Art Is Still Here: A Hypothetical Show for a Closed Museum

2020 FEB 13 – ONGOING


M WOODS Online Schedule (CST Beijing Time):

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Instagram: Every Thursday and Friday @ 10.00 pm

We now enter our fourth week in the online exhibition ‘Art Is Still Here: A Hypothetical Show for a Closed Museum’, and with our institutions still closed we continue through the museum’s second floor Cabinet Galleries to present our next seven contributions by artists:

Lawrence Lek, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Fang Di, Miao Ying, Lin Tianmiao, Li Tingwei, and Visionist

In the contribution ‘Unreal Estate’ (The Royal Academy is Yours), by artist Lawrence Lek, we enter a future in which the Royal Academy of Arts in London has been sold to a Chinese billionaire as a luxury private mansion. Artist Li Tingwei has been meticulously documenting her meals prepared at home during China’s self-quarantine period, and Lin Tianmiao gives us new tools that are grafted hybrids of bone and industrial materials.

Miao Ying’s ‘Hardcore Digital Detox’ gives us an online break from the dominance of multi-billion dollar businesses like Google and Facebook by offering you to set your virtual private network (VPN) to Mainland China, where these websites and apps are blocked.  And artist Fang Di documents the rise and life of Justin Tkatchenko, currently Minister for Lands & Physical Planning, in Papua New Guinea, drawing the connections between this region and the economic development plan of China. Lawrence Abu Hamdan takes us to The Golan Heights where Israeli borders are breached by 150 Palestinian protesters from Syria, and where the topography creates an acoustic leak where families gather to hear each other’s voices and wave to one another across the otherwise impervious divide. One of modern music’s most elusive experimentalists, Visionist, gives our audiences a collection of tracks, which he describes as ‘A Delicate Rage’, and as a reflection on the present he sees now.

This gallery has several different kinds of mediums and perspectives by the artists, and contains both new and existing works. Our contributors in this section are coming from all over the world.

M WOODS recognizes that the current health emergency in China has affected our communities and has forced many of our museums, institutions and galleries to close, leaving a space in which the arts can comment and reflect. Through this activity we hope to continue our mission of working with artists to provide art for the public, making it accessible at all times and in all circumstances.

We thank the artists and galleries for their contributions and support.

Fang Di,Minister, 2019, Single-channel video, 60 minutes
Courtesy the artist


Fang Di (born 1987) is a Chinese artist & senior engineer based in Shenzhen, China, and Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. His works delve into racism and social class. By incorporating references to news and politics, his works use multiple vocabularies to investigate our intertwined city life and attempt to pursue the root of special communities how they were defined suffering under the global economy and nationalist, becoming the most important social fracture.

Fang has exhibited at many solo shows: including The Golden Bowl at Vanguard Gallery (Shanghai, 2019), DÀ Qi DÀ LUÒ at Vanguard Gallery (Shanghai, 2017), Lost in Shenzhen presented by Jiu Society at 33 Art Space (Shenzhen, 2016), HIT ME! at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts (Wilmington, 2013). His group shows include: Kulturforum Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (Berlin, 2019),  Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (Manchester, 2019), Shanghai Biennale (Shanghai, 2018), Julia Stoschek Collection (Düsseldorf, 2018), Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of UrbanismArchitecture (Shenzhen, 2017), He Xiangning Art Museum (Shenzhen, 2017), Today Art Museum (Beijing, 2015), Guangdong Museum of Art (Guangzhou, 2015), Moscow International Biennale for Young Art (Moscow, 2014), Maryland Art Place (Baltimore, 2013). Fang’s films have been screened at Chicago Underground Film Festival (Chicago, 2014) and Pantalla Fantasma (Basque Country, 2014). He is a recipient of the New Star Award (2017), Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship (2013) and finalist of Huayu Youth Award (2018) and Yishu 8 Award (2018). And he has been a resident artist at Djerassi Resident Artists Program (California, 2014) and Storefront for Art and Architecture (New York, 2013). Fang received a BFA from Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts and MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art. He is also co-founder of Jiu Society.

Work Synopsis:

Justin Tkatchenko is a member of parliament in Papua New Guinea who is currently Minister for Lands & Physical Planning. He is also the Minister for APEC affairs, a ministry created by the government to specifically prepare for the 2018 APEC summit to be hosted for the first time in PNG.

This film takes an inside perspective into the life of a person who went from being a young Australian born Botanist who fell in love with Papua New Guinea that he decided to make it home, and his journey to becoming a political leader in the country.

Now, after 25 years of living and working in PNG, his achievements over the years are unique for a political leader in PNG. He had built a successful business around his love for plants and nature, became a popular TV personality widely known as ‘The Happy Gardener’, and his T.V popularity and charisma eased him onto becoming successful in his run for elections to become the elected member for Moresby South electorate in the capital city, Port Moresby.

This is a remarkable story of a man who was ones a foreigner but now is regarded as a Papua New Guinean. And not just a Papua New Guinean- A leader.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, This whole time there were no land mines, 2017, 1:1 Video loops, Total 56 sec
(Format adapted for IG for M WOODS)
Courtesy the artist


Lawrence Abu Hamdan (born 1985, in Amman) is a contemporary artist based in Beirut. His work looks into the political effects of listening, using various kinds of audio to explore its effects on human rights and law. He is an artist and "private ear" whose projects have taken the form of audiovisual installations, performances, graphic works, photography, Islamic sermons, cassette tape compositions, potato chip packets, essays, and lectures. Abu Hamdan’s interest with sound and its intersection with politics originate from his background in DIY music. In 2013 Abu Hamdan’s audio documentary The Freedom of Speech Itself was submitted as evidence at the UK asylum tribunal where the artist himself was called to testify as an expert witness. He continues to make sonic analyses for legal investigations and advocacy for organizations such as Amnesty International - and was prominently part the No More Forgotten Lives campaign for Defence for Children International. The artist’s forensic audio investigations are conducted as part of his research for Forensic Architecture at Goldsmiths College London where he is also a PhD candidate.

Recent solo exhibitions include WALLED UNWALLED (PYLON-Lab, Dresden, 2019), The Voice Before the Law (Baloise Group Collection Display Exhibition, Hamburger Bahnof, Museum fur Gegenwart, Berlin, 2019), Earwitness Theatre (Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri, USA, 2019), Lawrence Abu Hamdan, a solo exhibition (Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 2019), Earwitness Theatre (Chisenhale Gallery, London, UK, 2018), Lawrence Abu Hamdan: [INAUDIBLE] (mor charpentier, Paris, France, 2018),  Walled Unwalled (Tate Tanks, Tate Modern, London, UK, 2018), Walled Unwalled (daadgalerie, Berlin, Germany, 2018), Hammer Projects: Lawrence Abu Hamdan (Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA, 2018), Conta Diction (Maureen Paley, London, UK, 2017), and others.

Work Synopsis:

The Golan Heights is an area illegally occupied by Israel from Syria since the 1967 war. Families and communities living on either side of the ceasefire line have been divided. In the Golan Heights there is a place called the ‘shouting valley,’ where the topography creates an acoustic leak across the border. Here families gather to hear each other’s voices and wave to one another across the otherwise impervious divide. These are the sounds you hear.

The images you see are from the 15th May 2011 when protesters from all over the country gathered on the Syrian side of the shouting valley for the anniversary of the Nakba. However, unlike the usual gatherings in this valley, this time the voice was not the only thing to cross the border. 150 Palestinian protesters from Syria unexpectedly broke into Israeli territory. For the first time since 1967 the border was breached. Four protesters were later killed by Israeli soldiers yet the majority managed to exercise, even if briefly, their right of return.

