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b. 1977, works and lives in Shanghai
electrical plug, ivory carving, light, battery
Edition of 3

In his 2002 piece “Ou, Ye”, Xu Zhen has created miniature love scene that highlights the power of love to an almost negative extent. The artist uses a simple wall outlet as a setting for his sculptures; a miniature man and women are placed in the holes of the wall outlet, only their heads and torsos visible. From a distance the audience is only aware of the outlet and what seems to be electric burn marks coming from the center. Xu provides a magnifying glass so that one may see closer; while looking through the glass the small sculptures of a man and woman are reaching for each other from either hole of the electricity source, their energy creating the burn. It appears as though the two lovers are sources of energy, their love creating a small but powerful fire. This passion is further emphasized by the warm red light emanating from behind the holes of the figures in the outlet. It is nothing short of amusing for a viewer to get on hands and knees in order to view the smallest of pieces. Still there is a darker side, as is iconic of Xu Zhen; this outlet continues to burn as the figures reach for each other and once they succeed their love will be the death of them.

Richelle Simon in July 2013

Related Exhibitions:
CYLWXZ, Esther Schipper, Berlin 06.17, 2008 -08.23, 2008
Mirage, Suzhou Art Museum, Suzhou 2002


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