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Li Ming, MEIWE, 2015, video, sound, aluminum, LED lights, asphalt, water. Installation view. Photo: Wang Peng.

Li Ming

Ullens Center for Contemporary Art UCCA当代艺术中心

Li Ming, MEIWE, 2015, video, sound, aluminum, LED lights, asphalt, water. Installation view. Photo: Wang Peng.

“New Directions,” Li Ming’s recent exhibition at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, had a cultish atmosphere. In a dark corner of the gallery, an ominous sculptural light box flashed the word me in severe white block letters; below the installation was a man-made pond that reflected the pulsing letters as the word WE, creating an entrancing symmetry. At the opposite end of the space was the video essay MeIWe #1 (all works 2015), comprising a minimal electronic sound track and interwoven clips of runners pulled from films, home videos, and product advertisements. The video also features a text describing the 2007 Glenn Ligon work Give Us a Poem (Palindrome #2), to which Li’s installation heavily owes. In it, Ligon references a 1975 Muhammad Ali speech wherein the athlete offered his audience the poem “me, we.” Four projectors, each playing a short video of a mob of runners,

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