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Frieze Seoul 2022 | Booth F07

[02.09.22 – 05.09.22]


Tao Hui


COEX, 513 Yeongdong-daero Gangnam-gu, 06164, Seoul, South Korea

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Kiang Malingue is pleased to present Tao Hui’s latest film Being Wild at Frieze Seoul. Premiered in January 2022, the single-channel video further develops the artist’s decade-long interest in the figure of the diva-flâneur, surveying natural and artificial environments in the post-pandemic era. Also on view at the solo presentation is a series of photographs inspired by the video artwork.

In Being Wild, a young woman acts as both the protagonist and the narrator, roller skating across diverse sites: a college town, an old paper mill, a film studio and a central business district. Strolling on the empty streets, the soloist sings to songs from the 1980s by Taiwanese folk singers Tai Zhao-Mei, and Wang Hai-Ling. The melancholy lyrics echo with the light-hearted, unstrained script composed by Tao Hui, narrating in the artist’s signature style an affectionate, nostalgic yearning that directly addresses the viewer. The protagonist abruptly breaks down towards the end of the film, revealing a hysterical sincerity that summarises a period that is at once desperate and hopeful.

Roller skating becomes popular in mainland China in the 1980s, reaching its height as the 3rd Asian Roller Skating Championship takes place in Hangzhou in 1989. Tao Hui sets Being Wild — named after one of Tai Zhao-Mei’s melodious hits — in scenes that appear frequently in Chinese soap operas, employing roller skating as a metaphor for the speed of the era. However marginalised, individuals may map the city with their bodily presence in motion, negotiating the rhythm of life, at once confined and televised. Tao Hui: “I remember roller skating as a kind of sport that is very hopeful. If you are fast enough, you’d feel that you have reached a certain level, seeing things you usually cannot see and were previously unknown to you. It feels like going beyond time.” Orating and singing directly into the camera, the motivating, caring protagonist breaks down and cries towards the end of the film, repeating hysterically the cryptic yet viral phrase of “yesimola”. Torn open for but just a moment is an anachronism: time finally catches up as one falls, and returns one to a reality in which care and self-care practises manifest as tribulations.

(About Tao Hui)

Born in Yunyang, Chongqing, and a graduate from Sichuan Fine Art Institute, Tao Hui (b.1987) currently lives and works in Beijing, China. With a degree in Oil Painting, Tao traversed into the art of video and installation, drawing from personal memories, visual experiences and popular culture to weave an experimental visual narration, the focus of which is often our collective experience. Running throughout his work is a sense of misplacement vis-à-vis social identity, gender status, ethnicity and cultural crisis, prompting the audience to face their own cultural histories and living conditions.

Tao Hui’s recent solo exhibitions include: “Rhythm and Senses”, Edouard Malingue Gallery, Hong Kong (2019); “Not at all”, OCAT Xian, Xi’an (2017); “New Directions: Tao Hui”, UUCA Beijing, Beijing (2015). His works has been shown in museums and institutions such as Centre Pompidou, Paris; Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris; Asia Society, New York; Asia Culture Centre, Gwangju; Kyoto Art Center, Kyoto; Para Site, Hong Kong; Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai; the 4th Vancouver Biennale, Vancouver; Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig, Leipzig; Bangkok Art Biennale 2018, Bangkok; Macro Asilo, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Roma, Rome; Fondazione Museo Pino Pascali, Polignano a Mare (BA); Belem Cultural Center, Lisbon; The Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, Geneva.

Tao Hui is the recipient of the Grand Award of Contemporary Art Archive awarded by Sichuan Fine Arts in 2008; the 2015 Art Sanya & Huayu Youth Award; the Grand Prize, 19th Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil “Southern Panoramas”, 2015; and was shortlisted for the Hugo Boss Asian Art Award for Emerging Asian Artists, and the International Competition sector of the KINO DER KUNST festival in 2017. In 2019, he was shortlisted for the inaugural Sigg Prize by M+. His artworks have been collected by collections such as the Sigg Collection, Switzerland; M+ Museum, Hong Kong; Kadist, Paris/San Francisco; Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris; K11 Art Foundation, Hong Kong; New Century Art Foundation, Beijing, and National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul.