Beijing Commune is pleased to announce the opening of artist Song Ta’s first solo exhibition “Song Ta: The Loveliest Guy” at the gallery on September 30th, 2014. The exhibition will continue until November 15th, 2014.
Most of Song Ta’s works are rooted in the artist’s observations and sampling of reality. His practice includes photography, video, installation, painting, and performance, among other mediums. Song’s artworks do not emphasize refinement of traditional aesthetics or expression of visual beauty; rather, he adopts a relaxed, comical attitude, enjoying the conceptual freedom art allows him.
This exhibition revolves around Song Ta’s various “investigations” into different types of “people.” The three new works on display initially look as if they are independent and unrelated. They seem to take visual aesthetics to their barest form. However, these three artworks mask Song’s playful response to and expression of artistic systems and the logic of traditional artistic expression. One might also call this an investigation into, or a dialectics of, self-entertainment. For the artwork in the main gallery space, These Are Your Test Scores, and You're Still Playing Around?, Song Ta collects 30 different exam papers, each with the score 59.5%, to string them together and exhibit them publically. The project emerged from the artist’s research into the exam papers of elementary school students in impoverished and minority regions. After conducting this research, the artist discovered that there are many people who share this “common fate.”
Comprising a collage of 60 images, People who Write like Me presents the photographs and calligraphy (handwritten characters) of 30 people whose handwritings look like Song Ta’s. Some were found through the internet, while others are people in the artist’s life. The conclusion of Song Ta’s research is the Chinese phrase “one’s writing mirrors the self,” and characters written in marker are the artist’s favorites.
The video installation piece Who Is the Loveliest Guy? is inspired by Wei Wei’s 1951 essay Who Are the Most Beloved People?, a benevolent and amiable depiction of the People’s Volunteer Army during the Korean War. In Song’s film, a group of heroic naval officers are challenged to ride a roller coaster. During this high-speed, exciting journey, will the brave soldiers stay brave and composed in the face of this roller coaster? In close-up photos, perhaps we might discover who is the loveliest guy.
Song Ta employs the juxtaposition and linking of different relaxed, comedic forms to introduce modes of thought aimed at established institutions, knowledge systems, and power structures. While this research is variously playful, jocular, and self-amused, it is also a sincere and serious inquiry. Song’s works are not merely expressions of an individual viewpoint; they grow out of specific investigations to present a more general notion of reality, site, and phenomenon.
Song Ta was born in Guangzhou in 1988. He received his BFA in Education from Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 2010, and currently lives and works in Guangzhou. As one of the emerging young artists, his works have been shown in many group exhibitions, such as The First 'CAFAM Future' Exhibition: Sub-phenomena: Report on the State of Chinese Young Art at China Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum in Beijing (2012), ON | OFF: China's Young Artists in Concept and Practice at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing (2013) and Positive Space at Times Museum in Guangzhou, China (2014). His recent exhibitions include Unwritten at Marres Centre