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issue 52 - October/November 2019
CURVE magazine cover October/November 2019


by Xu Zhen

In the Metal Language series, Xu Zhen extracts sentences from political cartoons in their original fonts and reproduces them using metal chains on a mirroring surface. The choice of metal shackles reflects the ambiguity of history itself: it is a treasure and a burden. The bling of the chains along with the many exclamation marks evoke the chaos of a graffiti wall, where the many individual statements blend into one bigger picture. Xu Zhen was born in 1977, and lives and works in Shanghai. He is considered an iconic figure in Chinese contemporary art. In 2004, he won the prize for 'Best Artist' at the China Contemporary Art Award. His practice covers various media such as installations, video, painting and performance. Xu Zhen has exhibited internationally, at museums and biennales, such as the Venice Biennale, New York's Museum of Modern Art, the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo and many more.

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