Frieze: Guan Xiao

Published in Frieze Issue 155

By: CAROL YINGHUA LU

May 17, 2013

Guan Xiao, Cloud Atlas, 2012–3, resin, wood board, 270 × 120 × 50 cm


Entering Guan Xiao’s solo exhibition, ‘Survivors’ Hunting’, at Magician Space felt like stepping into a crime scene. It would have taken a detective’s eye to establish the intricate and mysterious connections among the mesmerizing mixture of objects the artist had left behind in the small gallery. Every object there could yield a potential clue to the bigger picture, yet the logic of their presence and their combination was not immediately apparent – at least not at first sight.

Upon entering, viewers encountered five thick, monumental slabs of wood, about two-thirds the height of the space, arranged in a circle. Each of these structures was coated with multiple layers of car polish to create a marbled pattern of different shades of grey, green, blue, yellow and red. Those familiar with Guan’s previous works could easily recognize the camouflage-like pattern as a favourite motif in her installations.

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