bürobasel is a project space in Basel run by ShanghART and Waldburger Wouters

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CHEN WEI

Drifting Along

June 9 - August 17, 2019

"Drifting Along" features the final chapter of Chen Wei’s photography and installation works dealing with people and spaces in metropolitan nightlife, a series the artist has been working on over the past six years. Chen Wei builds life-sized stage sets, employing light and colours, then constructs a narrative environment with blurred spatial boundaries. The mock dance halls in Chen Wei’s works are always permeated with dampness; with vague chronology. The atmosphere reveals a strong sense of immediacy. During the shooting of "Disco", for example, Chen Wei directed young urban people to embody being inebriated on the dance floor, thus capturing their body movements disappearing into the sound wave, as well as their mental state of forlornness and confusion. When human figures are invisible, like in the "Dance Hall" Series, Chen Wei fills the pictures with objects: the disco ball on the empty dance floor, the iridescent mosaic wall, the cold glowing mirror, and the neon lights with ads flowing. All the scenes in his photography seem like a pantomime of revelry ready to start, but also like a group portrait of the exhaustion and hollowness after urban nightlife ends.

Parallel to the show, "Noon Club", a new book by Skira has been launched. The book has been conceived in close cooperation with Chen Wei and is an extensive documentation of Chen Wei’s midnight themed photography and installation works since 2013. With texts by Francesco Bonami, David Company and Venus Lau.

Chen Wei (b. 1980, Zhejiang), lives and works in Beijing. Initially a sound and performance artist, Chen Wei's interests developed to photo, video and installation art. Chen Wei has exhibited extensively at institutions and biennials in China and all over the world. Recent exhibitions include: Where Are You Going Tonight, chi K11 artspace, Guangzhou (2018); Falling Light, Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle, Munich, Germany (2018); Witness, Chen Wei etc., Pilar Corrias, London, UK (2018); The Club, Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP), Melbourne, Australia (2017); Noon Club, programmed by Francesco Bonami, JNBY Art Space, Hangzhou (2016); In The Waves, chi K11 Art Museum, Shanghai (2015), The Stars in the Night Sky are Innumerable, Australia China Art Foundation, Sydney, Australia (2014) etc. Chen Wei was awarded the Asia Pacific Photography Prize in 2011, and was a nominee of the Prudential Eye Awards for Contemporary Asian Art in 2015.

Click here for more information about Chen Wei