Curated by Janet Fong, with artwork by Li Liao, Liu Chuang, No Survivors, Pak Sheung Chuen, and Yang Xinguang, the show is a reflection on the irony of the complexities that accompany any understanding of what constitutes a “simple life.” Through video and audio installations, sculpture, painting, and photography that highlight the mundane, the artists reveal the irony of the complexities which form “simple life.”

Hong Kong: 2011.11.8 – 2011.11.14, an installation by Pak Sheung Chuen, spans seven days worth of common place, yet creative, notes jotted down by the artist across the gallery’s two central columns and ceiling. The installation appears simple and underwhelming, but it is provocatively complex in content, expression, and significance. As the words crawl up and around the walls of the gallery they illustrate that simple aspects of life deserve a deeper investigation.

Art is Vacuum, by Li Liao, is yet another work that draws attention to the intricate, subtle, and emotionally vivid attributes of “simple life.” Li recorded an argument he had with his girlfriend’s father (now father-in-law). The audio recording captures details overlooked when viewers assume “simple life” is simple. Listeners immerse themselves in the artist’s hesitation as he begins the conversation, the father’s concern for his daughter, and the shared love for one woman.

The artist group, No Survivors, reveal an interrupted and complicated understanding of “simple life” through the acrylic paintings and photographs found in their Red Series. In the paintings and photographs that comprise Red Series, the artists use the color red to attack and invade harmonious and repetitious patterns. In the paintings, the color red shatters an otherwise peaceful scene. In the photos, the color red-and the individuals who define the color as blood-leaves emotional and human memories against the backdrop of a sterile pattern and an over-simplified world.

Yang Xinguang’s work, Mountain Rocks–like many of his works–alludes to the Arte Povera movement in Italy during the late 60s and early 70s. Using simple materials like stones to craft Mountain Rocks, Yang exemplifies the simplicity in form and the complexities in meaning found within “simple life.”

Liu Chuang provides powerful insight into the ideas behind “simple life” with his piece, Buy Everything on You. The work lays out the various articles of clothing and the assortment of objects that are typically found on an individual’s person. The artistry defies a traditional understanding of active creation, as Liu Chuang passively allows the piece to exist without alteration. In doing so, he allows viewers to question their relationship with the showcased items and in turn, the relationship these items share with society.

simple life is interesting! will be on view at Klein Sun Gallery from March 27 until May 3, 2014 and is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by Janet Fong. Mrs. Fong, along with Yang Xinguang, Li Liao, and Pak Sheung Chuen will be present for the opening reception on Thursday, March 27 from 6-8 PM. For more information please contact Christina Lee at (212) 255-4388 or [email protected]. AT 525 W 22 ST., NYC

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