Made In Curved Vase–Blue-and-Jun Yao Glazed Lotus Seedpod Vase, Qianlong Period, Qing Dynasty, 2014. Porcelain, 12.19 x 6.69 x 6.69 in.

Xu Zhen: Information Age

Shanghai-based Xu Zhen reconstitutes time to create “information objects.” His sculptures appropriate historical elements from different civilizations but siphon them through an insurgence of new technologies, underscoring relationships between tradition and contemporary social experience–all in an attempt to sidestep culture as a “known experience” and breathe new life into what might otherwise be considered dead relics. alone. 
The monumentality of his recent sculptures inspires the kind of awe normally reserved for devotional statues. But the sometimes explicit combinations and substitutions–a Japanese figurine replacing a penis, African artifacts and Japanese sex dolls, couplings of Greek and Buddhist figures–result in strange, loaded motifs. Acts of apparent visual conflict and vandalism continually recalibrate historical, mythological, and artistic canons. Such bravado allows for inventive overlap in the interest of new configurations. Looking beyond the object as physical artifact, Xu intends to reactivate it as “information.” His understanding is fueled as much by technology’s democratization of information as it is by his appetite for insurrection. His subversions celebrate a new order of things. By intentionally exercising iteration until a motif is diluted of its original meaning, Xu fills the void with his own version of events. …see the entire article in the print version of April’s Sculpture magazine.