A Light Without Shadow, No. 1_Wang Tuo

“Recently, I keep remembering a building that I visited last year in Beijing. It’s located at the center of this metropolis. The building is like what Arthur Clark has described a “Big Dumb Object” within its surroundings. I can’t imagine how spectacular it appeared to be; the tallest building when it first stood up in the mid 1950s. The building’s name “Fu Sui Jing”, in Chinese, means ” A land of fortune and peace”. As an ideal lifestyle of communism, it was a miniature model of a society of the communist economy. In it, you don’t need to own anything, here, everything is shared, even the bathroom and kitchen. Last year I took a day trip in “the land of fortune and peace” for the first time. It is the last of its kind, and now, it is famous for being the most haunted spot in Beijing. I heard people say that during the Cultural Revolution, since it was the tallest construction in the city, sad people who were seeking death would jump from it. With 400 units, only around 10 are currently occupied. It wasn’t a pleasant trip. I don’t know if this building will stay here forever. But it reminds me of our situation right now in this indescribable time; how our ideology was shaped as ideal and then broke and isolated.”

OBSESSIONS (Video), 2019

Born and raised in Changchun, China, Wang Tuo currently lives and works in Beijing. Wang Tuo employs various mediums and a process that combines interviews, reality shows, and the theatre of absurd to construct a maze of melodrama. Through his performative manipulation of individuals’ lived experiences and intervention in intellectual legacies such as literature, film, theatre, and art history, Wang’s practice attempts to examine the unreliable relationship between the contemporary human status, myth, and cultural archive.

In the self-referential environments that he constructs, dramatic, often humorous as well as absurd aspects of the concept of society are exposed. Wang’s practice also seeks to develop a discourse on how to present ideology is derived from its historical context continues to adapt to changing conditions.

Wang has recent solo shows at Present Company, New York, Gallery EXIT, Hong Kong, WHITE SPACE, Beijing, Salt Project, Beijing, Taikang Space, Beijing, and recent group shows at National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, Julia Stoschek Collection, Düsseldorf, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Zarya Center for Contemporary Art, Vladivostok, Power Station of Art, Shanghai, Times Museums, Guangzhou, OCAT Shenzhen, OCAT Shanghai, How Art Museum, Shanghai, chi K11 Art Space, Shenyang, Queens Museum, New York, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Vox Populi, Philadelphia and HVCCA, NY.

Wang Tuo was an Artist in Residence at the Queens Museum, New York from 2015 to 2017. He won the China Top Shorts Award and the Outstanding Art Exploration Award for Chinese Short Films in Beijing International Short Film Festival 2018. Wang Tuo is the winner of the Three Shadows Photography Award 2018 and the Youth Contemporary Art Wuzhen Award 2019.