Hans Op De Beeck in 798

July 26, 2009

Galleria Continua has been a renowned artistic space in Beijing’s 798 District ever since it’s opening four years ago. The gallery offers visitors the chance to view exhibitions in which international-level artists devise projects specifically for the gallery space and to reflect upon their experiences. The space has become an exciting venue for presenting artists from around the world, all the more remarkable given the comparative rarity of such ventures on the part of Western galleries.

When I visited the gallery back in April I was wowed by the work of Belgian Vi artist, Hans Op de Beeck whose exhibition, ‘Staging Silence’, featured a large scale sculptural installation (‘Location (6)’), watercolors and an animated film. The work focused deeply upon Op de Beeck’s ideas of detachment and loss of self for human beings in these post-modern times. ‘Staging Silence’ was the artist’s first solo exhibition is China.

Canon Beijing 048

Location (6) – Interior

‘Location (6)’ (pictured here), was a large sculptural installation which you had to physically enter via a long white corridor, finding yourself in an igloo-like dome, surrounded by the image of an endless snowy landscape. The installation is made up entirely of a sculpted trompe d’oeil, ingeniously combining light, shadow and artificial fog to create the impression of an infinite three dimensional scene. The experience felt like stepping into a giant, all enveloping snow-globe, mesmerisingly beautiful and tranquil. The artist’s intention was that the piece should draw the viewer’s eye inward, to a state of self contemplation.

Canon Beijing 046

Location (6) – Entrance Corridor