Hong Hao at Pace Gallery Beijing

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Pace Gallery is a contemporary super-gallery of sorts. It was founded in 1960 in Boston by Arne Glimcher. It expanded and multiplied over the years, with satellite galleries spreading not only throughout the United States, but over the world. Today, Pace Gallery has a presence in New York, London, Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, and Geneva. It represents some of the most significant artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, including Willem de Kooning, Lee Friedlander, Donald Judd, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Isamu Noguchi, Yoshimoto Nara, and Lee Ufan.

Pace Gallery Beijing is currently exhibiting the work of Hong Hao. Hao is a Chinese artist who is best known for his photographic series My Things, which he began in 2001. The extensive collection of photographs catalogues a myriad of the artist’s possessions. In this series, he created huge scans of hundreds of objects, including books and knick knacks from the around the house. By cataloguing these colourful items en masse he has documented his side of the experience of China moving to becoming a world-leading producer of ‘stuff.’ In some of his prints, the objects’ are placed on the scanner bottom-down, thus obscuring their full forms from our view. This abstraction produces a further sense of immensity, but also uniformity of the massive amount of these things that simultaneously refer to China’s conflicting mash-up of communism and capitalism.

In Pace Gallery’s exhibition “Border,” Hao has evolved these works into paintings, further abstracting the subject matter and removing obvious references to the original objects. The paintings are textured, geometric, and bold. They make some allusions to the agricultural landscape seen from above — perhaps a link to Hao’s older map works — becoming shadows of the consumption we engage in in our daily life, and part of the artist’s ongoing commentary on his homeland. The exhibition in up until 30 June. Find more information here.