Cheng Ran, Takao Minami, Hiraki Sawa: Wanderers

Cheng Ran, Takao Minami, Hiraki Sawa: Wanderers

The Homing Pigeon, a 2016 video work by Cheng Ran, is on display as part of a three-artist exhibition at Ota Fine Arts in Shanghai. 

Wanderers features work by Cheng, Takao Minami and Hiraki Sawa. The exhibition presents the work of two Japanese and one Chinese artist, all of whom have embarked on open-ended and exploratory journeys and voyages. Wandering is built around process, unearthing and learning. The works on display combine sound, image and moving image works and are a celebration of wandering, of the unexpected treasures awaiting discovery upon getting lost, of starting a journey without a pre-planned end. Visitors are invited on their own journey as they explore, in their own way, the journeys begun by the artists. 

The Homing Pigeon was created as part of Cheng’s 2016 residency at the New Museum in New York, and looks at the US city through the eyes of a stranger; someone visiting for the first time. The piece layers the poem Howl by Allen Ginsburg over footage recorded in New York. The poem is the howl of an outsider - an emblem for those on the fringes of society - and is interwoven with fragments of footage of billboards and streetlights, urban wildlife and buildings. The work speaks of someone who is lost, but like a homing pigeon will one day find ‘home’. There is not a linear narrative, but rather a narrative emerging from interwoven fragments.

Delta Story by Takao Minami

Delta Story (2007) by Takao Minami combines still images with sound to capture a journey from Kagoshima to Keelung port, Taiwan. The work is “a form of experiment against “narrative-ness”, breaking elements down and splicing together combinations of man-made sounds and documented material”. As well as documenting a physical journey the piece is also a journey of exploration of the possibilities and limitations of narrative and image building, through the interweaving of concepts, forms and topographies.

Spotter by Hiraki Sawa

Spotter (2003) by Hiraki Sawa has vehicles in transit as its focal point. The artist painstakingly created meticulously detailed scenes of vehicles in motion, on their way from A to B, between borders, in a state of transition. The scenes are created by inscribing virtual movements over photographs. The work conjures and hints at stories and possibilities without being definitive. It is full of potential, the meeting point of a multitude of possibilities. At the same time it is in a state of suspense, of the unknown around the corner constrained by the spatial and logistical confines, the ordinariness, of the journey.

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Wanderers is at OTA Fine Arts, West Bund, Building 3 2555 Longteng Ave. Xuhui District, Shanghai China from 11 January to 7 March.

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