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Introduction of Middle East Contemporary Art Exhibition

Author: Ivy Liu Translator: Ivy Liu Proofread by Andrea Keller and Sachiel Yuu May,2012

Seeing One's Own Eyes——Middle East Contemporary Art Exhibition is a set of large-scale installations,  paintings and collage artworks, which is related to exhibitions of “cross regions”. The title of this exhibition, Seeing One’s Own Eyes, actually implies an inner view which is hard to be reached. The series of works uses the audience’s expectations towards the inherent exotic culture in the Middle East in order to expose an unavoidable prejudice when one culture views another.

Viewers would be deeply touched by the astonishing expression of the misery, terror and destruction containing in life and wars of the Middle East, when they take a first look at these works. Perfect Volume is the work placed in a huge circle of 100 military boots which have been cut done the toe caps. Being regarded as the epitome of the ruined city, Clam is the work which has slight up and down movements like breathing. Black and dim, gyrating without destination all along is the artwork Soul Has Been Replaced by Anxiety. Furthermore, Dah...Dah....Dah...Dah... is one piece cut by iron board and containing the sound wave of the statements of representative characters’ in the Middle East’s wars. All these works touch and shake viewers deeply.

However, when people take a closer look at the actual content of this exhibition, they will find out that these works full of Middle East exotic and the aura of contemporary art are all forged by MadeIn Company and pasted on the labels with fake Middle East artists. The series of works is filled with prejudiced and symbolic elements. MadeIn Company extracted materials from Middle East’s political cartoons and Arabia culture and art, creating and catering to intentionally the universal expectations and imagination which comes from western countries. It depicts on purpose an image reflected in western people’s minds or the contemporary art forms in western artists’ visual angle. Simultaneously, it ridicules the entire production of contemporary art: How is it possible that no personal experience is needed in order to create such touching and shaking artworks in the Middle East style?

The influence of newly emerging economy and the desire as well as expectation of searching for the exoticism encouraged MadeIn Company to revolt and challenge the art colonialism. As XU Zhen said: “The misunderstanding of appreciation comes from the market supply and the demand caused by curiosity.” The project Seeing One’s Own Eyes creates an incongruous level between appreciation and understanding by the visual angle of culture prejudice: Through the combination of cynicism, ego, exploration, excavation, exploited differences and various other aspects, the viewer unconsciously steps into different viewpoints or angles of observation to judge the artworks. It is an expectation that jumps through different cultures without staying in any of them. It also reveals a paradox: we cannot see our own eyes, we can only see them in the eyes of others.

Related Artists:
XU ZHEN® 徐震®


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