Urban Fiction 26, 2004–ongoing. C-print and paper, 33 x 42 in.

Material Dreaming: Photography and Sculpture

In 2004, Xing Danwen began an ongoing series of color photographs titled Urban Fiction. Using showroom models of large apartment complexes created by real estate developers in Beijing as her primary subjects, she digitally inserts a few small figures (often including her own) into windows or onto terraces, roofs, or surrounding sidewalks. These barely visible, anonymous figures are engaged in acts of love, sport, or murder; they are active or melancholy, exhibitionist or self-absorbed. Swallowed up by the vastness of the skyscrapers within which their miniscule lives unfold, Xing’s urban dwellers pursue private dramas, personalizing and actualizing the blankness of the space, creating small narratives of love and loss, loneliness and connection, within structures that represent the urban dreams of a new China. …see the entire article in the print version of September’s Sculpture magazine.