Xing Danwen - Contemporary Art London Thursday, June 21, 2007 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist

  • Exhibited

    Venice, "C on Cities," the 10th Venice Architecture Biennale, 2006; Manchester, "China Show," URBIS, 2006; Rotterdam, "New Urban Realities," Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen & NAi, 2006; London, "Fantasy Landscapes," Asia House, 2006; Toronto, Urban Fiction, Gallery TPW, 2006; Buffalo, "The Wall," Albright-Knox Art Gallery/UB Anderson Gallery, 2005; Guangzhou, "Re-Viewing the City," the 1st Guangzhou International Photo Biennale, Guangdong Museum of Art, 2005; Wolfsburg, "Die Chinesen," Kunst Museum Wolfsburg, 2005; Paris, "Urban Fiction," Galerie Piece Unique, 2004

  • Literature

    Z. Gu, "Projecting the Reality of China Through the Lens: On the Artistic Practice of Xing Danwen," Yishu, Canada, March 2006, p. 95-96; B. Erickson, "Interview with Xing Danwen to Talk about Urban Fiction," Feb. 26 - Mar. 10, 2006, Gallery TPW, Toronto; A. Maerkle, "Xing Danwen's Chinese Fantasy," Art Asia Pacific, Summer 2006, pp. 22-23; E. Battiston, "Xing Danwen," Zoom, Italy, Nov.-Dec. 2006, pp. 32-37; A. Jullien, "Les autofictions virtuelles de Xing Danwen," Le Monde 2, no. 144 (Supplement), Nov. 18, 2006, pp. 50-57; J. Vantroyen, “Les minidrames de Xing Danwen," Le Soir, Belgium, Dec. 27, 2006, pp. 25 and 28; B. Xiao, "Xing Danwen: Presumptions on Urban Fiction," Modern Weekly-Citylife, Nov. 25, 2006, China, pp. 32; Z. Gu, "Fictions Smash Illusory Reality," PhotoChina, China, Nov. 2006, pp. 28-32

  • Catalogue Essay

    One of the founding members of the Beijing East Village group of experimental artists, Xing Danwen studied painting in Beijing’s famous Central Academy of Fine Arts and obtained her Masters in Fine Art from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Perhaps as a product of her time spent outside of China, her photographic work is marked by a sensitivity to issues of globalization and urbanization that is both contemporary and universal.

    The “Urban Fiction” series presents Xing’s shots of high-rise developments that, on closer inspection, turn out to be maquettes of the real estate developments that are springing up all over Chinese cities. At the beginning of her project, Xing frequently ran into difficulties getting access to photograph these architectural models as real estate companies were concerned that she was an industrial spy or muckraking journalist. The series brilliantly blends fiction and reality, layering the dreams and desires of new homeowners over these immaculate models. The artist says, “People believe better living conditions will bring more happiness and joy, but often they find more isolation and loneliness than ever inside the luxury cubes. All of these make me fantasize the reality, lead me into creating different characters and inventing their lives inside the spaces. ” (D. Xing, quoted in B. Erickson, “Interview with Xing Danwen to Talk about Urban Fiction,” Gallery TPQ exh. cat., May 6 – June 10, 2006). Within the buildings, Xing play-acts a range of inhabitants: in Urban Fiction No. 3, she is the victim of an auto accident crying out for help on the pristine model highway; in Urban Fiction no. 8, she tenderly waters a pair of plants, the only sign of life in the impersonal compound. The women’s vapid, isolated, or distressed expressions allude to the new social crises brought about by China’s newfound prosperity.


Urban Fiction 3

Digitally manipulated C-print.
66 3/4 x 88 1/2 in. (169.5 x 224.8 cm).
Signed, titled and dated "Urban Fiction 3 Xing Danwen" and numbered of five lower right. This work is from an edition of five.

£5,000 - 10,000 

Sold for £10,200

Contemporary Art

22 June 2007, 4pm & 5pm