Thursday, July 17, 2014


Galerie Daniel Templon in Brussels mounted a show this summer for Chinese artist He An. The exhibition was called Wind Light as a Thief 

"He An’s light sculptures are made up of characters stolen – with the complicity of the local mafia – from the signs that light up his native city of Wuhan. Using these stolen ideograms, often damaged by the weather and the course of time, the artist recreates the names of people who are dear to him. We see the name of his father, a martyr of the regime, and of a Japanese erotic actress, the illicit heroine of his youth when her banned videos circulated secretly in China."

Much in the spirit of western avant-gardes during the last century, He An's work skates along the edge of subversiveness. Recent solo shows in Beijing and other Chinese cities demonstrate his skill at testing the boundaries of cultural acceptability without quite crossing them. Social dexterity replaces manual dexterity as the fundamental determinant of artistic success.

An Instant of My Purity is Worth a Lifetime of Your Lies