Du Keke

  • Geng Jianyi, Haircut No. 3: ’85 Another Shaved Head of Summer, 1985, oil on canvas, 70 1⁄8 × 58 5⁄8"

    Geng Jianyi

    “Who Is He?” the first retrospective of Geng Jianyi’s work since his death in 2017 at age fifty-five, surveyed nearly four decades of the artist’s practice, bringing together a generous selection of some ninety works in a wide range of media. Without taking a strictly chronological or thematic approach, curators Karen Smith and Yang Zhengzhong illuminated the recurring concerns in Geng’s Conceptual oeuvre as they emerge across time and in a variety of materials.

    One of Geng’s lasting preoccupations was the impossibility of communication, as exemplified by Tap Water Factory, 1987/2022, an interactive

  • Li Ming, Inspired by transliteration—Chapter Five: One Day, 2021, 4K video, color, sound, 13 minutes 43 seconds.

    Li Ming

    The first work one saw on entering Li Ming’s exhibition “Being Consumed” was Inspired by transliteration—Chapter Five: One Day, 2021, which might have been the artist’s response to the abnormal state of life during the pandemic. But the scenes on-screen could not be more normal: a tree-lined street, passing cars, a bird gliding through the frame every now and then. The artist, bored at home during lockdown, had decided to film the parked cars from his window and to continue doing so until only white cars were parked on the street. On the seventy-sixth day of shooting, he finally got the “

  • Lantian Xie, When I Move, You Move, 2020, wearable motors, cloth bands, battery case, tablet, vinyl vests, packaged food, packaged drinks, cigarette boxes, light box, urethane foam, HD video (color, sound, 5 minutes 24 seconds). Installation view. Photo: Keita Otsuka.

    Yokohama Triennale 2020

    THIS PAST JULY, the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Tokyo rose to more than two hundred per day. In spite of this, the Yokohama Triennale, less than twenty miles away, went on to open July 17, having pushed its original date back only two weeks. This speaks volumes about the courage and determination of its artistic directors, the New Delhi trio Raqs Media Collective. With international travel still on hiatus, neither the collective nor the non-local artists participating in the Triennale could attend the opening in person, and many had to participate in

  • Tama River, Tokyo, 2020. Photo: Du Keke.

    Where we’re at: Beijing, Singapore, Tokyo, Shanghai, New Delhi


    BLACK MAOISM was a real thing. Recently I’ve been thinking about what that means in China today.

    Radical histories of Blackness in China are rarely part of mainstream discussions on Afro-Asian solidarity on either side of the Pacific, yet those very legacies explain why Shirley Graham Du Bois is buried in Beijing’s Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery, China’s illustrious burial ground for its national heroes.

    I’ve recently found access to these histories through the Department of Xenogenesis, a series of pedagogical dialogues organized on Zoom by the Otolith Group. Kodwo Eshun

  • Cherry blossom viewing at Tokyo’s Shinjuku Gyoen National Park in Shinjuku on March 21, 2020. Photo: Paul Brown/Alamy Live News.
    slant March 27, 2020

    Letter from Tokyo

    THINGS HAVE SEEMED CALM in Tokyo during the pandemic. I am tempted to write ominously calm, but in all honesty, things do not feel ominous to me—and this absence of ominousness is what is so discomposing. Yes, there is the constant hum of anxiety emanating from the television, where ongoing criticism of the government’s prevention and containment measures are heard, and where pundits speculate on how the postponement of the Olympics will impact the economy. But everyday life goes on, even despite warnings about a second wave of cases: people dine out, ride trams, and even stop by the galleries

  • Tang Da Wu, They Poach the Rhino, Chop Off His Horn and Make This Drink, 1989, video, color, sound, 49 minutes.

