shu and joe

It’s Not About the Neighbors by Wang Gongxin

Published on March 15, 2009

Artist Wang Gongxinn has taken over an empty storefront next to a pancake shop where he projects an exact replica of the shop at night. From the artist’s website:

During the day, It’s Not About the Neighbors is a sculptural installation, an uncanny imitation of the neighboring pancake shop’s façade—a simple aluminum and glass storefront commonly found in Beijing’s older neighborhoods. At nightfall, a video projection on the façade depicts the neighbors at work making and selling their bread and noodles. The work’s relationship to the adjacent business changes depending hour of the day; at times it is a physical imitation, at times it is a virtual simulation, and sometimes it’s both. The overriding visual connection between these two adjacent spaces is undermined by their different functions: one is an operating business that depends on local residents and neighbors for its income; the other is independent and non-functional, relying instead upon the visual economies of the hutong and patterns of everyday life. The dual meaning of the word “neighbors,” proposed by Wang’s installation refers to both those who occupy the adjacent shop as well as those who frequent the shop for their daily meals. Offering an indexical relationship to its own location It’s Not About the Neighbors also uncovers new questions about presenting contemporary art in public contexts.

Filed under: Beijing
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