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XU ZHEN Supermarket 


徐震超市


Curated by Victor Wang 王宗孚


21 September – 04 November 2017
The Shop, Sadie Coles HQ, London 






















Curated by Victor Wang 王宗孚
21 September – 04 November 2017
The Shop 62 Kingly Street London W1
Tuesday – Saturday, 11 – 6pm


Sadie Coles HQ and Victor Wang 王宗孚 are proud to present Shanghai-based artist Xu Zhen’s XUZHEN Supermarket (2007/2017) for the first time in the United Kingdom. The project runs in tandem with Zhongguo 2185, an exhibition of ten artists from China.

Xu Zhen (b. 1977) is known for his wry and provocative appropriations of the tropes of advertising, distribution, and consumerism. This project, which has previously been presented in Shanghai, Singapore, New York and Miami, takes the form of a functioning supermarket. Visitors to the store, located in the ground-floor ‘Shop’ space at Sadie Coles HQ, are invited to buy from continually-restocked rows of packaged goods from China – all of them completely authentic, and all completely empty.

Playing out the artist’s interest in capitalist products and processes, XUZHEN Supermarket occupies an unlikely space between installation art and commercial food production. Inviting viewers to invest in empty shells – containers bereft of substance or use value – the venture offers a critique of the often-destructive nature of global capitalism – its relentless cycles of supply and demand, brute logistics and mass consumption, and the aesthetic guises it assumes through branding and packaging. There is also a satirical metaphor, in the hollow vessels, for the international art market and its arbitrary ascriptions of value.

Initiated in 2007, the project embodies many of the characteristics that artist Richard Hamilton identified as defining Pop Art: popular (designed for a mass audience), transient (short-term), expendable (easily forgotten) and low-cost (mass-produced). The stacked, identical commodities of Xu’s supermarket invite numerous parallels with Pop Art’s mergers of art and life, while also implicating viewers as participants – placing them in the role of active consumers.

XU ZHEN Supermarket in this way constructs a space which accelerates and parodies the consumerism prevalent in China – a phenomenon which has frequently eclipsed historical and cultural contexts and traditions. The original food markets of Shanghai, for example, were public spaces for social interaction and entertainment, often visited by families once a day for fresh produce. In recent decades, these traditional markets have been transformed into supermarkets and fast-food dining outlets (first introduced in China in the 1980s to cater for foreigners) – and drained of their historical significance. The customs of community, diet and trade which were ingrained in these social spaces have been exchanged for the mass commoditisation and ‘international aesthetic’ of global chains and franchises. The empty simulacra of Xu Zhen’s store – available for purchase, if not for consumption – express a comic yet mordant critique of this evacuation of history.

Xu Zhen (b. 1977, Shanghai) is one of China’s leading contemporary artists. His practice spans a variety of media including installation, video, painting and performance. In 2004, Xu w on the prize for ‘Best Artist’ at the China Contemporary Art Aw ard. He has exhibited internationally, w ith exhibitions and projects including those at the National Gallery of Australia (Canberra, 2016), Al Riw aq Art Center (Qatar, 2016), Armory Show (New York, 2014), Long Museum (Shanghai, 2015), Lyon Biennale (2013), Hayw ard Gallery (London, 201 2), Tate Liverpool (2007), PS1 (New York, 2006), Mori Art Museum (Tokyo, 2005), The Museum of Modern Art (New York, 2004), and the Venice Biennale (2001, 2005). Xu Zhen has co-curated major exhibitions in Shanghai, and helped to initiate Art-Ba-Ba (w w w.art-ba- ba.com), a leading online forumfor discussion and critique of contemporary art in Shanghai, in 2006. In 2009, Xu Zhen established MadeIn Company, a contemporary art creation corporate, focused on the promotion of creativity. In 2013, MadeIn Company launched the brand “Xu Zhen”. In 2014, MadeIn Company established MadeIn Gallery and launched the first “Xu Zhen Store” in November 2016 in Shanghai.



Reviews 


+ Jane Morris and Hannah McGivern, ‘Three to See: London’, for The Art Newspaper featuring XUZHEN      Supermarket and Zhongguo 2185.

