reviews

  • Song Ta, These Are Your Test Scores, and You’re Still Playing Around? (detail), 2014, paper, found objects, dimensions variable.

    Song Ta

    Beijing Commune 北京公社

    Entering the exhibition space, viewers were greeted with two rows of elementary-school examination papers, hanging like Tibetan prayer flags. Each sheet bears the same score, 59.5—just half a point under the passing grade of 60. The exams were culled from schools in poor and remote mountainous regions, some of them populated by ethnic minorities. The quasi-religious mode of display may have allegorized the students’ hopes, but in choosing to display only the tests of those who failed to pass by just half a point, Song Ta projects his coldly satirical intent, evident in the work’s title,

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  • View of “He Xiangyu,” 2014. From left: Copper, 2014; Lemon Flavored, 2014; RRL, 2014; Endless Copies, 2014.

    He Xiangyu

    White Space Beijing 空白空间

    Sometimes small surprises are better than big ones. He Xiangyu has previously made a life-size leather tank and reduced 127 tons of soda to coal-like residues, so I was expecting to see grand-scale works again in his latest show, “Dotted Line.” Instead, he presented the series “Lemon Flavored” (all works 2014), consisting of small paintings in which the title is repeated on backgrounds of white, green, and yellow. There were sculptures, too, but again, of modest scale—for instance R&L, a white sock with the letter R embroidered on it encased in a small metal vitrine and another, bearing

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