    “Awakenings: Art in Society in Asia 1960s–1990s”

    “AWAKENINGS” was the latest collaboration between museums in Japan, Korea, and Singapore to loosen the grip of postwar, so-called Western narratives of art. The ambitious curatorial team (Cheng JiaYun, Seng Yu Jin, Adele Tan, Eugene Tan, and Charmaine Toh of the National Gallery Singapore; Tomohiro Masuda and Katsuo Suzuki from the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo; and Bae Myungji and Ryu Hanseung of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul) organized more than a hundred artists from twelve countries across three sections—“Questioning Structures,” “Artists and the City,”

  • Hsu Che-Yu, Lacuna, 2018, HD video, color, sound, 40 minutes 45 seconds.

    12th Shanghai Biennale

    EVER SINCE the Shanghai Biennale moved to the Power Station of Art in 2012, monumental works have been a mainstay of the event. Take, for example, Huang Yong Ping’s nearly sixty-foot-tall cast-iron tower in that first edition in the former coal energy plant, or MouSen+MSG’s immersive “storytelling machine,” The Great Chain of Being-Planet Trilogy, in 2016.

    So it is refreshing to enter the cavernous main hall and find a relatively understated display: Enrique Ježik’s In Hemmed-in Ground, 2018. The installation consists of sixteen Chinese characters, each constructed humbly from cardboard and steel,


    Curated by Reiko Tsubaki, Hirokazu Tokuyama, and Haruko Kumakura

    For the sixth edition of the Mori Art Museum’s triennial survey of contemporary Japanese art, the institution’s three curators delve into the question of what kind of role art might play in a society where political and economic polarization is exacerbated by rapid technological change. The show’s roster of twenty-five artists and collectives—most of the exhibitors are in their thirties and forties—is diverse with respect to medium and style. For instance, the latest high-tech garments from the fashion label Anrealage will


    If all thinkers are either hedgehogs or foxes, as per Isaiah Berlin’s well-known classification, Chinese artist, curator, theorist, and educator Qiu Zhijie is one of the latter: a fox who knows and does many things, sometimes too many for the audience to digest at once. “Mappa Mundi,” Qiu’s second solo show in Beijing this year, will focus on a single aspect of his multifarious practice—namely, maps. More than thirty large-scale ink-on-paper works will provide a comprehensive view of the complex conceptual territories Qiu has constructed in his “Mapping the World Project,”

  • View of “Wang Yin: Friendship,” 2018, Mirrored Gardens, Vitamin Creative Space, Guangzhou, China.
    interviews March 27, 2018

    Wang Yin

    Wang Yin is a Beijing-based artist whose works carefully trace the aesthetic experience that informed the modernization of painting in China. Here, he discusses his latest exhibition, “Friendship,” at Vitamin Creative Space’s Mirrored Gardens in Guangzhou, China, which features fourteen new works illuminated only by natural light. The show is on view until April 15, 2018.

    I DECIDED TO TITLE THIS SHOW “FRIENDSHIP” because I think we need to establish a more friendly relationship with the past and with the Other. Oil painting has always been an incomplete issue in East Asia. And I am willing to

  • View of “Yang Jian,” 2017. Photo: Li Sen.

    Yang Jian

    Near the entrance of Yang Jian’s solo exhibition “Constructing Ruins,” visitors encountered a short text typewritten on a small piece of paper attached to a length of rebar. The elliptical words tell the story of a crew of workers who run into trouble constructing a bridge. The foreman, disguised as a beggar, asks nearby villagers for two sets of children’s clothes. The workers nail the clothes to a post and, suddenly, they are able to complete the bridge successfully. Soon, however, the children to whom the clothes belonged die.

    This tale was among half a dozen stories printed on as many pieces

  • Research image for Lin Yilin’s contribution to the 7th Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture.


    The seventh edition of the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture, organized by Hou Hanru and two founding partners of the local architectural collective urbanus, has chosen as its main venue a unique enclave in the city: Nantou, a historical town that is gradually transforming into one of the city’s so-called urban villages. A side effect of Shenzhen’s rapid economic development, these sprawling villages-in-the-city lack central planning and enjoy limited access to city services, often providing a home for migrant populations. This biennial—through