Open House - A Room of One’s Own

ChART Contemporary collaborates with Chen Ke for Open House: A Room of One’s Own-a series of curatorial experiments reflecting our mission of bringing together art and people on March 28 from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Open House: A Room of One’s Own is a site-specific installation conceptualized by Chen Ke and inspired by Virginia Woolf’s 1928 text- A Room of One’s Own. Woolf addresses the feminist movement through the assertion that a woman cannot write fiction without money and a room of her own. Using Woolf’s argument as a point of departure, Chen Ke invites us inside the psyche of a young woman who has relocated to Beijing in an ambitious attempt to succeed economically and socially. While Woolf might argue that this imaginary young woman has the tools for success, we are faced with an internal conflict as we try to resolve the overwhelming sense of boredom, loneliness and frustration that permeates throughout the tiny room leaving us vulnerable and longing for more. On one hand we are voyeurs observing the private world of a woman who has technically achieved freedom by securing her own space. On the other hand we cannot avoid the underlying sense of fragility and uncertainty, which echoes the reality for a generation of young Chinese dreamers trying to make it in the big city. Open House: A Room of One’s Own is an installation created from tailor made clothing, all based on the artist’s measurements, and household objects. This project was installed in a 10sqm underground housing compound, which is below one of Beijing's high-rise residential developments.

Chen Ke was born in Tongjiang County in 1978. After receiving an MFA in painting from the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts, she relocated to Beijing in 2005 to pursue her career as a painter. Her practice deals primarily with personal experience, memory and identity. Often called “cute”, her seemingly upbeat and colorful paintings exude feelings of loneliness and longing, which reveal the reality for a generation of Chinese people born into the one-child family structure. She continually experiments with new materials and painting techniques to create multi-layered canvases, powerful installations and photographs.

Special Thanks to David Kay, Shen Xiaomin, Gustavo Rugeles and Star Gallery.

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Open House: A Room Of One's Own ChART Contemporary collaboration with Chen Ke.