little lies and counterweights,
little lies and counterweights

Artists: Yan Jin, Xiaoran Xu
Curator: Jan Avgikos
Opening Reception: October 19th 6 - 9 p.m.

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In Exhibition: Yan Jin and Xiaoran Xu
By Jan Avgikos

:iidrr Gallery is proud to announce a two-person exhibition, “little lies and counterweights, little lies and counterweights,” on view from October 19th to October 29th, 2023. This exhibition, curated by Jan Avgikos, features four sculpture pieces from artist Yan Jin and multiple photographs from artist Xiaoran Xu. Both artists craft different material experiences for the viewers. The shared ground of their work is steeped in misdeeds and disturbances. Couched in a blanket of silence, violent that might have gone undiscovered are revealed for our consideration.

Yan Jin’s sculptural project is a series of counterweights produced with low-density foam, endowed to critique power and authority. Used to establish precise standards of measurement, counterweights belong to the worlds of trade, technics, and global politics. Jin’s counterweights reference rules that are imposed and enforced by institutions and systems. With their distressed and eroded surfaces, her facsimiles mimic ruins, as if to comment on the erosion of hierarchies that once defined the society. The statement of her cylindrical forms lies in their inaccuracy, fakeness, and resistance to the precision and perfection for which the originals stand.

Xiaoran Xu’s luminous images, characterized by saturated color and dramatic lighting, align with high-end visual culture. Central to her staged still-life pictures are references to playthings enjoyed by children around the world for generations. Yet, it is their demise as murdered and dismembered victims that is showcased rather than their playful antics. By making visible cultural memories of abuse and extinguishing dreams of innocence, Xu creates a lens through which to see the world. These pictures enable us to revisit and to better understand a place we’ve all known. What is certain is that her photographs reveal a fascination with things that we don’t really like to look at straightaway—but paradoxically can’t get enough of.

Yan Jin
Yan Jin is an artist born in Shanghai, China. She is currently based in New York where she obtained her Master of Fine Art from the School of Visual Arts, Photography, Video and Related Media department. Her works include photography, video, sculpture, and multi-media installations. She constantly alienates objects of our familiarity and recontextualizes found materials through distortion and dislocation; blurs the gaps between presence and absence, and brings disparate binaries in dialogue with one another. Exhibitions and screenings include the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Serbia, Greece, South Korea and Thailand.

Xiaoran Xu
Xiaoran Xu is a New York-based artist specializing in photographic mediums. Born in China, she relocated to the United States, where she earned her Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Photography, Video, and Related Media from the prestigious School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York in 2022. Her education at SVA provided her with a solid footing and a new understanding of the intricate world of visual storytelling. Through her lens, she aims to represent the truth in the ordinary. Her work is heavily rooted in unearthing social consciousness or unconsciousness in a confused reality. A continuous curiosity about the world we inhabit guides her artistic vision as she uncovers new ways for art to forge connections between individuals from all walks of life. Through her work, she aspires to inspire, challenge, and move those who encounter it.

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