de Sarthe is pleased to present artist Xin Yunpeng’s third solo exhibition Simultaneous with the gallery, featuring a new body of installation and video works. The exhibition focuses on the intertextual juxtaposition of visual space and time. Through the artworks, the artist reconstructs his personal memory and evokes collective resonance under a site-specific context. Simultaneous opens on 14 May and runs through 2 July.
Xin Yunpeng’s Simultaneous (2022) comprises 12 parabolic photography lights facing each other in a circle. The lights are programmed to flash consecutively every second in a counterclockwise sequence. Owing to their close proximity and the highly uneven ratio of light to space, it becomes challenging for the naked eye to distinguish which light is emitting the flash and which ones are simply reflecting off of the other. Through this process, Xin Yunpeng is able to create a sense of directionless confusion using ready-made objects while generating tension in the surrounding atmosphere.
Contrary to the literal meaning of “simultaneous”, Towards the World (2022) is a ten-screen video installation that documents a subway train entering the same station at different times. The artwork is a further development from the body of video works shown in Xin Yunpeng’s 2018 exhibition. As the train drives through the ten screens, the delay in timing between each panel fragments the image of Towards the World (1980s) - the mural inside the station - and creates a kind of broken timeline.
Choice (2018) is a duo-channel video separated into two projections. Each video is displayed in a separate section of the gallery. As such, viewers are unable to see both videos at the same time. The two recordings each depict a pair of hands playing with a coin. In one video, the hands are placed behind the back. They fiddle with the coin, eventually palming and hiding it in one; in the other video, the hands are held out in front. They reveal to the audience where the coin was hidden. By denying the viewer the ability to simultaneously see both front and back, the artist engages in a game with his audience. The mutual exclusivity of the two channels is as if two sides of a coin.
In addition to dividing the exhibition space, An Islander Who Hasn’t Been to Kowloon (2022) is a 2-meter-tall sculpture in the form of giant cane. Upon close examination, one would discover that the shape of its intersection is a silhouette of Hong Kong Island. The silhouette looks as if it was pulled upwards into the shape of skyscraper as it lowered its head to look down at the world below. Through the use of anthropomorphism, Xin Yunpeng illumines a certain absurdity of the real world.
Through the exhibition, Xin Yunpeng attempts to imbue the space with his personal sensitivities and anxieties. Though he is unable to be present due the pandemic, he aims to construct a specific, present, and substantive environment through the installation and video artworks included in the gallery.