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Hu Jieming: The Things 2020
Solo Exhibition Magician Space, Beijing
Date: 03.02, 2021 - 04.17, 2021

Artists: HU Jieming 胡介鸣

Hu Jieming began work on his series The Things during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. The shutdown of global society forced people to live in an isolated state, creating one of the most typical "states of exception" for humankind to have collectively experienced. This special context gave Hu Jieming an opportunity to return to daily life: home isolation allowed him to set aside the usual concerns and to focus on the everyday things around him with a much greater degree of attention than had been possible before. A calmer and slower pace of life puts us into a lighter frame of mind; time seems to lengthen as the relationship between people and things are brought closer, and life becomes simple and serene.

The slow rhythm of his unusually closed environment inspired Hu Jieming to investigate this new every day. Previously ignored spaces and familiar objects brought him completely different impressions as he stopped, gazed, and noted the way changes in light affect perception. These objects seemed to have a formal intensity that was different from common sense. This prompted Hu Jieming to begin his exploration of the things that make up the everyday. The Things reflect on the stable and fragile, contradictory but symbiotic relationship between people and things. It draws attention to those parts of every day, both common and uncommon, that may not be realized by the people living in them.

Although the theme of The Things is every day, "form" dominates every aspect of the series. In his creative process, Hu Jieming strives to remove the cognitive pressure of understanding the so-called "nature" of things and their attached social meanings, instead choosing to emphasize a more general common perceptual experience. At the same time, the elements of things themselves are clarified through formalized methods and expression, which allows for new subjective understandings to form. Through the series, the artist presents the simplest side of things in a straightforward way.
The unique context of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic formed the starting point of The Things, and it has gradually developed into an ongoing art project. Hu Jieming's series attempts to reawaken our true experience and sensitivity to life. It is this that we gain when we get rid of the social operating mechanism and return to daily life. And this experience has become part of our commonly shared new normal.

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