersect documents the artist’s ambitious action of cutting through two adjacent seventeenth-century properties awaiting demolition next to the site for the Centre Georges Pompidou then under construction.

The exhibition borrows its title from the lyrics of the 1987 Canto pop classic song “Starry Night,” in which the Hong Kong–based electro duo Tat Ming Pair illustrate the perplexing brilliance of the city’s landscape at night, and the feeling of loss and doubt that it harbors amongst its youth.

Dates: from July 6 to August 4, 2018
Location: David Zwirner Gallery, 5-6/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central Hong Kong
Organizer: David Zwirner Gallery
Curator: Leo Xu
Artists: Francis Alÿs, Chen Wei, Stan Douglas, Li Qing, Michael Lin, Gordon Matta-Clark, and Ming Wong
See full program:

  • 2018/07/06

  • 2018/08/04

  • Hong Kong

  • David Zwirner Gallery