Taking up an entire wall in the same room was a video projection Inspired by Transliteration—Chapter Three: Wavelength, showing Li striding along the Qiantang River’s flood defenses, seen in the drone camera footage in Channel. The montage contrasts urban civil engineering to pastoral scenes with close-ups of a white horse, intermittently cutting to shots of the Qiantang’s well-known natural wonder—a tidal surge that sends majestic waves crashing against the bank, the sound of which is popularly described as a thousand horses galloping. However, the docile horse in the video defies this dramatic association, and Li’s stroll along the dangerous path of the flood barrier is at a time when the river is at rest, the montage implying that the apartment itself spreads a benign influence on its surroundings.
—in LI MING, “1703” @ Antenna Space, Shanghai
Web review by Andrew Stooke
There are a huge number of “video-making” tech products now that are drawing in people’s eyeballs—most of my life has been absorbed in this type of thing. Sometimes I see my own son crying and yelling because he wants to use the iPad or watch TV, and I think about my own childhood—I was basically just watching TV and not leaving the house. I think at some point everything that our descendants will see is art!
in Virtual Drift: Li Ming Interviewed by Yuan Fuca (read more)
In 1975 Muhammad Ali was delivering a lecture to a group of Harvard students when he was asked to recite a poem. His response –’Me, We’ –is an intense, concise message about the inherently social nature of human beings.
The artist Li Ming took Ali’s poem as the title of his 2015 solo presentation at Beijing’s UCCA, which similarly probed the limitations of individual agency. The installation-cum-exhibition featured a number of playfully disorientating elements, including an asphalt road guiding the audience through the work, a video essay that flicked quickly through groups of runners, a bright neon reading ‘ME/WE’, voice recordings and an essay by critic Guo Juan titled ‘The Appearance and Disappearance of a Group of People’ (2015). Li’s suggestion is that ‘there is no I; it is merely an illusion of existence.’ Not only was this demonstrated in the images of gaggles of joggers and the audience’s flock movement along the asphalt track, but also via the installation’s focus on somewhat ominous digital tracking technologies.
— in Frieze, “Zoom In: Li Ming’s Impromptu Responses to the Policing of Life”
By Tom Mouna, 25 JAN 2018 (read more)
Li Ming was born in 1986 inYuanjiang, China; he currently lives and works in Hangzhou, China. Videos and video installations play a significant role in Li Ming’s practice. His latest work Rendering the Mind was shot in BroadwayMansion, a five-star hotel with a storied history of over eighty years. Inspired by the shape of the building and the materials of the external walls, the artist produced a series of stories that came about in the space between the public and the private. Aside from presenting a series of relevant performances and videos, Li Ming also used the zigzag space in the museum to extend his works by linking the space up with scenes in his previous video productions, such as a subway tunnel under construction, the construction site of an art museum and a factory that produces clocks and watches. His works usually start with an image, word, movement or atmosphere that arouses his interest and ends up embodying his personal character of sensitivity, subtlety, intuition and humor. His interest shifts from the interaction between the camera and the consciousness of the viewer to the discussion of the social contexts such as spaces, edges and exits, on which the vision of his works is based. His conception of boring and even ridiculous scenes serves as a rebellion against the bored impulse, as an uneasy exploration of meaning and even as sarcasm, historically and humanely. Yet all of them have turned out to be diverse approaches to killing time.
—in Ran Dian