Pace Gallery Beijing LI SONGSONG

While in China, traveling with the Miami Heat, I visited the Li Songsong exhibit at the Pace Gallery in Beijing. It was inspiring to be embodied in different shapes, textures and color, while walking through this installation. I felt like I was inside of a gem, looking at its facets from the inside out“. -Leland

LI SONGSONG delves into abstraction and installation for his second solo exhibition at Pace Beijing. The internationally-acclaimed artist has taken forays into abstraction and alternative forms before, but never one quite so extreme as this exhibition. With this work, Li Songsong literally inverts his signature impasto oil on aluminum medium, turning the traditional structure inside out. However, instead of dismantling and reconstructing found imagery from historic and often politically charged photographs, the artist has chosen to depict nothing. There is a lack of iconography and an absence of figuration with which viewers must grapple to construct their own experiential meaning. Li Songsong does not provide a readily accessible narrative, as the artist presents the possibility for viewers to discover dimension through other means. The passage of the audience through the exhibit can be seen as an experience of perceptual rebirth, perhaps for the viewers, perhaps for the artist himself. Li Songsong offers us no instructions or commentary, but rather invites us to face the challenge of deriving unique personal meaning from our journey through the exhibition.

Li Songsong was born in Beijing in 1973. He graduated from the Subsidiary School of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1992 and received a B.F.A in oil painting from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1996. The artist has been included in numerous international exhibitions at institutions including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; MoMA PS1, New York; the Saatchi Gallery, London; Ullens Center, Beijing; the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum; the Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland; and the Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany. His work was included in Through the Looking Glass, a special project for the 2007 Moscow Biennale. Li Songsong was the recipient of the 2011 Martell Artists of the Year Award. He lives and works in Beijing, China.

Credit: Pace Beijing

Installation view of the exhibition, Li Songsong, Pace Beijing, September 22–October 20 (extended through November 20), 2012
© Li Songsong, courtesy Pace Beijing