Dateagle Art Presents Hongxi Li

Collaboration with Dateagle Art and Hongxi Li


“Problems”, the title of Hongxi Li's installation ( Curated by Dateagle Art) at Robert Young Antiques, the twelfth in a series of Contemporary Collaborations, showcasing works by emerging artists, exploring relationships between historic and modern works of art.


London-based Chinese artist Hongxi Li holds an MA in Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship from Goldsmiths University of London (2019) and a BA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art (2018). Li is a forward-thinking multimedia artist, which is demonstrated through her inclusion in a variety of exhibitions throughout the UK; “Producing Future Homes and Communities”, Tate Modern, (2018); “Temporary Airport'', Elephant West (2017) and China; “Early Work in Futurism, M50 Innovation”, Plus Art-space, (2019); “Sweatshop & Dream”, SanDao Gallery (2014).


Developing an interest in the effects technology and mass production have on human life, she initiated her digital series ‘Chairs’ that distort day-to-day furniture as a vessel to examine societal discomfort. She convincingly transforms chairs with a utilitarian purpose, to a non-utilitarian one. 


Continuing to delve into homely objects and especially those that remark class distinctions, Dateagle are commissioning Li to fabricate two self-standing, vertical lightboxes responding to two antique pieces from the Robert Young Antiques collection; a Fine Seventeen Branch Vernacular Chandelier (c.1900) and an Unusual Vernacular Metamorphic Library Ladder (c.1900). 



The artist will render them digitally , and maintaining an exact likeness to the aesthetics, ageing, design and texture, she will manipulate their structure by angling the objects in unnatural ways. These 3D files will then be printed photographically and encased in large-scale lightboxes to create a diptych.This will give the impression of a site free of context, where space and time appear warped; the isolation of the objects in their own box lends space for the observers to recreate the relationship between the two. At the same time, they are brought together through their placement in the window exhibit, yet remain distant by the boundary set from the moulds they occupy. The lightboxes housing these reinvented items will be standing on the gallery’s original hardwood floor. To further enhance the spectral setting of the backgrounds of the printed copies in the storefront, a white board is to be added behind the lightboxes, overlaying the shop’s habitual stencilled wallpaper. This will create the effect of an immaculate vacuum within which the anamorphic versions of these well-known objects exist.


The show’s title, ‘Problems’ alludes to an unsatisfactory situation, an uncertain matter for further examination or proof which is complex to deal with. Difficulties are directly related to both the ladder, titled ‘Problem 1: Out of Reach (Ladder)’ and the chandelier, titled ‘Problem 2: Weary of Wax (Chandelier)’; each proposes a set of intangible questions for the audience’s solution. The area of Battersea, where RYA is located, has historically had a significant economic partition in the middle of the North and the South, with St John’s Hill and Lavender Hill Roads forming a division between the high priced and lower income housing. The chandelier and ladder entertain this interplay amid high and low, expensive and inexpensive, upper class and working class.