Go Figure: Five Contemporary Videos

This exhibition features single-channel video works by five artists: Makoto Aida (born 1965, Japan), Cao Fei (born 1978, China), Patty Chang (born 1972, California), Motohiko Odani (born 1972, Japan), and Lin Yilin (born 1964, China). Coming from diverse backgrounds ranging from China and Japan to the United States, these artists each tackle, from a unique standpoint, some of the most pressing contemporary issues in geopolitics, consumerism, identity, and urban development.

The primary presence in each of the works presented in this exhibition is claimed by a figure, or figures, that enact certain narratives, spoken or otherwise. For example, Makoto Aida impersonates Osama Bin Laden in his video, in part as a controversial joke in poor taste, but also as a satirical attempt to virtually disarm the terrorist by placing him far from the contested region of Middle East and hypothetically situating him in Japan. On the other hand, in Lin Yilin’s video of one of his performances in China, we see the artist as he engaged in the process of literally moving a brick wall across a busy street in an environment undergoing rapid change.

The simplicity of the single-channel video format encourages the viewer to focus attention on each artist’s unique approach to the medium, as well as to the activities and gestures of the figures portrayed. The works in the exhibition are promised gifts to Asia Society’s Contemporary Art Collection.

Miwako Tezuka, Associate Curator, Asia Society Museum

Press Release

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