Klein Sun Gallery is pleased to present Glimpses, Jiang Pengyi’s first solo exhibition in the United States, on view from May 9 through June 21, 2014.
Glimpses presents two separate photographic bodies of work—the Unregistered City series as well as Everything Illuminates. Produced in tandem, the photographs showcase a progression from external issues to internal thoughts, revealing a distinctive change in Jiang Pengyi’s creative direction. In the Unregistered City series, the artist explores ideas of destruction, urbanization and social development; he proceeds to address more spiritual and philosophical aspects in Everything Illuminates.
A glimpse is a quick idea or understanding of something—a partial look. The title indicates that the first thought which comes to mind as one views the works might only be a portion of the piece’s significance. Glimpses suggests that audiences examine and contemplate each photograph, continuing to search for ever-deeper meaning.
Unregistered City provides insight into the artist’s sociopolitical perspective. In this series, Jiang Pengyi utilizes digital manipulation to place miniature skyscrapers in deconstructed landscapes. Producing only eight photos in three years, the works are hyper-detailed and extraordinarily constructed. By juxtaposing symbols of growth and scenes of decay, the photos provide staunch opposition to excessive urbanization. Influenced by the unprecedented worldwide surge in economic growth that all too often passes as progress, Unregistered City highlights the needless demolition and unnecessary redevelopment that plagues our planet.
In Everything Illuminates, Jiang Pengyi utilizes long exposures and phosphorescent powder mixed with wax to retrace the forms of material objects. Our initial impressions of these familiar and utilitarian items evaporate as we engage in a heightened sense of perception through the photographs. As radiant light drapes over corners and curves, the recognizable shapes now exist amongst a new, previously unknown, and unfathomed archetype of form—one that is born in light.
Jiang Pengyi was born in Yuanjiang Hunan Province, China, in 1977 and earned his Bachelor of Arts from Beijing Institute of Art & Design in 1999. His work has been exhibited in museums around the world including “REVEL,” Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai, China (2013); “No Exit – Urban Space,” Helsinki Photography Biennial, Helsinki, Finland (2012); “Architekturfotografie – Made in China,” MAKK, Köln, Germany (2012); and “Be Natural Be Yourself,” Frac des Pays la Loire Fonds Regional d’Art Contemporain, Nantes, France (2011); “The Butterfly Effect,” He Xiangning Art Museum, Shenzhen, China (2010); “Cheng Ran & Jiang Pengyi: Immersion and Distance,” Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China (2009); and “Que Vive?” Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Moscow, Russia (2008).
Jiang Pengyi currently lives and works in Beijing, China.