Shi Jinsong’s solo exhibition : the Third Reproduction
Nov 10 - Dec 03, 2018

Press Release

Shi Jinsong’s solo exhibition : the Third Reproduction


Curator: Liao Liao




Whitebox Art Center has the honor to announce that Shi Jinsong’s solo exhibition ‘ Wind in Pines Among a Myriad Valleys – the Third Reproduction’ , curated by Liao Liao, will open on 10th November 2018. The exhibition is the first cooperation between the artisit and Whitebox Art Center. Newly-created large installation artworks and xxxxxx show thoughts towards the diversification of intellectual property rights and try to present the real yet complicated side of ‘intellectual property rights’ under contemporary context.


Before the advent of the "Third Reproduction" era, there were two famous "reproduction" theories. The first type is the “mechanical reproduction” proposed by Benjamin. Technological advancement and industrial production make large-scale reproduction of artworks possible. The mechanical reproduction is the symbol of the rising of pop culture, while the fall of elite culture. The second type is the commercial and pop cultural images emerged repeatedly in Andy Warhol’s works. The screen-printed reproduction symbol reflects the enormous influence of commercialization and consumerism on modern values.


Today, we are still faced with the mechanical reproduction and the symbol reproduction, yet the contemporary “reproduction culture” has changed dramatically from both inside and outside. The wave of the “Third Reproduction” which has gone domestically and aboard, not only covers the culture and art, but also refers to political and economic system.


When Shi Jinsong’s original ‘Pine Series’ encountered widespread piracy in the country, instead of simply defending his copyright, the artist bought and borrowed several dozens pirated pines and arranged a ‘solo exhibition’.


With the presence of industrialized pirated pines and original works at the same time, we can see that the early copying behavior is a shortcut for the backward economy to participate in the rapid development of globalization. It makes people think whether the copying itself will encounter bottlenecks and predicaments. Will there be a ‘delayed disadvantage’ behind the prosperity of technical reproduction ?


With the presence of original pines and pirated ones at the same time, we can see different aesthetic meanings of pines, the traditional cultural symbol, under different points of view : cultural view from intellectual elites, art view from contemporary artists and consuming view from pop culture.


Shi Jinsong created his "solo exhibition" with piracy, showing his thoughts towards the diversification of intellectual property rights. Many of the difficulties in China today stem from disputes over intellectual property rights with other economies, not only political and economic but also cultural conflicts. According to the modern concept, the protection of intellectual property rights protects the interests of originators, but in the context of the Internet, the spirit of sharing has become more and more important. The exhibition of the “Third Reproduction” tries to present the real yet complicated side of ‘intellectual property rights’ under contemporary context.


Apart from a bunch of piracy works, their producers are invited to attend the exhibition to discuss intellectual property rights issues. It is the ‘symbiotic state’ that we would like to reveal, not to show an opposite relationship, neither to criticize them. From this point of view, an artist is not a critic, but an observer, and an intervenor. The exhibition creates new public space which help unite originators and pirates to find cooperation possibility, to fill the valley in ‘Wind in Pines Among a Myriad Valleys’.


For Shi Jinsong, public art is not limited to pile up artworks in public space. His practice in public art is to break the barrier between originators and pirates, to create a whole-new public relationship between different groups of people. Producers invited to the exhibition will tender for a bid on site, the winner will participate in the project ‘art rural construction in Linzhou’ with the artist – which is the artist’s attempt at bringing forth new creativity with this new public relationship.


The reproduction of art theory, intellectual property rights, economic models and ideologies in contemporary China have brought success and wonders, but how do we face the dilemma brought by these reproductions today? As an artist, as well as a cultural producer, how to think about the relationship between personal situation and public space ? It is the answers that we would like to seek through the ‘Third Reproduction’ exhibition.


Installation View


Media Report