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Capsule Shanghai – Feng Chen – Moment by moment
April 20, 2019 @ 8:00 amJune 16, 2019 @ 5:00 pm CST
Capsule Shanghai is delighted to present artist Feng Chen’s second solo exhibition at our gallery, “Moment by Moment”, opening on April 20, 2019. Comprised of the artist’s latest experiments, the exhibition consists of a variety of automated installations, sculptures, and photographs. The exhibition will be on view until June 16, 2019.
Feng Chen’s artistic practice explores the mutually informative relationship between human perceptions and objective realities by adopting various types of technological devices to mediate them. According to Feng Chen, “There is a gap between our sensorial experience and our perception, which I attempt to reduce with the help of technology. And if the technology adopted is complex enough, it would assume its own subjectivity.”
How do we distinguish, decipher or even negotiate our perceptions from reality? For each room of the gallery space, Feng Chen expands on a varying aspect relating to the juxtaposition of these mutually engendering notions. Moment by Moment (2019), at the entrance of the gallery, sets the tone for this metonymical relationship between artwork and reality.
A metronome placed on one side of the room is synchronized with its doppelgänger in the monitor in front it. As much as one hears a tick-tock sound at one second’s interval, that seems seamless to our optical reception, yet would one notice the subtle delay due to the physical principle of sounds traveling slower than the speed of light?
In the room immediate to the left of the gallery entrance, Feng Chen’s most recent iteration of his ongoing series, The Darker Side of Light: Moment (2019), further complicates our sensorial experiences mediated through an automated system that controls the LED lighting of the room, and a live camera that captures live footage of the room, that subsequently transmits the signal to the monitor. As the viewer comes into a living room and sits down on the armchair placed in front of a monitor and a warm lamp, one would begin to notice the subtle difference between being in the room, and what is seen through the monitor.
To the left of the entrance, Light Puzzle (2019), explores the subtle variation in our audible sense, especially when a musical score is played in infinite loops. The melodic musical scores translated from the data of space scanner results in subtle variations with any kind of physical interruption within the space, be it the movement of visitors, or physical objects such as his carbon fiber sculpture series, Evolution (2019).
Lastly, the ways in which an audible experience can be articulated in optical forms is also what interest Feng Chen. Between 20hz – 30hz (2019) – captures the images of a water surface coming into contact with sound vibration at frequencies between 20 Hz – 30 Hz. Transferred onto the film negative and presented as photographs, they generate the anticipation for, or even an illusion of, movements that seem particularly “real” to our perception.
The complexity of technology engenders an illusion of its subjectivity that reduces our sensorial experience to our perceptions of reality. If “a work of art is the container of the artist’s conscience”, then Feng Chen has stored these pieces of conscience into the works of this exhibition, in a “moment by moment” fashion, where he invites the viewers to access, discover, and finesse the subtleties between them.
About the artist
Feng Chen creates videos, sculptures and hypnotic installations that investigate the synchronization between visuals and audio, inserting a wedge between different signals and leading us to question which of our senses we should ultimately trust. In his work, perception, and reality interact with each other in labyrinthine ways reclaiming that experience is the most essential and authentic part of existence and the ultimate nature of reality.
His ongoing project The Darker Side of Light has been presented in multiple iterations, each time constructing automated systems that dissect our perception of body and space and new reflections on the relationship between man and machine.
Feng Chen was born in 1986 in Wuhan, China. He graduated from the Department of New Media Art of the China Academy of Art in 2009, and in 2014 he joined a two-year program at the Rijksakademie in the Amsterdam (Netherlands). He currently works and lives in Hangzhou, China.
His solo exhibitions Feng Chen Solo Show and Moment by Moment have been presented in 2017 and in 2019 at Capsule Shanghai (Shanghai, China). In 2018 he participated at Art Basel Hong Kong Discoveries with the solo project The Darker Side of Light – Color (Hong Kong, China). A new iteration of this work, titled The Darker Side of Light – Shadow, was exhibited in 2018 at the Annex Project Space of the Fosun Art Foundation (Shanghai, China). Recent group shows include The 6th Guangzhou Triennial – As We, May Think: Feedforward (Guangzhou, China), City Unbounded – Shanghai Jing’an International Sculpture Project (Shanghai, China), and 8102 – On Reality at the OCAT Shanghai (Shanghai, China) in 2018. His work was presented in 2015 at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten OPEN 2015, (Amsterdam, Netherlands), and Video Art | June Edition, at the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum (Mumbai, India).
Feng’s institutional collections include the White Rabbit Contemporary Art Collection in Australia, the China Art Museum and the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten.
His work has been written about on Artforum, Randian, Art China and Flash Art.