CURRENT EXHIBITION | TABULA RASA GALLERY
Floating Wood & Drowning Stone
DATE: 2021.09.04 - 2021.10.29
ARTIST: Cheng Xinhao
“Floating Wood & Drowning Stone” is the title that Cheng Xinhao comes up for his solo exhibition.
I don’t necessarily have any opinions about this title, but if I have to say anything, perhaps “Drowning Wood” and “Floating Stone” could also work?
It doesn’t really matter between the wood and the stone, whether it floats or drowns. Regardless of the encounters upon itself – physical, intellectual, motive, emotive– anything that happens will breed and feed on one another. Eventually the stone floats, and the wood drowns.
I hope Cheng’s solo exhibition in Beijing is an occasion to self-reflect, to reset, to erase. One can look and listen, take and give on one’s own, with a distance from the assumption made by the artist and curator.
If I have to say something, of course, this exhibition is about the Body. It can easily be about any other things, like space, geography, history, modernity, detournement, nature, deterritorialisation, decolonisation, or landscape. I am not trying to conjure up so many terms but as a matter of fact, every piece of work has its own references, echoes, and responses……
But as I said, the exhibition is about the Body.
Cheng once summarises his practice since the work As the Wind Whirls (2018) up until now as “Body in Situations”. However, I propose this exhibition to be more focused, more determined, and more direct, without a second thought choice to retreat to. And the “body” in “situations” becomes the trapped, the crippled, the confused and perhaps the deserted, while it is always in action and making breakthroughs.
It doesn’t matter what we can do about it; it is what it is.
The world becomes the body by which the world is measured.
Cheng is a stubborn desperado. And it finally backfires on his own body. Maybe it will take three months or longer for him to get on the road again.
Or maybe he will conclude his expedition.
Maybe that is for the better: all the “situations” will return to their normal and relaxed state. 4
Comfortable. Uncomfortable. Comfortable. Uncomfortable.
Most of the time we spend in creating, feeling, perceiving the usefulness and uselessness can be described as the two states or the endless cycle between the two. Every person, and every set of relations, never ceases to adjust, to align, to restore and do it all over again.
Cheng has been walking, faltering, taking a pause and moving on the road again. It is time to recap his journey in the past three years.
How to read and consider this recap, whether they are drowning wood and floating stone, or vice versa, is up to you.
Written by Wang Paopao
Translated by Tanni Chen