Rain in Some Areas

ArtistCHEN Wei
Material/ Techniquearchival inkjet print
Size/ DurationH120×W100cm
Copyright Notice© CHEN Wei
Year of acquisition/ donation2018
DescriptionBorn in Zhejiang, China in 1980. Lives and works in Beijing.

Chen Wei is one of the leading artists of China’s “post-80” generation born after the one-child and economic-reform policies. Using mainly photography as his medium, he exposes the gap between the fantasy and reality of Chinese society created by its dramatic economic growth and unprecedented property investment boom and questions anew in an objective and incisive manner individuals’ views of society and the relationship between the world and the individual.

The interiors in Chen’s photographs, devoid of people and reminiscent of movie scenes, quietly expose through skillful set creation and elaborate staging the emptiness and danger associated with the massive urban spaces resulting from the emphasis on economic growth that stimulates people’s desires. The imaginary tales he weaves are critical of contemporary society while at the same time casting doubt on the credibility, objectivity and reliability of photography, posing incisive questions concerning our acceptance of images. On the other hand, the blinking LED lights of Chen’s installations, inspired by LED billboards abandoned in out-of-the-way urban locations, leak out and fill their exhibition spaces while generating an almost musical irregular rhythm. Appealing directly to our bodily senses, these works both exhibit the kind of physicality one would expect from an artist with a background in experimental music and performance and maintain a close connection to the methods Chen employs in his photographic work.