What is he afraid of?
Evelyn Taocheng Wang

Company Gallery is delighted to present the second solo show by artist Evelyn Taocheng Wang. Wang's practice emerges from an interest in what constitutes identity and how one's own body is culturally relative to - and intertwined with - autobiographical structures. Wang's works are concerned with processes of transformation, which are translated and negotiated through various means, whether media or material based. For the exhibition, Wang presents a series of drawings, white cotton banners reminiscent of hospital room partitions, hand-sewn dresses and two films.

Within this intimate situation, the films "Hospital Conversation" (2018) and "Three Versions of Change" (2018) are presented. Hospital Conversation is a video portrait, in which architecture and bodies dissolve into one another in order to define space. Layers of texts, photographs and film reveal a fragmented story about a hospital and the impressions of one of its anonymous patients. In this setting, the body is under constant change through a process of pain and healing. The film Three Versions of Change is a result of Wang's reflections on the various sources and reinterpretations of the fairy tale The Frog King. The fairy tale's different versions all share a close connection to issues of identity change. Although its gender roles are not always assigned clearly, all of the traditional versions are marked with a process-based character.

The body is a subject that can be perceived differently by its environment according to its clothes as illustrated in Wang's presentation of so-called Cheongsam dresses. These traditional items of Chinese clothing were first worn in the 17th century, but their story since then illuminates the various cultural upheavals of China's history. During the Emperor's period, they were worn almost exclusively by men, only to be later worn by young female students as a gesture of emancipation. Taking the notion of the fictionalization of characters as well as the actual architectural site of Company’s space as a starting point, the exhibition becomes a room where narratives are translated into a spatial structure.

Press Release (PDF)

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