Prada presents “Rear Windows”, a new exhibition project by artist Li Qing, with the support of Fondazione Prada. Curated by Jérôme Sans, the show will be on view from 7 November 2019 to 19 January 2020 in the premises of Prada Rong Zhai, a 1918 historical residence in Shanghai restored by Prada and reopened in October 2017.
“Rear Windows” is conceived as an immersive and site-specific installation, an in-depth exploration of the history and the space of Prada Rong Zhai, creating a connection between the past times and the current urban environment of Shanghai. The exhibits, comprising recent artworks by Li Qing and new commissions, will “act as climatic scenes to experience the act of seeing, of being seen or observed”, in Jérôme Sans’ words. Inspired by the iconic 1954 movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock, the project will examine the contradictions and the duality of our present lives, divided between authenticity and imitation, reality and reproduction.
Li Qing was born in 1981 in Huzhou. He currently lives and works in Hangzhou and Shanghai. His practice focuses on mass consumerism and society’s hypocritical stances on beauty ideals through various painting methods. In his later photography, video and installation works, the artist deals with several eternal themes or philosophical concepts, such as the presenting of things as subject, humanity in social development and the feeling of anxiety extensively existing in the time the artist lives in. An installation series Neighbor’s Window borrows the trompe l’oeil technique, combining old wooden window frames with the paintings of French and other colonial or new architecture behind glass, becoming cultural and artistic landmarks of the Shanghai urban space now. His solo shows have been presented in galleries and museums such as Tomás y Valiente Art Centre, Madrid; The Orient Foundation, Macao; Goethe Institute, Shanghai; and Arario Museum, Seoul. A number of relevant art institutions have also included his works in group shows, such as the 9th Shanghai Biennale, the 55thVenice Art Biennale, Institut Valencia d’Art Modern (IVAM), Seoul Museum of Art; National Gallery of Indonesia in Jakarta, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, São Paulo Museum of Contemporary Art, and Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.
Jérôme Sans is an internationally renowned art critic, curator, and institutional director. He was co-founder and co-director of the Palais de Tokyo, Paris from 2000 until 2006, former director of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing (UCCA) from 2008 to 2012. Most recently, he was appointed as artistic director of the Emerige contemporfary art foundation, Île Seguin, Paris. Sans has curated numerous major exhibitions, including the Taipei Biennial (2000), the Lyon Biennial (2005) and Nuit Blanche in Paris (2006), among others.