Wang Tuo’s works grow from an array of filmmaking strategies and methodologies: spatiotemporal and narrative overlap, inventive restructuring of historical texts, and a gloomy, calm visual language. In his first institutional solo exhibition, UCCA presents a systematic overview of his work, including the premiere of “The Northeast Tetralogy,” a major series produced over the past four years. It is shown alongside other films that spotlight key threads in the artist’s practice, such as architecture and historical materials, as well as a selection of early works. “The Northeast Tetralogy” stems from the artist’s in-depth field research into the history and practice of shamanistic rituals, reflecting on the history of Northeast Asia and the rupture of modernization as it played out in the region. The artist proposes the idea of “pan-shamanization,” in which bodies, by entering into an unconscious state, become a medium for historical reincarnation. The exhibition’s title alludes to the work of Japanese historian Yuzo Mizoguchi, who described a view of history in which one “enters history in a state of unconsciousness” and thereby discovers its original form. This schema could also describe Wang’s films, in particular the role the artist plays in deconstructing the past and offering alternative, speculative histories. “Wang Tuo: Empty-handed into History” is curated by UCCA Curator Luan Shixuan.
About the Artist
Wang Tuo (b. 1984, Changchun, lives and works in Beijing) graduated from Tsinghua University in 2012 and the School of Visual Arts, Boston University, in 2014 with MFAs in painting. His major solo exhibitions include “Standing at the Crossroads” (WHITE SPACE, Beijing, 2020); “Wang Tuo: Smoke and Fire” (Present Company, New York, 2019); “Monkey Grammarians” (Salt Projects, Beijing, 2017); and “A Little Violence of Organized Forgetting” (Taikang Space, Beijing, 2016). Major group exhibitions include “MMCA Asia Project – Looking for Another Family” (National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, 2020); “Psyche and Politics” (Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, 2019); “New Metallurgists” (Julia Stoschek Collection, Düsseldorf, 2018); “One Northeast” (Zarya Center of Contemporary Art, Vladivostok, 2018); and “Nine” (Queens Museum, New York, 2017).