Visiting the new Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea, London

Date – 11 Oct 2008 (Sunday)
Location – Saatchi Gallery, King’s Road, Chelsea, London
Exhibition name – The Revolution Continues: New Art From China
No of arts on display – 57 paintings and sculptures
Entrance fee – FREE

I come to know about this gallery through Joyce. When she was in town, she wanted to visit this gallery but it was closed for renovation. Then it was announced in the newspaper this week that the gallery will be open to public featuring arts from Chinese artists. Since it was free and we didn’t have anything planned this weekend, I decided to check it out with Dav. It was indeed an eye-opening experience. Best of all, it was free!! Most of the art gallery, exhibition, and museum are not free.

We enjoyed the gallery but the arts on display are quite disturbing and eerily real. We felt quite sick after (i.e. queasy stomach). Anyway we will definitely check out future exhibition from this gallery… just to expand on our arts knowledge… hehehehe

Here’s some ‘interesting’ art on show.

Indigestion II – Liu Wei
Mixed media
This is like the funniest we have seen. A 2 meters long monumental poo. On closer inspection you can see half digested kernels with hundreds of toy soldiers. Luckily it doesn’t smell!!

Donkey – Zhang Huan
Mixed media
This is also funny. This sculpture features a donkey humping the famous Jin Mao tower (former tallest building in China). It doesn’t look like the donkey is ‘humping’, it looks more like the donkey is impaled into the building.

Untitled – Yue Minjun
Oil on canvas
This artist is quite famous for painting faces of laughing Buddha. This is one of the many similar collections.

Bloodline – Zhang Xiagang
Oil on canvas
This painting depicts a father and daughter with disturbing similarity. Dav said their faces look comical.

Old Persons Home – Sun Yuan and Peng Yu
13 life size sculptures and 13 dynamoelectric wheel chairs
This is the art that in my opinion is most disturbing!! According to the exhibition picture guide, Sun Yuan and Peng Yu are two of China’s most controversial artists, renowned for working with extreme materials such as human fat tissue, live animals, and baby cadavers.

This art presents satirical models suspiciously familiarly looking like world leaders, long crippled and impotent, placed in electric wheelchairs. They roll about the gallery at snail’s pace, crashing into each other at random to depicting the international conflict they face in the world.

We are allowed to walk around them (only 10 visitors allowed at one time). They look gruesomely real… which makes it really disturbing to me. If I read correctly from the newspaper, apparently some even blink their eyes! But we didn’t see any doing that.

Ash Head No. 1 – Zhang Huan
Mixed media and ash.
Burnt incense is used to cover a head.

Love It! Bite It! – Liu Wei
Edible dog chews.
This is a model plan of a city made entirely from dog chews – from the Colosseum to the Guggenheim.

Angel – Sun Yuan and Peng Yu
Life-size sculpture in fibre-reinforced polymer and silica gel
An angel plummeted from grace, prostrate on the floor.

30th May – Fang Lijun
Oil on canvas
Looks like European church ceiling paintings, the artist portrays an order of ascendancy of same-same kewpie figures, each based on his own image.

Communication – Cang Xin
Silica gel
Not sure what the artist trying to show. But the sculpture again looks very real.

Chinese Offspring – Zhang Dali
Mixed media: resin mixed with fibreglass, 15 life size cast figures
15 cast resin figures suspended from the ceiling, each sculpture is a representation of a migrant construction worker. The figures are hung by their feet to denote their vulnerability and economic entrapment. Each bears a unique tattoo issuing them with an edition number, the project title and the artist’s signature of authentication – a normal practice in indexing art construed as a witty commentary on social engineering and population control.

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4 thoughts on “Visiting the new Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea, London

  1. Hey, I saw a short documentary on this and they showed most of the exhibits that you’ve photographed. That Saatchi guy is apparently a very famous guy in the art collecting world and this particular exhibit is him showing off Chinese modern art. What poeple are debating are if all that white space is worth it for the Chinese exhibits. From the looks of it, it looks pretty good!

    I saw that Singapore herself was holiding a Biennale art exhibition (so is Sydney) when I was there. Looked pretty good too!!!

  2. Looks like another place for ange and I to laugh our asses off the next time we’re there. Tate had a similar poo exhibit which was messier… it was all over the floor! 5 mins spent pointing and giggling 😀

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