To Argue Truth----Shu Yong Solo Exhibition
Aug 16 - Sep 19, 2014

Press Release

Chief Curator: Shou Guangwu, Sun Yongzeng

Curator: Wang Chunchen

Exhibition Director: Sue Kim

Exhibition Coordinator: Cao Maochao, Shen Feifei

Graphic Design: Han Xue

Date: August 16 – September 16, 2014

Museum Opening Hours: 10:00 – 18:00 (Tuesday – Sunday)

Venue: WhiteBox Art Center, 798 Art Dist., NO.2 Jiu Xianqiao Road, Chaoyang Dist., Beijing, China 

This is the first time that Shu Yong’s work Google Bricks has shown up at White Box Art Center since the 55th Venice Biennale 2013.


Born in 1974, Shu had been active in contemporary art and doing much like performance, sculpture, installation, oil painting, architecture and new media for the past few years. He seeks for the sociality of art and he regards the Chinese realistic society as his experimental field.


Created in 2006, his sculptural work Pao Girl had caused a sensation and become the representative of Chinese contemporary sculptures. In 2013, Shu attended the 55th Venice Biennale 2013 with his newest work Google Bricks. Google Bricks are 1,500 pieces of bricks with 1,500 sentences that are the most representative in Chinese daily life on every one of them. But the sentences are also translated into English with Google and both Chinese and English are written down as calligraph. Shu said that he wanted to reveal the differences between Chinese and world cultures with this special form of art.


As one of the sponsors for the 55th Venice Biennale 2013, White Box Art Center is always dedicated to the promotion of academic artists. It has successively held three solo exhibitions of He Yunchang, Zhang Xiaotao and Wang Qingsong. And there will be Miao Xiaochun after Shu Yong Solo Exhibition this time. ‘To Argue Truth’----Shu Yong Solo Exhibition continues supporting as well as paying close attention to academic artists, and Wang Chunchen, curator of Chinese Pavilion of the 55th Venice Biennale 2013, will be the curator this time. It is host by Poly Culture Group Corporation Limited, Shanghai Culture Assets and Equity Exchange and White Box Art Center together. Shou Guangwu, president of Shanghai Culture Assets and Equity Exchange, and Sun Yongzeng will be the chief curator. Google Bricks and more than ten latest oil paintings will be exhibited. This is the first time that Google Bricks has shown up in Beijing since the 55th Venice Biennale 2013 and it may well arouse the heat among media and audience again. ‘Shu’s bricks are created exactly for argument for today and tomorrow. Everything prevailing in sometime must has its particular story and meaning.’ Wang Chunchen said.


To prepare for the creation of the Google Bricks, Shu has collected thousands of pieces of sentences of representative of social life from media like weibo and selected 1,500 pieces among them. He has literally translated them into English with Google and then written down as calligraph. After that, he has embedded them into particular glass bricks that are as big as those of the Great Wall and named as Google Bricks. Shu has also indicated that he wished to make all of us know the differences and obstacles between cultures and volunteer to seek for new ways to coordinate them in the meantime. It’ll be integrating one part of history into box consist of time and space, like amber. Shu has reappeared a diversified realistic society with 1,500 representative of history, enabling us to think about the cultural diversity in the context of globalization and how to go exceed it.


Fan Di’an, curator of National Art Museum of China, commented that the globalization had been changing the communicational ways between people as well as influencing the process of Chinese society. Network language has become one that is understood by all; the effect of globalization is for not only China, but also every country in the world. Shu has emphasized on the contradiction between cultures and offered chances for all of us to comprehend with ‘Google bricks’. To really understand them, it’ll need much time due to the usual misreading in process of cultural spread and translation. The famous critic Shao Dazhen said, ‘It is criterion-diversified to criticize one exact artist nowadays. Shu’s works are involved with sulptures, performance, installation,oil paintings, Chinese traditional paintings and photography, etc. His works are vulgar as well as elegant, imaginary as well as sarcastic and even integrated with design. He is a pretty rare versatile artist.’


Transmission and interpretation are two words correlated closely, and misreading shall be regarded as one situation out of control of interpretation. If it is related with time, there’ll be a must to argue truth between misreading and interpretation.            


Curator Article

To Argue Truth: Start from A Period 

Text/ Wang Chunchen

Google Bricks of Shu Yong’s seem like archaeological relics documenting a period of history. After many years, people have been founding that there’re a great deal of unknown words and incorrect translations into English when reading them. So they can’t help asking questions like ‘What is this?’ and ‘Why is this?’ 

And this is the origin of argument. Arguing truth is not the counterpart of truth. Because whenever we want to have a truth, we’ll react based on familiarity and instinct. But when we argued, we can go anywhere for further. Therefore, I think arguing truth is better than truth and we all shall see what happens first rather than have the truth at the very beginning. Shu’s bricks are created exactly for argument for today and tomorrow. Everything prevailing in sometime must has its particular story and meaning, and they can be written down as history in the future. But history is equal to nothing when compared to these bricks that change every time. Is it sorrowful if they change from popular to antique in just one day? I am here sincerely inviting you to come to see and find. 

August 9, 2014


Installation View


Media Report