Prada presents “Rear Windows”, the new exhibition by the artist Li Qing, with the support of Fondazione Prada. Curated by Jérôme Sans, the exhibition project will be open to the public from 7 November 2019 to 19 January 2020 in the spaces of Prada Rong Zhai in Shanghai, one historical residence of 1918 restored by Prada and reopened in October of 2017.
“Rear Windows” is an immersive project, the result of collaboration between the artist Li Qing and the curator. It was conceived as a site-specific narrative and a profound exploration of the history and environments of Prada Rong Zhai, creating a connection between the past and the current urban context of Shanghai.
Prada Rong Zhai can be considered as a programming in which one is overlap the traces of the secular history of Shanghai. Before to be restored to house cultural activities, it was the residence private entrepreneur Mr Rong Zongjing and, after the nationalization has become a public building. Li Qing imagines the residence as a space still occupied by its owners or from their contemporary ghosts. The artist recreates imaginary visions of rooms, such as the ballroom, the bedroom, the bathroom and a hall for karaoke, where the presence of the previous inhabitants is suggested by artistic interventions. The decision to rehabilitate empty spaces generates an unusual cinematic atmosphere that evokes dual nature of contemporary living, divided between authenticity and imitation, reality and playback.
Inspired by the iconic 1954 film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, La window on the courtyard, the “Rear Windows” exhibition is designed as one series of environmental scenes to experience the act of seeing, of being seen or observed. Through some of his work emblematic like the Neighbor’s Window series and Tetris Window, Li Qing refers to some aspects of the city of Shanghai (or even of Hangzhou where the artist lives), where ancient buildings coexist and new, different social groups, urban myths, ancient legends and future perspectives.
Also on display are new jobs and commissions like the neon sign placed on the external facade of Prada Rong Zhai, a tent placed in the center of the garden, a sound installatio made for the corridor on the first floor and nine carpets decorated with tile patterns spread on the floor of the ballroom. The project is completed by a selection of recent paintings from the Find series Differences, from video installations like Neon News and paintings from the Images of Mutual Undoing and Unity series, which invite us to question ourselves on our relationship with the ever-changing surrounding world.
Jérôme Sans describes the exhibition “as a story conceived through a wide selection of past and recent works by Li Qing, a narrative that develops into a film set of a film la whose action is about to take place. In the spaces of Prada Rong Zhai, Li Qing starts a new poetic that lives in the fantasies of a society imaginary, but also in the current work of the questioning artist on how to be closer to the reality of things “.