This border breach was captured by an anonymous source filming on their phone from the Israeli side, where communities local to the shouting valley gathered in solidarity with the protestors. On this video, amongst the loud protest chants of those breaching the border we can just about make out the voices of the families of the shouting valley in the background. However, they are not shouting their usual salutations. Like the border itself their voices became overpowered by the noise as they shout at the top of their lungs:





Hey. Stop




Stop. Enough

Stop. Enough


There are land mines 



There are land mines. Land Mines

Land Mines. Land Mines


Lawrence Lek, Unreal Estate (The Royal Academy is Yours), 2015, HD CGI Video, 18min 10s
Courtesy the artist; Sadie Coles HQ, London


Lawrence Lek was born 1982 in Frankfurt am Main and is an artist based in London, working in fields of virtual reality and simulation. He studied at Trinity College, University of Cambridge, the Architectural Association, London, and The Cooper Union, New York. Lek uses advancing technologies, such as computer-generated imagery, virtual reality, 3D animation and gaming software as well as installation and performance to simulate and develop digital environments described by the artist as ‘three-dimensional collages of found objects and situations.’ By rendering real places within fictional scenarios, his digital worlds reflect the impact of the virtual on our perception of reality.

Recent solo exhibitions include Ghostwriter, Center for Contemporary Arts Prague, Prague (2019); Farsight Freeport, HeK House of Electronic Arts Basel, Basel (2019); Nøtel, Urbane Künste Ruhr, Essen, Germany (2019); AIDOL 爱道, Sadie Coles HQ, London (2019); Nøtel, Stroom Den Haag, The Hague (2018); 2065, K11 Art Space, Hong Kong (2018); Play Station, Art Night, London (2017). Current and recent group shows include Uncanny Valley: Being Human in the Age of AI, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco | de Young Legion of Honor, San Francisco (2020); Video Games, CCCB Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, Barcelona (2019); Cosmologic Arrows, Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm (2019); The Coming World: Ecology as the New Politics 2030-2100, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2019); FTSE (Farsight Stock Exchange), Bold Tendencies, Peckham Multi-Storey Car Park, London (2019); artapes. Low Form, MAXXI Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome (2018); Offline Browser, The 6th Taiwan International Video Art Exhibition 2018, Taipei (2018); HyperPavilion, Arsenale Nord, Venice, Italy (2017); The New Normal, UCCA, Beijing (2017); Glasgow International, Tramway, Glasgow (2016); SeMA Biennale Mediacity Seoul 2016, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul (2016); Missed Connections, Julia Stoschek Collection, Düsseldorf (2016); Secret Surface, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2016); Software, Hard Problem, Cubitt Gallery, London (2015); and The Uncanny Valley, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge (2015). Lek received the 2017 Jerwood/FVU Award and the 2015 Dazed Emerging Artist Award.

Work Synopsis:

Unreal Estate (The Royal Academy is Yours) uses video game software to imagine a future in which the Royal Academy of Arts in London has been sold to a Chinese billionaire as a luxury private mansion. A first-person perspective tour through their new abode is accompanied by a voiceover – translated from the Russian edition of high-society Tatler magazine into Mandarin – about how to hire and fire an 'army of household staff'.

Drawing from the language of high-definition property marketing videos, the project presents a critical look at the capital's current housing crisis. The Royal Academy is itself on a rental contract from the government, and this fact shows the precarious status of even the nation's oldest and most revered art establishment. This is an uncannily familiar virtual world where a major cultural institution has been appropriated into commercial real estate.

Even the heritage architecture and art collections of the Royal Academy are marketed as private property. The courtyard now contains a Jeff Koons bunny; wallpaper by Yayoi Kusama lines the walls of the private galleries; grand receptions are converted into double-height bedrooms with jacuzzis; security is extremely tight with laser alarms, CCTV, and encrypted wireless networks. Helicopters never stop hovering over the estate.

