Hu Jie Ming - The Things 2020 (solo)
Date 2021.03.02-2021.04.17...closed
Opening 2021.03.02, Tuesday
Venue Magician Space
(798 East R.d, 798 Art Zone, No.2 Jiuxianqiao R.d, Chaoyang Dst, Beijing)
Artist Hu Jieming


Hu Jieming began work on his series The Things during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. The shutdown of global society forced people to live in an isolated state, creating one of the most typical "states of exception" for humankind to have collectively experienced. This special context gave Hu Jieming an opportunity to return to daily life: home isolation allowed him to set aside the usual concerns and to focus on the everyday things around him with a much greater degree of attention than had been possible before. A calmer and slower pace of life puts us into a lighter frame of mind; time seems to lengthen as the relationship between people and things is brought closer, and life becomes simple and serene.
The slow rhythm of his unusually closed environment inspired Hu Jieming to investigate this new everyday. Previously ignored spaces and familiar objects brought him completely different impressions as he stopped, gazed, and noted the way changes in light affect perception. These objects seemed to have a formal intensity that was different from common sense. This prompted Hu Jieming to begin his exploration of the things that make up the everyday. The Things reflects on the stable and fragile, contradictory but symbiotic relationship between people and things. It draws attention to those parts of the everyday, both common and uncommon, that may not be realized by the people living in them.
Although the theme of The Things is the everyday, "form" dominates every aspect of the series. In his creative process, Hu Jieming strives to remove the cognitive pressure of understanding the so-called "nature" of things and their attached social meanings, instead choosing to emphasize more general common perceptual experience. At the same time, the elements of things themselves are clarified through formalized methods and expression, which allows for new subjective understandings to form. Through the series the artist presents the simplest side of things in a straightforward way.
The unique context of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic formed the starting point of The Things, and it has gradually developed into an ongoing art project. Hu Jieming's series attempts to reawaken our true experience and sensitivity to life. It is this that we gain when we get rid of the social operating mechanism and return to daily life. And this experience has become part of our commonly shared new normal.
About the Artist
Hu Jieming lives and works in Shanghai, China. His art creation related to video installation, photography, media art. His solo exhibitions include: 14 Days: Hu Jieming, DRC No.12, Beijing, 2020; Interactive, MAAC HHKK, Brussels, 2004; Connected to You, Bizart, Shanghai, 2003.
Selected group exhibition include: New Art History 2000-2018 Chinese Contemporary Art, MOCA, Yinchuan, 2019; The Return of Guests: Selections from the PSA Collection, PSA, Shanghai, 2019; Anti-Projection: Media Sculptures in the Early Chinese Video Art, New Century Art Foundation, Beijing, 2019; The Exhibition of Annual of Contemporary Art of China, Minsheng Art Museum, Beijing, 2018; Rhizome a Survey Subject of Chinese Contemporary Arts, Today Art Museum, Beijing, 2018; Art in Motion: 100 Masterpieces with and Through Media, ZKM, Germany, 2018; DEAF07/V2, Rotterdam, 2017; Busan Biennale, Korea, 2016; Thingworld: International Triennial of New Media Art, NAMOC, Beijing, 2014; Reactivation: 9th Shanghai Biennale, PSA, Shanghai, 2012; Code: Blue 3rd Beijing International New Media Arts Exhibition & Symposium, Beijing, 2006; Zero One San Jose: A Global Festival of Art on the Edge and the ISEA 2006 Symposium, San Jose, 2006; China Contemporary, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, 2006; The Thirteen: Chinese Video Now, MoMA PS1, New York, 2006; Zooming Into Focus: Chinese Contemporary Photo & Video exhibition at China, NAMOC, Beijing, 2005; Techniques of the Visible 5th Shanghai Biennial, PSA, Shanghai, 2004; Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China, International Center of Photography, New York, 2004; Reinterpretation: A Decade of Experimental Chinese Art 1990-2000 - The First Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, 2002; 010101: Art in Technological Times, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, 2001; Live in Time, Nationalglerie Im Hamburger Bahnhof Museum, Fur Gegenwart-Berlin, 2001.