• Zhang Peili, The Front View of an Apartment Building, 2013, digital video, color, silent, 24 minutes. Installation view. Photo: Yang Chao Studio.

    Zhang Peili

    Boers-Li Gallery 博而励画廊

    Zhang Peili’s “Now That” did not extend the most hospitable greeting to its viewers. Upon arriving at the gallery, one immediately found oneself barricaded in an imposing open-roofed structure made of shiny metal railings, whose doors then opened up to allow passage into the space. Inside, a dozen new and used mattresses—some leaning against a wall, others resting on the floor, were scattered about. Lying down on any of the mattresses, one heard a digitally simulated voice reading out names.

    Whose were those names enunciated at five-second intervals? And what was the relationship of this piece,

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  • View of “Zhao Yao,” 2018. Foreground: Signals from Heaven—Why I love a country that once betrayed me, 2018. Background: Signals from Heaven—How my mind came back to life and no one knew, 2018. Photo: Yang Chao Studio.

    Zhao Yao

    Beijing Commune 北京公社

    This past summer, Zhao Yao first exhibited his ongoing project The Spirit Above All, 2015–. This piece, spanning 21,500 square feet and assembled from colored cloth, was placed for six months out in the sun on a snowy mountainside in Nangqian, Qinghai, before being shipped back to Beijing, where it was ceremonially installed on the field in Beijing’s Workers’ Stadium for a day from sunrise to sunset. The work demonstrated Zhao’s interest in the spirituality of contemporary life. The same fascination was also evident in “Signals from Heaven, Signals from Heaven,” an exhibition composed of nine

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