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30 Mar 2010

Iniva presents Lu Chunsheng and Jia Aili: Counterpoints

Lu Chunsheng
The first man who bought a juicer bought it not for drinking juice
(Film still)
Courtesy of the artist

Lu Chunsheng and Jia Aili: Counterpoints
Iniva at Rivington Place


31 March - 15 May 2010 Admission free


+44 0207 729 9616

Rivington Place
London, EC2A 3BA

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Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) presents Counterpoints, an exhibition in two parts that brings together new work by two contemporary Chinese artists, Lu Chunsheng and Jia Aili. This is the European premiere of a film by Lu Chunsheng, an artist who showed in the Serpentine Gallery's exhibition of contemporary Chinese art at Battersea Power Station. Emerging artist Jia Aili also stages his first solo exhibition in Europe, Make Believe... Both artists reflect on industrial progress, social corrosion and the individual's struggle in the machine age.

Lu Chunsheng's film, The first man who bought a juicer bought it not for drinking juice, mixes documentary and fantasy to theatrical effect. The characters in the film are both human and mechanical, and represent the consequences of the globalised era in their repetition of senseless acts. It illustrates the influence of technology, mass media and the power of fear. The film casts a relationship between man and machine in which humanity is denigrated to serve an alien species born from its own hands.

For Jia Aili's first solo exhibition in Europe, he presents monumental new paintings, and an installation specially created for the window overlooking Rivington Street. The site-specific piece is inspired by 16th-century painter Caravaggio's famous painting The Incredulity of Saint Thomas. His intense and emotionally charged work is concerned with the human condition, and the individual's vulnerability in a rapidly modernising society. The artist has been selected from a new generation of artists in collaboration with Platform China Contemporary Art Institute.

A lively talks and events programme accompanies the exhibition including the artists in conversation on 1 April, chaired by Katie Hill, Senior Lecturer at University of Westminster and a discussion on artists' research and cultural exchanges with China on 22 April, Chaired by curator David Thorp with panellists including artist and writer A K Dolven, artist David Blandy and Chinese Arts Centre curator, Ying Kwok.

Lu Chunsheng's film is the product of a residency at Artpace San Antonio, Texas, organised by Hans Ulrich Obrist. European and South East Asia tour organised by Keith Whittle, Fountain. The film is commissioned by Artpace and supported by ShanghART Gallery, China.

Next exhibition: Whose Map is it? new mapping by artists 2 June – 24 July 2010.