+‘Why is it crowded in a supermarket selling vacant packages in London?’, Hertz, 10 October 2017

+‘XUZHEN Supermarket opens in London, and at the same time Zhongguo 2185 is staged’, The Art Newspaper China, 04 October 2017

+ TANC | “徐震超市”伦敦“开业”,《中国2185》同时登场 The Art Newspaper, 采访、撰文/傅译文, http://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/SEpylxpIk2BMdnmMAPymNQ

“ZHONGGUO 2185 AND XU ZHEN AT SADIE COLES, LONDON“, Cura Magazine, 12 October 2017

+ The Saces, 9 installations to catch when Frieze London comes to town, ART, Sept 29, 2017, By ELLIE HOWARD

XUZHEN SUPERMARKET, Whitelies Magazine,, October, 2017 





Chinese Press Release



赛迪HQ画廊和王宗孚先生(Victor Wang)共同荣幸地宣布,将呈现上海艺术家徐震的“徐震超市” (2007/2017) 在英国的首次展览。该项目与中国2185展览同时展出。中国2185是来自于中国的10位艺术家的联合展览。

徐震(出生于1977年)以其辛辣地讽刺和挖苦广告泛滥、包装过渡和消费主义盛行而闻名。这个项目以前曾经在上海、新加坡、纽约和迈阿密举行过,以功能性超市的形式展出。在这家位于赛迪HQ画廊底楼店面的超市,参观者将受邀购买来自中国的源源不断的大量包装商品--所有这些商品都完全是正宗商品,但却都是空有包装而已。

徐震对于资本主义产品和生产工艺的兴趣采取了特殊的表现形式。“徐震超市”在大型装置艺术和商业食品生产之间占据了一个非常难得的位置。参观者受邀购买商品包装空壳-——丧失了实际商品或者或使用价值的空壳包装容器—这种冒险是对全球资本主义破坏性本质的批判——它无情的供给与需求循环周期,粗野的物流与需求,以及通过品牌推广和过渡包装进行的美学伪装。在这些空泛的包装容器中,还包含有针对国际艺术品市场及其随意任性的价值定价的讽刺比喻。

这个展览项目启动于2007年,集中体现了被艺术家理查德·汉密尔顿所定义的波普艺术的许多特征:流行性(目标为广大观众的)、过渡性(短期的)、次要性(容易被遗忘的)和低成本(大规模生产的)。徐震超市里数量众多、千篇一律的商品,与将艺术和通俗生活相结合的波谱艺术有无限相似之处,同时也将观众作为积极的参与者——让他们扮演活跃消费者的角色。

徐震超市以构建空间的形式, 有效地滑稽模仿在中国泛滥的消费主义——这种现象经常使历史和文化背景与传统黯然失色。例如,上海最初的食品市场是社会互动和娱乐的公共场所,通常每天都有家庭来购买新鲜农产品。近几十年来,这些传统的市场已经被改造成超市和快餐店(上世纪80年代在中国首次推出以迎合外国人),并逐渐失去了它们的历史意义。这些社会生活中根深蒂固的社区、餐饮和交易习俗,已经被转换为大规模的商品化和全球连锁与特许经营的“国际美学”。徐震超市里空洞的模拟物——可以销售购买, 但不是为了消费——对于这种历史空洞化表达了滑稽而又讽刺的批判。

徐震(1977年生,上海)是中国最具标志性的著名当代艺术家之一。他的实践跨越了各种媒体,包括装置艺术、视频艺术、绘画和表演艺术。2004年,徐震获得中国当代艺术奖“最佳艺术家”奖。他举办的国际展出和项目包括:澳大利亚国家美术馆(堪培拉,2016);阿尔Riwaq艺术中心(卡塔尔,2016);军械库展(纽约,2014);龙美术馆(上海,2015年);里昂双年展(2013);海沃德画廊(伦敦,2012);泰特利物浦(2007);PS1(纽约,2006);象征艺术博物馆(东京,2005);现代艺术博物馆(纽约,2004);和威尼斯双年展(2001、2005)。2006年,徐震在上海举办了大型展览,并帮助发起了中国当代艺术社区(www.art-ba-ba.com),这是一个领先的网络在线论坛,探索和批评当代艺术。2009年,徐振创立了专注于提升当代艺术创作创意的没顶公司。2013年,没顶公司推出了“徐震”品牌。2014年,没顶公司在上海成立了“没顶画廊”,并于2016年11月在上海推出了首家“徐震超市”。

VICTOR WANG
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