The work forms Chapter 9 of Lawrence Lek's ongoing Bonus Levels project, a series of utopian/dystopian virtual worlds based on real places.

Li Tingwei, 1/31-2/14, 2020, iPhone Images


Li Tingwei was born in 1989 in Yantai, China and now based in Shanghai and Berlin. She graduated from Universität der Künste Berlin and had previously studied at Hunter College MFA program and Tongji University. She holds the title of Meisterschuelerin of the Berlin University of Arts. Working with objects, images, and videos, Tingwei is interested in the phenomenon and core values in contemporary life. By addressing how human consciousness and behavior have been changed in the consumer society, she deals with contemporary issues such as the self-optimization and the “flexible ego” under conditions of marketing. As a kind of artistic research, her work undertakes mental archeology of digital media and its influence on our minds and bodies.

Recent exhibitions include solo exhibition “Could donut save us from drowning?”at Surplus Space, Wuhan, solo exhibition “Feeling Good?” at J: Gallery, Shanghai. Group exhibitions at Airport Biennale Guangzhou, Sifang Art Museum, Minsheng Art Museum, Taikang Space Beijing, Galerie Gerken Berlin, and Flowers Gallery New York. She is among the Forbes’ 30 Under 30 China 2017 in Art and Style and participated in artist-in-residence programs at the Swatch Art Peace Hotel of Shanghai, Flux Factory New York and Kooshk Residency of Iran.

Lin Tianmiao, Iron, 2017, White marble and mixed media, Dimensions variable

Courtesy the artist


Lin Tianmiao was born 1961 in Taiyuan, China and is a contemporary Chinese artist best known for her large-scale installations of thread-bound objects. Often wrapping or binding synthetic bones or wooden frames with hair, silk, or thread, Lin brings up issues of traditional crafts and gender roles within contemporary society. Lin’s work also studies her own social role and the relationship between identity and social context, questioning women’s identity. During the 1980s, Lin studied in the Fine Art Department of the Capital Normal University in Beijing. Following her studies, she moved to New York with her husband the artist Wang Gongxin. The artist currently lives and works in Beijing, China. Today, her works are held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, and the Singapore Art Museum, among others.

Recent exhibitions include Bound/Unbound: Lin Tianmiao, (Asia Society, New York, solo show, 2012-2013), The Same – New works of Lin Tianmiao (Beijing Center for the Arts, Beijing, solo show, 2011-2012), Pulp Stories I (Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Singapore, 2009), APT (Tina Kim Gallery, New York, 2009), Mahjong: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection (Berkeley Museum of Art, University of California, Berkeley, 2008), Focus (Mary Ryan Gallery, New York, solo show, 2008), Multiplex: Directions in Art, 1970 to Now (The Museum of Modern Art, New York, solo show, 2008), Lin Tianmiao (Long March Space, Beijing, solo show, 2008) and many others.

Work Synopsis:

Concept: Tools originally have their own specific functions and attributes, with the same exclusive value of "life" as human beings or animals. When they are "grafted" onto bones, their functions and attributes are transformed, and new cultural values arise.

Miao Ying, Hardcore Digital Detox, 2018, Website

Courtesy the artist
Link to work:


Miao Ying is a Shanghai and New York-based artist who graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor in Fine Arts degree from the China Academy of Art's New Media Art department in Hangzhou, China, and earned a Master in Fine Arts degree in Electronic Integrated Arts from Alfred State College’s New York State College of Ceramics (NYSCC) in 2009. Miao Ying is the first generation of Chinese Internet Artists. The New Media Art department at CAA covers a wide range of disciplines from photography and video to animation and programming, it was the first new media art program in China where Miao Ying studied with Chinese avant-garde pioneers, Zhang Peili and Geng Jianyi. She continues to create work primarily online, often using GIFs, mixing screenshots and lo-fi visual elements, Second Life, drawing from the visual style of major Chinese websites like Taobao and Baidu.

