Thursday, July 5, 2018

He Xiangyu part of "River Separates Water" exhibition at Wood Street Galleries, July 6 through August 26.

Chinese artist He Xiangyu will be one of three artists whose work comprises a "River Separates Water" exhibition at the Wood Street Galleries downtown from July 6 through August 26. He's 2017 film The Swim documents his attempt to swim across the Yalu River from China to North Korea. From a February Elephant profile:
What gave him the idea for The Swim? “I married my wife in 2012,” he says, “and we moved from Beijing to Pittsburgh. When I revisited my hometown (Kuandian) for the first time in two years, I asked my parents what was going on, what the people were doing, and I got a very strange, distant feeling like I didn’t know it anymore. I had been creating a series of drawings called the Palate Project in America and I was interested in the feeling of being in a foreign place and also more general feelings of the body. After I got that strange feeling at home I wanted to explore what was going on here in a very personal, physical way, in touch with the elements of the town: the water. That river is very familiar to me from childhood. Though as a child I wasn’t quite aware of the North Koreans, my parents are doctors and know the local people, as well as some of the defectors. Most of them weren’t happy to talk about their experience because they are trying to remain hidden. But my parents helped me get in touch.”
The gallery is open four days a week at 601 Wood Street downtown (map).