Turbulent: An Exhibition of New Works by MadeIn Company

We are thrilled to bring you a review of MadeIn Company’s recent exhibition in Shanghai from our brand new partner ArtSpy, a website based in Beijing, P.R.China that is committed to establish a global artistic information platform. This article was originally written for ArtSpy and has been translated exclusively for DailyServing.

At the Shanghai Taopu Art District in May 2012, MadeIn Company presented a series of action-related paintings. In their “Action of Consciousness” exhibition at the end of 2011, they showcased a group of paintings in the classical painting style, a result of re-creation through performance upon the aesthetic experience of local realism. In their own words, they initiated a new phase in local realism. A few months later, this type of operation shifted into “Turbulent”.

Black abstract patterns resembling cages, in various sizes and shapes, dominated the wall surfaces as the major part of this exhibition. These patterns were produced by placing the heads of spray paint cans on white canvases and allowing the paint to spray onto the surrounding surfaces. This process created different patterns and the nozzle of the spray paint cans were also left on the canvas surfaces. Through an extremely simple operation and the combination of method and presentation, MadeIn Company created paintings with an abstract aesthetic appeal. Yet it is the integration of all elements that generated an experience outside of the typical appreciation for abstract paintings.

Compared to the complexity of the prophase operations and the painting techniques involved in the later stages of “Action of Consciousness”, the works in this exhibit appear to be easier and quicker; however, both were created through performance. The latent goals of these types of paintings are based on inherent experiences with painting. Therefore, the activities of the exhibition method must be, to some extent, more significant than the actual paintings.

In comparing the activities associated with “Action of Consciousness” and “Turbulent”, the latter focused more on the visual language of individual paintings. Although this type of activity along with the visual language of the spray paint provided “legitimacy” for the individual paintings, this was not emphasized in the exhibition. On the contrary, MadeIn Company reduced the feeling of legitimacy by employing these paintings as wallpaper and restored a sense of exhibition through installation. In a similar vein, another group of works in this exhibit are of this approach. The two photos on the wall are an extension of a previous series of works titled “Truth Image.”

Accompanying the cage-like feeling generated by the patterns, the two photos with white backgrounds create a sense of “windows” that extend and ventilate the exhibition space. Images on the two gigantic photo installation works in the center of the space are also from the “Truth Image” series. What is different here is that “Truth Image” series were originally installations shown as photographs, where the installation objects in the photos were destroyed and the installation exists through the medium of photography. These two photo installations with plywood backings are re-established as installations and placed on scene. What sets these apart from the earliest actual objects is that its perspective has been set and framed by the camera lens and all tactility of the original materials has been deleted. The scale is also flexible and can freely transform according to exhibition space. The installation is returned to the space and the “legitimacy” of its existence is reconsidered. This method questions again inherent experiences while remaining open to new experiences and perhaps this is the goal of “Turbulent.”

As an exhibition under the considerable structural sheath of MadeIn Company, these subsidiary exhibitions are viewed as new product releases; there is even a stabilized and routine method for presentation. The significance of each exhibition, not to mention the individual works, becomes more categorically diluted by the Company. It is possible that whatever produced by the Company will be deemed as a necessity or a pre-accepted condition received by dilettante audiences. This becomes the shared obstacle between the Company and the audience, thus “Turbulent” also conveys the condition desired by MadeIn Company.