Her work has been shown at the 12th Gwangju Biennale (Gwangju, 2018), Shanghai Beat (Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto, 2018), All I know is what’s on the internet (The Photographers' Gallery, London, 2018), .com/.cn (co-presented by MoMA PS1 and K11 Art Foundation, 2017), After Us (co-presented by New Museum and K11 Art Foundation, 2017), The New Normal—Art and China in 2017 (Ullens Center For Contemporary Art, Beijing, 2017), Secret Surface (Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, 2016), Holding a Kitchen Knife to Cut the Internet Cable (Chinese Pavilion, Venice Biennale, 2015), etc.

Work Synopsis:

Need an online break from the dominance of multi-billion dollar businesses like Google and Facebook on the internet? Set your virtual private network (VPN) to mainland China, where these websites and apps are blocked, for a relaxing online retreat! This is the satirical concept behind Shanghai– and New York–based artist Miao Ying’s Hardcore Digital Detox. The work is a playful reflection on both the ‘Chinternet’ and World Wide Web, using the concept of a wellness online retreat to comment on issues of global capitalism, online propaganda, and media democracy.



Track List:

1. Hymme Panis Angelicus IV

2. VISIONIST - Untitled

3. Aaron Dilloway - Switch

4. Ben Vince - Eclipse

5. Sol Invictus - Heaven & Hell

6. VISIONIST - Homme

7. KK Null - 0500

8. VISIONIST - Passing

9. VISIONIST - Untitled


Courtesy the artist


One of modern music’s most elusive experimentalists, Visionist has been dissolving all manner of genres down in order to create work to which these terms no longer apply.

In 2015, he released his debut album Safe via PAN records – described as “a personal portrait of anxiety” it dealt head-on with issues of mental health.

Pitchfork: “a statement that feels not just a flexing of experimental techniques, but something rich and human, too”. Further critical praise for Visionist has come from the likes of Resident Advisor, Crack, SPIN, The Guardian, and Rolling Stone, who cited him as an ‘artist to watch’ in 2016.

In 2017, Visionist returned with new album Value, released via Big Dada / Ninja Tune. It explores complex interweaving ideas of artistic value and self-worth while building on the distinct sound of previous releases. The project also features creative collaborations with influential Belgian artist Peter De Potter – on the album artwork and zine and Daniel Sannwald on the artist shots.

Most recently he has put an original score together for Danish fashion brand Heliot Emil AW20 Show.

Work Synopsis:

"I wanted to put together a collection of tracks that represents my listening and creative world of the last few years, a conversation with the past and a reflection on the present I see now... A Delicate Rage."

To Be Continued...

With Contributions By:


Allora & Calzadilla

Annika Eriksson

Babi Badalov

Basim Magdy

Cerith Wyn Evans

Cheng Ran

Chulayarnnon Siriphol

Colectivo Los Ingrávidos

Daniel Steegmann Mangrané

Éléonore Saintagnan & Grégoire Motte

Fan Xi

Fang Di

Guido van der Werve

Haroon Mirza

Hu Xiaoyuan

Huang Rui

Jonathas de Andrade

Katja Novitskova

Laure Prouvost

Lawrence Abu Hamdan

Lawrence Lek

Li Binyuan

Lin Tianmiao

Li Tingwei

Liu Shiyuan & Kristian Mondrup

Lu Pingyuan

Lu Yang

Miao Ying

Michael Najjar


Oscar Murillo

Patty Chang

Raqs Media Collective

Reynier Leyva Novo

Richard Tuttle

Robert Zhao Renhui

Rodrigo Braga

Ryuichi Sakamoto

Solange Pessoa

Stephanie Comilang

Sun Xun

Tania Bruguera

Timur Si-Qin

Victoria Sin


Xiang Jing

Xie Nanxing

Yang Zhenzhong

Yu Ji

Zadie Xa

Zhang Enli

Zhang Peili

Zhao Zhao

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