Curated by Yuan Zhi
Artists: Jae Youn Hwang, Julian Day, Jae Won Jung, Bicheng Liang, Yili Zhang
Opening Reception: Thursday, Jan.30th, 2020, 7:00-9:00 pm
Jan. 30th – Feb. 6th, 2020
CP Projects Space, 132 West 21st Street, 10th floor, New York, NY
Monday - Friday, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm, weekends by appointment
CP Projects Space at the School of Visual Arts is pleased to present 21g +, curated by MA Curatorial Practice fellow Yuan Zhi.
Scientific evidence shows that we can prove the existence of the immortal human soul by recording a small loss of body weight, which is 21 grams. It is the weight of the soul at the moment of our death. How many lives do we live? What should we think about these 21 grams? Each person has only one life to live, and that which occurs in life occurs only once and never again. Life, with all its complexity and uncertainty, resists being codified as either lightness or weight. If we have to objectify the mass of life, it is always beyond 21 grams. Even without the mass of a soul, our memories, stories, and experiences will always stay in the world and continue in different ways.
The ancient Chinese mapped the cycle of nature through five elements, or Wu Xing: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. They are fundamental and they interact, battle each other, constraining and balancing the world. They can be seen as extensions of our lives. The exhibition 21 g+ discusses existence, experience, and memory, and is separated into three sections—Water, Wood, and Fire—that touch on the theory of Wu Xing. In the Water section, Julian Day's sound installation exemplifies a sense of water’s eternal flow, while Jee Youn Hwang creates a scale to measure the weight of memory, whether it endures over time or not. Yili Zhang's painting reconstructs the figure of the fish in its element of water, finding a complexity of relationships that coincides with our lives. In the Wood section, both Bicheng Liang and Jae Won Jung use natural materials to conceptualize their understanding of life. Bicheng Liang's sculptures symbolize the ongoing natural existence, while Jung's installation abstracts the idea of time as cumulative and continuous. In the Fire section, Julian Day presents a second sound-based installation.
If everything happens only once, our best response is to accept our past, embrace our present, and remain attuned to the possibilities of time to come. Like water, fire, and wood, existence has the quality of abundance, which makes life more than 21 grams.
Image: Jae Won Jung, Trace of Time, 2019, Photo courtesy of the artist