de Sarthe is pleased to present a two-artist exhibition featuring new work by the gallery’s represented artists Andrew Luk (b.1988, lives and works in Hong Kong) and Zhong Wei (b.1987, lives and works in Beijing).
Andrew Luk and Zhong Wei’s creative practices, despite being distinctly different, both explore humanity's relationship to technology. The exhibition presents imagined spatial dimensions that contemplate technology as an extension of human nature. At its core, the development of advanced sciences is driven by the habitual penchants of humanity. Engaging in historic and contemporary narratives, the exhibition addresses the human tendency to innovate and destroy, often at the same time, as well as the role that technology plays in amplifying the manifestation of these propensities.
Included in the presentation are two new bodies of work by Andrew Luk. In the Past Forward series, Luk collapses timelines to create jarring narratives that utilize both artifacts of the past and quotidian objects of the present. Through the juxtaposition of these disconnected objects, Luk explores man's relationship to deep time-the approximately 4.5 billion years in which the Earth was formed. Objects like earphones, antenna, piping, and the sole of a shoe at first appear unrelated to the bones, trilobites, and shells also within the artwork, yet Luk asks us to consider the material history of these objects and how they are connected to one another. The raw materials used to create the plethora of things we use so often today were formed through the Earth's unfathomably long history. They are sourced from not only specific geographical locations, but specific geological time periods. Crude oil, for example, is the result of fossilization and millions of years of decay. The raw material is now used to produce staggering array of plastics we make use of daily.
Luk's other featured series Deep Earth Resources continues his exploration of man's relationship to deep time, space, and nature. Abstracting forms and shapes, the works in this series suggest dystopian landscapes and fragments of projected future archives. They highlight not only how deep time surrounds us and the materials we use, but also how we continue to shape time's narrative and leave our own imprint on deep time, contributing to a new depository of resources to be discovered by future inheritors of our planet.
Zhong Wei’s canvas works are windows into contemporary culture’s most dominating technological accomplishment: the Internet. A vast, interconnecting network inclusive of the majority of humanity, the rapid expansion of the Internet boasts the human compulsion to create, share, and communicate. Zhong Wei’s artworks speak to the vibrant chaos of Internet-based visual language. Having compiled a massive database of memes and imagery found online, he uses these ubiquitous images as raw materials for his work. Fundamental to Zhong Wei’s practice is a concept he refers to as “coupling”. It is the idea that the endless flow of information on the Internet generates random pairings, innumerable possibilities catalysed by each click. Generating the energy that drives our current evolution and shifts in culture, the Internet has become a technological monstrosity that feeds humankind’s most basic instincts, both good and bad.