Opening Reception: Friday, September 26th, 2014 from 6pm to 8pm
Exhibition runs from September 26th – December 26th, 2014
BEIJING—September 25th 2014—Gallery ALL is pleased to announce the opening of a solo exhibition of the Chinese architect-designer Naihan Li: I AM A MONUMENT on Friday, September 26th from 6pm to 8pm. The exhibition runs from September 26th to December 26th in Gallery ALL Beijing space.
In May 3rd 2014, Gallery ALL opened its first space in downtown Los Angeles with the mission to introduce exceptional works of contemporary furniture and showcase the most cutting-edge, experimental designs from around the world. As one of the few pioneer design galleries in China, Gallery ALL Beijing continues this mission, presenting the first stateside show of works by the U.S.-based Aranda\Lasch for the gallery’s inaugural exhibition in August 12th, 2014.
The exhibition, “I am a Monument,” features Naihan Li’s recent works in the Monument Series, centering on her ongoing exploration of architecture-turned furniture over the past 2 years. The show will present new works alongside an Armillary Whisky Bar, which was commissioned by the Australian gallery Broached Commissions and was shown at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing in June, 2014. The new works, first shown to the public, includes a United Nation building-turned bookcase, a Pentagon-turned daybed, a NY Stock Exchange Center-turned shrine, and an Edinborough Garden-turned palm house.
I AM A MONUMENT originated from Naihan’s recognition of the Chinese desire for giant art installations in their homes. People want to own things that are monumental. This desire traces back to Chinese traditional paintings, which play with the idea of scale from a subjective point of view and minimize the universe. Chinese artists attempt to zoom in to a large part of the world on a small scale.
The I AM A MONUMENT collection shrinks a landmark building 100 times and turns it into a utilitarian furniture piece, allowing collectors to contain something that is extremely large inside a room of their house. The Pentagon, the ultimate symbol of the United State’s military security, has been turned into a bed, meaning “the safest bed in the world.” The UN Building-turned bookcase takes inspiration from a joke that the United Nation and the print books share one similarity: they are outdated. The shrine takes the shape of the New York Stock Exchange because of an ancient Chinese tradition to worship the God of Wealth in the house, and the New York Stock Exchange signifies the place where wealth is generated. The forth piece in the collection, modeled on the Edinborough Palm House, allows people to have a vegetable garden inside their homes. It originates from a story that the Queen of Ireland planted palm trees in the cold weather. The Edinborough Palm House is a fully-functional hydrological garden in which they can plant vegetables without soil and sunshine.
Together, I AM A MONUMENT takes landmarks and shrinks them down to something on a more personal scale, allowing for a reimagining of how we look at the world in a playful way.
About Naihan Li
Nahihan Li (b. 1981 Harbin, lives in Beijing) studied design and architecture at London’s Bartlett School of Architecture. Her first work as a designer was as a collaborator with artist Ai Weiwei, and in 2010, opened her own design studio. In 2011, under Ai Weiwei’s art direction, Li designed the “Un-Named” section of the Gwanjiu Design Biennale where she also exhibited. Li has been nominated for the 2012 Design of the Year Award by the Design Museum, London. She was a featured designer the China Design Market at Milan Design Week (2010, 2011) and Beijing Design Week (2011). She started working with Gallery ALL from 2013, presenting her stainless steel and walnut CRATES Series in Gallery ALL Los Angeles. The exhibition is widely covered by the New York Times, Artinfo, Wallpaper, DesignBoom, etc.