Sometimes we all need to open up a little bit.
As the acclaimed modern dancer Jin Xing once said, Shanghai is a feminine city. It is delicate. It is about details. Even through the hard-line commerce, the ceaseless construction, the madness of the e-bikes zipping in front of taxis and grazing pedestrians, the intimacy of the individual sparkles in the eyes of children and smiles of grandparents taking an evening stroll in their renowned pajamas.
Liu Dao is an art collective with headquarters in Shanghai's island6 Arts Center. After solo shows in Taipei and Beijing, as well as trips to HK Art Fair 2010 and an appearance at Louis Vuitton Cultural Space in Macau, the group of six artists is capping off its most successful year with a solo show in Bangkok. For "Electric Shanghai", curated by American Tally Beck, the artists bring figurative portraits of what many consider the most exciting and important rising city in the world.
In "Hongkou Flashers", Nathalie Lin (孙茉莉) from Shanghai proper appears in twin form to sway provocatively, shift her weight, and proudly bare all. It is a 20-second animation looped to infinity and a depiction of fashion, youth, honesty, and audacity as the woman pivots on her heels and hugs the overbearing coat of masculinity around her before casting it away in rejection. Liu Dao uses video footage and a computer program to render all real-world colors into one of red, green, or orange. With this choice, a pixilated representation of the subject arises, connecting the image through the network of LED panels within the frame into the greater circuitry of the world's interconnectivity. [Pete Bradt]