Hua Weihua and Yu Bogong

Action Space
Hei Qiao Art District, Chaoyang District
May 17, 2014–June 30, 2014

Yu Bogong, Yu Bogong Vodka, 2014, mixed media. Installation view.

The duo solo exhibitions of Hua Weihua and Yu Bogong begin and end in staggered temporalities that befit the rapid development of Beijing, acting as an antidote to and a rift on overproduction. Using mostly found materials from Heiqiao Village, Yu has built a provisional structure for a vodka distillery system for five hundred bottles of his eponymous brand of vodka. Rows of empty bottles line blue shelves. The interior space, marked by the infinity-sign wall mural titled Yu Bogong Vodka, 2014, is adaptable for artists, writers, and curators to host events where the alcohol can be consumed during the exhibition’s forty-three-day span.

Meanwhile, Hua’s Waiting for Business, 2014, an off-the-meter taxi service, territorializes the city itself. The gallery’s reserved parking space is demarcated in the same blue paint of Yu’s vodka logo. Inside, on the counter, the artist has left a stack of calling cards that depict a red BMW convertible speeding down a blurry landscape. The actual taxi, a white Fiat Palio Weekend, can be seen in Hua’s diaristic entries on Action Space’s website, which he inaugurated with images of his urine street-drawings that resemble a rose and a chrysanthemum.

On the evening of the vodka launch, Yu and his collaborator Megumi Shimizu’s distillation process was in full view. Past midnight, some visitors dialed Hua’s taxi service, only to find that his cellphone had been turned off. The failure of an easy car ride concedes a rare lucidity of social interdependencies; another jolt of de-synchronicity to keep us awake, to be fully present.

— Jo-ey Tang