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        Li Xiaoliang returns to town with new exhibition

        Writer: Yang Mei  |  Editor: Zhang Zeling  |  From: Original  |  Updated: 2024-05-14

        A photo from Li Xiaoliang’s “Peking Apartment” series is on display. Photos by Yang Mei

        Following the success of the 2023 “Li Xiaoliang: 1/3 Solo Exhibition,” photographer Li Xiaoliang, better known as Alexvi, presents a new exhibition titled “At That Time, This Moment” at the Sea World Culture and Arts Center in Nanshan District.

        Photos from Li Xiaoliang’s “At Spot” series are on display at the exhibition.    

        Curated by Prof. Gu Zheng from the School of Journalism at Fudan University, the exhibition unfolds in a unique way. Li’s diverse works — including series like “Echo,” “At Spot,” “New Houses,” “Journey to Nowhere” and “Melting Wax” — are displayed within a series of interconnected “rooms.” These rooms, juxtaposed within the exhibition hall, form a labyrinth. Each room functions as both an independent space and a gateway to the next, inviting visitors to choose their own path through the exhibition’s non-linear narrative.

        Upon entering, visitors are greeted by a striking display. Two walls feature Li’s black-and-white photographs. Captured around the world, these images showcase the essence of urban life through a recurring motif — the zebra crossing. With his camera held high, Li separates the subject from the bustling street scene, offering a fresh perspective.

        An installation and photos from Li Xiaoliang’s “New Houses” series are on display at the exhibition.

        Another section, “New Houses,” delves into the evolving Tibetan landscape. Li documents the inhabitants and their homes, highlighting the intriguing blend of traditional and modern elements within newly built timber dwellings. This section offers a glimpse into the transformation of identity and national culture within this multi-ethnic region.

        Li’s keen eye captures the unexpected in “Not Really an Accident.” Here, the focus falls on a seemingly mundane subject — the scuffed walls of parking lots around the globe. These marks, left by errant cars, are juxtaposed with the varying colors and textures of the walls, creating an effect reminiscent of Expressionist oil paintings. The curator intends to make this section more thought-provoking, noting “In the next 20 or 30 years, the popularization of driverless technology will erase these human mistakes, and these ‘mistakes’ may be the biggest difference between people and machines, and programs, and also means that these mottled pictures may not exist in the future.”

        Li’s talent extends to celebrity portraiture. The “At Spot” section features his photographs of some of China’s most renowned figures, including actors Zhou Xun and Hu Ge, director Ang Lee, and international stars like Sophie Marceau and Jean Reno.

        A photo from Li Xiaoliang’s “Melting Wax” series is on display at the exhibition at Sea World Culture and Arts Center in Shenzhen.

        The exhibition also embraces digital and interactive elements. “Melting Wax” showcases photography and video installations created between 2021 and 2024. Capturing natural temperatures in locations like Iceland and Indonesia, Li integrates these thermal images into the corresponding scenes, adding a layer of personal emotion and vibrancy. Finally, the “Echo” section invites visitors to take a black-and-white self-portrait using the Back to Black Interactive Installation.

        An installation and photos from Li Xiaoliang’s “Peking Apartment” series are on display at the exhibition.

        Li is a visual artist, fashion photographer, and the founder of ASTUDIO in Beijing. Born in 1984, he started taking photos while attending Beijing Jiaotong University, and has shot covers for GQ, Esquire, Bazaar Art, ELLE Men, and Rolling Stone. He won the Photobook Awards Martin Parr Edition in 2015 with Lonely Planet, and the Fine Art Photography Awards in London for “Peking Apartments.”

        Dates: Until Aug. 25

        Tickets: 88 yuan (regular); 58 yuan (full-time teacher, students, citizens aged above 60)

        Venue: Sea World Culture and Arts Center, Nanshan District (海上世界文化藝術中心)

        Metro: Line 2 or 12 to Sea World Station (海上世界站), Exit A 


        ?Following the success of the 2023 “Li Xiaoliang: 1/3 Solo Exhibition,” photographer Li Xiaoliang, better known as Alexvi, presents a new exhibition titled “At That Time, This Moment” at the Sea World Culture and Arts Center in Nanshan District.
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