de Sarthe Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Yang Kai at the Beijing Project Space, titled, YANG KAI. The exhibition proposes a question, how does information found on the internet causes people to alter their subjective visions of reality.
The exhibition is divided into two components. The first component is Selfie series, in which the artist hybridized photos of himself, his friends and celebrities onto a Polaroid photo producing a fictitious portrait. The image of this fictitious character is juxtaposed with further evidence of this fictitious individual’s existence, either a page from a magazine featuring a story about this individual or a ballot that was cast in this individual’s run for president. The second component of the exhibition uses a range of motifs to recreate the fashionably hedonistic British lifestyle enjoyed by one of the false identities found in the exhibition. It features dim lights beaming on red walls, green cushions of Eames chairs, refracted light from disco balls, a shiny McLaren car, as well as the soundtrack from a London nightclub. The stacks of novels piled on a chair provide vivid accounts of this fictitious individuals’ short life: he was a thriving young artist of Chinese descent who experienced periodic success, ultimately choosing to end his life in his studio. Furthermore, the stacks of novels also document the lives of two “amateur” artists: a monk and a Japanese pornographic actor. Situated at the corner of the exhibition space are three artworks by three fictionalized artists (all under the pseudonym of Yang Kai). Traces of information from the internet are also pasted onto one side of the wall of the gallery like pop-up windows, where a world map is also displayed, as if the effect of Yang Kai’s false identities have spread across the entire world.The exhibition does not merely invite the spectators to fully immerse themselves in a fictional atmosphere. Rather, the exhibition examines how the artist’s process distorts our vision, showing us what we witness may not actually exist. Through this, the exhibition produces a contemporary version of “The Allegory of the Cave” where everything is suspect, and the truth exists outside the exhibition – composed entirely by data. If one possesses the patience and the willingness to spend time searching, one can discover the false information used to produced the exhibition. The information exists as identical posts across numerous websites, functioning in essence as ready made objects distributed across the Internet.
For more information on Yang Kai and his other exhibitions, please click here.
For the online catalogue, please click here.