Death by a Thousand Cuts (solo show)
Exhibition Talk/Preview 24
Talk 5.30pm Preview 6pm – 7.30pm
Gordon Cheung’s first solo exhibition at Chinese Arts
Centre, Death by a Thousand Cuts, sees the artist continuing
his interrogation of power structures and belief systems,
and our obedience to them. Cheung’s paintings capture
the hallucinations between the virtual and actual realities
of a globalised world oscillating between Utopia and Dystopia.
Spray paint, oil, acrylics, pastels, stock listings and ink
collide in his works to form epic techno-sublime vistas.
Featuring newly commissioned works, Death by a Thousand Cuts
responds to the rise of China as potentially the next superpower,
its affect on the world order and how their socialism is mutating
into socialist capitalism. Cheung captures a sense of these
issues and formulates his response by working with Chinese
propaganda and acrobatic images converged with ideas of zombie
horror B movies.
The exhibition title is a dark playful reference to the cut/paste
techniques Cheung employs to create his post-apocalyptic landscapes.
The title also references ‘slow slicing’ or língchí,
a form of execution used in China from roughly 900 AD to its
abolition in 1905. A torturous practice, the method of execution
has become a fixture in the image of China among some Westerners.
Some modern writers suggest that exaggerated retellings of
língchí have led to it becoming known as the
sensationalistic ‘death by a thousand cuts’ and
betray mistranslation, cultural differences, racism and other
factors. Nowadays the phrase is used metaphorically to describe
the gradual or incremental destruction of something, such
as an institution, program or policy by repeated minor attacks
or in business management to describe a product or idea that
is damaged or destroyed by too many minor changes.
Gordon Cheung lives and works in London. He graduated from
Royal College of Art in 2001 and since then has exhibited
nationally and internationally. Cheung was the second artist
to take part in Chinese Arts Centre’s Breathe artist
residency programme in 2004 and was the first British born
Chinese artist to be included in the largest and most ambitious
survey of recent developments in UK art, The British Art Show
6 and The John Moores Painting 24. In 2007 he was commissioned
for a Laing Art Solo Award (Selected by Susan May), Laing
Art Gallery, UK, a solo show at the Aspex gallery, UK called
The 1000 Yard Stare and God is on Our Side, Unosunove Gallery,
Rome. At the same time as this solo show at Chinese Arts Centre
he will be having a solo show called ‘The Fall of the
Rebel Angels’ at Alan Cristea Gallery, London.
For email interviews, images and further information on Chinese
Arts Centre, please contact Alyson Doocey at Chinese Arts
+44 (0) 161 832 7271
Chinese Arts Centre
Manchester, M4 1EU
Mon-Sat 10am – 5pm and Sun 11am-4pm
Notes for editors
Chinese Arts Centre was established in 1986 and acts as
the national agency to promote, commission and exhibit Chinese
artists. Following on from a £2.5 million Lottery grant
it opened it's new Centre in November 2003 and received a
RIBA award for architecture and was a finalist for the accessible
building of the year in 2004. In 2006 Chinese Arts Centre
was proud to receive a Pearl Award for Creative Excellence.
During 2007 Chinese Arts Centre celebrated its 21st Anniversary.
©Chinese Arts Centre 2007 Confidential Established in