One (Illegitimate) Child is temporarily closed to the public until further notice. Visit ISCP’s Facebook page here for images of artworks and texts featured in the exhibition. Scroll down to download the full exhibition booklet and floor plan.
The International Studio & Curatorial Program announces the group exhibition One (Illegitimate) Child, organized by curator Jianru Wu, ISCP’s 2020 Jane Farver Curatorial Resident. This exhibition explores the theme of self and society in a time of post-socialism and surveillance capitalism, in China and elsewhere. When the one-child policy ended in 2016, formerly illegal Chinese children abruptly became legal, leaving a huge gap between their past and future. This questionable legitimacy is complicated today by institutional intervention enabled by digital technology, which fuels conflicts between disenfranchisement versus hegemony, and minority versus mainstream.
Artists included in the exhibition are Dachal Choi, Future Host (Tingying Ma and Kang Kang), and Li Shuang. Dachal Choi’s installation, Carve and Crave (2020), is comprised of sculpture and modified video footage of criminal activity collected from the Neighbors app using Amazon Ring technology. The project confronts the drastic erosion of individual autonomy and security. Li Shuang’s video, T (2017-18), interweaves contemporary Chinese internet-sourced marketing imagery of women’s socked feet with slang language and cultural symbols. Through non-linear narrative and fragmented visuals, the video interrogates socially imposed sexual stereotypes and other social constructs, as well as expansive performative possibilities of a virtual, suppositional world. Lastly, Future Host presents the sound work Future Host: A Speech Opera (2020), and Little Canon, a solo performance of a piece by New York-based artist and musician C. Spencer Yeh played by a child musician. Little Canon veers off from established rules, offering a deviation from the standards of music pedagogy. It alludes to promises of socialism, to a future that never was.
Jianru Wu (born 1985) is a curator and writer based in Guangzhou and a curator in residence at ISCP in 2020 sponsored by the Jane Farver Memorial Fund. Her practice looks at the consequences of rapidly diversifying structures of relationships and power in East Asia within the digital era. Her curatorial projects include Re/sentiment (2016) at A+ Contemporary, Shanghai; Southern Climate (2017) at N3 Gallery, Beijing; and Forget Sorrow Grass: An Archaeology of Feminine Time (co-curated with Sirui Zhang, 2019) at Guangdong Times Museum, among others. Wu has been the Director of Media Lab at Guangdong Times Museum since 2019.
Support for this exhibition is provided by the Jane Farver Memorial Fund. This program is also supported, in part, by New York City Council District 33; New York City Council District 34; New York City Council Member for the 33rd District Stephen T. Levin; New York City Council Member for the 34th District Antonio Reynoso; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; Hartfield Foundation; Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF); and William Talbott Hillman Foundation. Special thanks to John Moore for his continued support.