Sliced Units, Shen Xin

Gallery 1

11 May - 1 July 2018

FREE Entry

Preview: Thursday 10 May, 6pm - 8pm

CFCCA presents ‘Sliced Units’ – three films by award winning artist Shen Xin

Includes the international debut of new commission Warm Spell

Shen Xin’s practice engages with moving image and performative events, examining the techniques and effects of emotion, judgement and ethics as they circulate through individuals and collective subjects.

This exhibition, opening on Friday 11 May, will show three short films that use different techniques to create fictionalised spaces where discussion on complex political issues plays out.

The ‘Sliced Units’ of the exhibition title refers to the different positions represented in each film, from layering and interweaving different images and film styles to scripted performance.

In Shen Xin’s new short film Warm Spell, presented for the first time in this exhibition, a haunting and ghostly presence is introduced alongside images from Ko Yao Yai, Thailand. The film uses slicing techniques to create a narrative about Climate Change and the disparity between high emission countries that are most immune to its effects, and countries (such as Thailand) that rely heavily on natural resources yet are facing more imminent threats.

Warm Spell is a new co-commission by Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art and the University of Salford Art Collection. The work will enter both institutions' holdings through a joint acquisition. It is also supported by The Elephant Trust London, and completed during Shen Xin’s residency at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam.

The performative film Provocation of the Nightingale Channel 1 (2017) shows a meditative, intimate conversation performed by two women sitting together on the floor of a dark theatre space. One woman is the manager of a commercial DNA testing service; the other a Buddhist teacher of meditation. As they search for a common ground in their differing perspectives, the conversation becomes physical and loving.

Snow Country (2013) engages with the trauma of women being violated during the Second World War, particularly in Asia. ‘Comfort women’ was a term given to women systemically sexually exploited by the Japanese military. Soft, pilowy snow falls over serene and idyllic scenes shot in Norway and Sweden, as we hear harrowing accounts of women who were victims of the tumultuous times of conflict. The film resonates with Yasunari Kawabata’s novel of the same title.

This exhibition in Gallery 1 runs alongside a solo show featuring new paintings by artist Faye Wei Wei as part of CFCCA’s ‘Concepts of Gender’ season. Both exhibitions are curated by Tiffany Leung and there will be a launch event for both on Thursday 10 May, 6pm to 8pm.