If you’re in Beijing between now and October 15, Yang Shaobin’s solo exhibit at the Long March Space shouldn’t be missed. The exhibit includes two films, 8 large oil paintings and an installation recreating the dwelling of a Kuiluan coalminer. The show is titled “800 Meters” and is drawn from Yang’s experience growing up with coalminer parents and, more recently, the year he spent living among miners in China’s rural provinces. The paintings emit a vibrance and jovility that belie the everyday dangers and hardships of the life of a coalminer. But in doing so, they also dispense with the datafication of miners (e.g., 80% of global mining deaths in 2004 occurred in China) and portray a deep humanity. Plus, they’re nice to look at.
I’m glad I was able to catch up with Charles Ruas and check out some art together here in Beijing. Charles hosts a great radio program on WPS1 called Conversations with Writers. Give it a listen. Here’s Charles with Cao Fei’s great Hip Hop NYC video: