Slasher art: Wallpaper* destroys Li Yonggeng’s paintings at Galerie du Monde
It’s not every day that Wallpaper* is invited to slash an artwork in a gallery, but when the Beijing-based artist Li Yonggeng asked us to choose our weapon of choice we didn’t hesitate. We eschewed the steak knife, screwdriver and scissors for a razor sharp paper blade and transformed the canvas with a dramatic backhand slash.
The work forms part of the artist’s signature 20-year-long series titled Sew, which transforms the process of ‘destruction’ into a ‘healing’ experience as he repairs each tear with intricate hand stitches.
The exhibition is the first time Yonggeng has invited viewers to participate in the process. ‘It is like a release. I usually invite friends who are troubled to cut the canvas,’ he says. ‘Some take seconds to think about it but one took a year to decide. After I complete the needlework I feel very happy.’
A second trademark theme – Do – is also on show, with several installations comprising his personal clothing and furniture.
‘The materials I use are very personal but most people have similar things so I hope they feel comfortable with them,’ Yonggeng explains. ‘I want to give these a new life.’
This series is focused on creating a ‘home-like’ space, here accomplished with a dome tent featuring a patchwork of t-shirts and shorts; a sculpture of matching shoes; and an intriguing collage of two toothbrushes, nails and thread. The standout piece, however, is a simple timber bench entirely encrusted in nails.
‘Home is not about a space but more about a warm and comforting feeling,’ he explains. ‘I don’t really like the hotel so am spending a lot of time in the gallery.’
’A Path To Life’ is on view until 19 April. For more information, visit Galerie du Monde’s website
Photography courtesy the artist and Galerie du Monde
108 Ruttonjee Centre, 11 Duddell Street
Central, Hong Kong
- 852.2525 0529