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Shi Hu, Float, 2000/2007/2013
Shi Hu, Float, 2000/2007/2013
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  • Liu Wei, Merely a Mistake II No. 7,, 2013
  • Peng Yu, Exile, 2000
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Works on Main Floor

At Wrightwood 659, The Allure of Matter was presented across four floors. Use the gallery map to take a self-guided tour or simply scroll to learn more about the exhibition’s constellation of highly individualized projects.

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Peng Yu, Exile, 2000

Betacam SP video, 3:12 minutes running time

Collection M HKA / Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp

Throughout her artistic career, Peng Yu has deliberately appropriated provocative materials in her work. This video documents a performance in which the artist poured seven liters of pure human oil (extracted from cadavers) into a polluted Beijing river. The video focuses on the water’s oil-coated surface, capturing the forms that appeared in its reflections. For Peng, human fat is a physical manifestation of excessive consumption. By dissolving human fat among the river’s other pollutants, Peng’s performance alludes to the impact unbridled human consumption has had on the environment.

Peng Yu, Exile, 2000. Detail. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Peng Yu, Exile, 2000
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Liu Wei, Merely a Mistake II No. 7, 2013

Doors and door frames, wooden beams, acrylic board, stainless steel, and iron
189 x 74 3/4 x 77 1/2 in. (480.1 x 190 x 197 cm)

The Chu Collection

Born in the 1970s, Liu Wei grew up during the decades of drastic urban development that followed the end of the Cultural Revolution (1966–76). The scrap wood, door frames, and other materials used to construct this work came from buildings demolished over the last 40 years to make way for Beijing’s modern cityscape. These materials originally belonged to houses in Beijing’s city center, where Liu grew up. In the 1990s, these houses were demolished; years later their scrap materials resurfaced at the city’s outskirts, where Liu’s studio is based. For Liu, encountering these materials in piles outside of his studio summoned memories of the city he knew as a child. Suggesting at once futurist architecture and a bygone Beijing, the work’s kaleidoscopic geometries lay bare the materials’ transformation over time, from their thick coats of colorful paint to their areas of decay.

Liu Wei, Merely a Mistake II No. 7, 2013
Liu Wei, Merely a Mistake II No. 7, 2013