The God of Small Things: Shanghai

17 March - 5 May 2018

Curator: Bao Dong


Opening: 2018.3.17 17:00

Lecture: 2018.3.17 15:00 - 17:00

Duration: 2018.3.18 - 2018.5.5


Artist Talk (in Chinese)

Duration: 2018.3.17 15:00-17:00


Curator and Art Critic:

Bao Dong

Guest Speakers: 


Hu Renyi

Lu Pingyuan

Shen Ruijun

Zhang Jin


Theme of the Talk

Does art start from senses, or Does art end in senses?


Leo Gallery Shanghai

Ferguson Lane, 376 Wu Kang Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai 200031,China



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Quite a contrary to the trend in Chinese contemporary art that often manifests grand narratives, including historical consciousness, social feelings, theoretical ambitions, intensity of landscape, etc. - many artists' works contain a preference of subtle things and sensibilities. This preference is not only a matter of personal interest, but a method of the artist as well, starting with a concrete question and experience that is of personal concern, even though they do not appear to be "significant". As a result, many of these artists' works reveal the alienation of those tendencies of landscapes which were once popular or are still popular at the moment, including both visual and formal landscapes, as well as theoretical and lingual landscapes.



The expression of "The God of Small Things" comes from the title of a novel by Indian writer Arundhati Roy. The perspective of the child in the novel seems to have added a magnifying glass to the narration, the smallness and fragmentation that the child sees makes the abstract, integrated and reasonably established world seem dubious. However in this exhibition, "micro objects" in the context of art include not only small things in the objective world, but also temporal and relational features, or the imperceptible existential properties that are rapid or slow, weak or sensitive. The exhibition "The God of Small Things" also emphasizes the value of the exhibition space itself, and does not expect the space to be just a white cube. We combine the works with the architecture as well as the environment, to form a subtle micro context that is available through an intuitive sense.

---Curator: Bao Dong


It is Leo Gallery’s honour to hold in Shanghai the "New Force" exhibition in 2018 - The God of Small Things with curator Bao Dong. This is the sixth "New Force" exhibition, as well as one of Leo Gallery’s ten-year anniversary exhibition series. As one of the annual thematic exhibitions of Leo Gallery, "New Force" explores the motivation of contemporary art, and holds distinguishing features in the exhibition dates, concepts as well as the curatorial approach - The "New Force" series are held in springs, usually from March to May, reflecting the natural laws of rejuvenation and the awakening of all beings, exploring the new signs and movements of contemporary art that is in a rapid process of the new superseding the old. Meanwhile, "New Force" explores the intrinsic driving force which nurtures contemporary art development. Therefore, we have invited the curator to set the theme for this exhibition, to select artists and exhibits accordingly, and to invite audiences to participate in discussions. The exhibition, New Force VI - The God of Small Things, presents an "open" status with curators, artists, gallery and audiences discovering the themes and possibilities altogether.


Chen Youtong

Chen Youtong cultivates and controls the growth of microorganisms and promotes a natural relationship between growth, confrontation, and death among different the microorganisms. In this process, the microbial community forms an intuitive self-organizing structure, presenting the vitality of a microscopic world.


Dong Dawei

Through a special pen and paper, Dong Dawei exerts medialism to the extreme under a series of image themes and focuses the audience's attention on the delicate interaction between images and physical properties.


He Xiangyu

He Xiangyu's "Straight Line" and "Olive Oil - Past is Prologue" explores the minimum of ideas and feelings in two dimensions: space and time, and offers sensible feelings to the tension between conceptual rules and factual exceptions.


Hu Renyi

Hu Renyi paints various kinds of bacteria on numerous small glass bottles containing medicines. He uses exaggerated and subjective colors to turn them into expressionistic styles, making the images of “bacteria” full of cultural atmosphere.


Jiang Zhi

An important dimension of Jiang Zhi’s artistic creation is to discover and recreate the details of everyday life. The intersecting apertures of two flashlights and the magnetic kinks are transformed into something of a kind of sensual revelation that carries “sublime words with deep meaning”.


Lang Can

In Lang Can's latest work, she tries to narrate in minimized language. The scene is compressed on a black surface that is consistent with the playing screen, while the plot shows only sudden mechanical destructions.


Lu Pingyuan

Lu Pingyuan connected the art world and the exhibition environment with the imaginary fantasy world with his short and concise stories. He infuses increasingly boring art discourses with everlasting subcultural traditions such as folklore and horror stories.


Shen Ruijun

Shen Ruijun’s art is a kind of general art, which corresponds to a disorderly, polyphony, non-statutory world. Her works present a world outlook that confronts the world itself by chance - and her artistic practice takes this as an opportunity.


Wang Enlai

Wang Enlai has been discovering and facilitating the possible connections between things. He applies external forces to particular things or changes their environment so that things can release their activity beyond their value in use.


Zhang Jin

Zhang Jin, a Ph.D. in chemistry, incorporates the concept of scientific images into his own photographic works. He uses lab-like working methods to convert common things such as blades, flames, and fluorescence into an indirect visual experience, creating tiny secrets beneath daily experiences.


Zhang Xuerui

Zhang Xuerui's paintings control the structures and colours in a precise scale so that the lattice and the gray colour form an exact order. In this order, she discusses not only the rules of painting, but also the subtlety of perception.