Visitors were encouraged to interact with the artist as he and two assistants worked on the film, called The Time Vivarium (2014), also the title of the show. Though totally nonlinear, it conveyed a world in which bureaucrats have heads made of stone and foxes wear megaphones as masks. The dragon at the gate of Tiananmen Square comes alive, and Red Army revolutionaries are swallowed up in a whirlwind of brushstrokes. We see how history is constructed and official accounts may contradict known truth.
Also on display were three mammoth artist’s books featuring pictures taken from newspapers, photo archives, and family albums. Painted as watercolors, the images were surrounded by fluid calligraphic lines. With each page framed in wood, it required two people to turn the pages.
A version of this story originally appeared in the April 2015 issue of ARTnews on page 76.