London | Beijing

Righteous Market

group show: anusman, Jessy Razafimandimby, Mónica Heller, Tromarama, Xi Chen, Nathan Zhou, Shitou & Mingming, Zhe Xu, Art is Poison Podcast, Tant Zhong
Tabula Rasa Gallery | Beijing
16 March - 04 May, 2024
Tabula Rasa Gallery is pleased to announce the group show Righteous Market, curated by Chao Jiaxing, with the participations of anusman, Jessy Razafimandimby, Mónica Heller, Tromarama, Xi Chen, Nathan Zhou, Shitou & Mingming, Zhe Xu, Art is Poison Podcast, Tant Zhong, opening on March 16th, 2024 and continues until May 4th, 2024.

Over the past few years, traditional markets in East Asian societies have been a recurring site in Chao’s research on ritualistic curatorial practices. These markets, often ending in "machi" or "machi-dori" (meaning "shopping street"), are ubiquitous in Japanese cities. The concept of the group exhibition "Righteous Market" is inspired by the 2014 South Korean film "Ode to My Father" directed by Yoon Je-kyoon. The exhibition borrows the common form of traditional Japanese market with arcades, transforming this concentrated field of historical and contemporary consciousness into a stage for practicing truth. 

In the market, one can see former vessels of faith in the form of temples now transformed into rental properties; second-hand home appliances reflecting the glory and overcapacity of the East Asian electronics industry boom in the 1990s; citizens who grew up around the market – such as the head priest of a Kansai temple – and whose their worldview was gradually formed through their experiences there; urban festivals (Matsuri) centered around "town", "home", and "generations" (sedai), embodying the concepts of "competition", "play" and "resilience". These festivals have a strong historical elasticity and represent a circular economy that is no longer subject to the critique of neoliberal economics.   

In the traditional market, the "observation", "insight", "cognition" and "decoding" of various truths are forms of consciousness training that Chao has long relied on. This cognitive space involves the concepts of "correctness,” "fairness," and "benevolence" encompassed by "Righteousness." Here, Chao employs the moral emphasis of Kantianism to frame the exhibition, emphasising that motive confers moral worth on an action. Righteousness is often associated with religion. Essentially, ceremonies are often closely linked to religion, and in theological concepts, "Righteousness" is summarised as a quality or state that is morally correct and reasonable. It not only responds to the principles or laws of the world –"Dao" (word), but it is also the Logos used to achieve a fair reciprocation within the duality of truth. The interpretation of the righteous efforts echoed by different shop installations is influenced by factors such as "correctness," "justice," "kindness," and "the moral responsibility of taking initiative." 

Amidst the myths surrounding "civilisation" conflicts today, we invite artists to respond to this issue: Do we believe that governments can correct the unfairness caused by nature? Is the only way to correct injustice being to artificially create equality? Or are there other powerful forces at play in our daily lives, masquerading as institutions and bypassing obvious historical cycles? In any case, the writing of justice awaits an update, starting from this "Righteous Market" here.

About the artists  

TROMARAMA is widely considered one of Indonesia’s most exciting rising talents and has been exhibited around the world. The group was co-founded in 2006 by Febie Babyrose, Herbert Hans and Ruddy Hatumena. Combining the concept of hyper-reality in the digital age, Tromarama explores the interconnection between the real and virtual worlds. His work combines video, installation, computer programming and public participation with the far-reaching impact of social networks on society.

They have held solo exhibitions at DOCUMENT(Chicago, 2021); Centre A (Vancouver, 2017); Liverpool Biennial Fringe (Liverpool, 2016); Stedelijk Museum, (Amsterdam, 2015); National Gallery of Victoria, (Melbourne, 2015); and Mori Art Museum (Tokyo, 2010); among other locations. Selected group exhibitions include: Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD) (Manila, 2018); Singapore Art Museum (Singapore, 2017); Gwangju Biennale (Gwangju, 2016); Frankfurter Kunstverein (Frankfurt, 2015); Samstag Museum of Art (Adelaide, 2014); and the 7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (Brisbane, 2012), among others.

Jessy Razafimandimby (b.1995, Madagascar) lives and works in Geneva. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts from the Geneva University of Art & Design (HEAD) in 2018. Jessy Razafimandimby is one of the winners of the Kunstpreis Kiefer Hablitzel - Swiss Art Awards 2021.

His recent solo shows include à présent !, à tempérament !, Valentin 61 (Lausanne, 2022); Avec le pain, toujours prêts à surgir, Sans titre (Paris, 2022); Miracle sur ce qui a du cœur, Art au Centre (Geneva, 2021); Fille de corsaire, 13 vitrine (Renens, 2021); O.O.O.O.O., Espace HIT (Geneva, 2021); Droit de Visite de Digestion, Arsenic (Lausanne, 2020); On The Temporary Balcony Behind The Dirty Window, 1.1. (Basel, 2020).

Tant Yunshu Zhong (b.1990, China) lives and works in Shanghai. Tant’s artistic practice focuses on the moments within everyday flow that can be used for resistance and questioning. These frozen moments may be simple, elegant, slightly comedic, or even absurd. There is no precise boundary in her assemblages; they are dispersed yet mutually constrained. She excels at linking, arranging, combining, and constructing multiple associations between different objects and words. She skillfully places the contradictions hidden within organic life. The state of her works seems to want to return to some fundamental rules and rhythms while faintly attempting to break them.

Her recent selected solo exhibitions include Where Does a Wanderer Seek Rest at Night? Tabula Rasa Gallery (London, 2023); Having a good night’s sleep, LISTE Basel (Basel, 2023); A Kitchen Blessing, LINSEED (Shanghai, 2022); The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over the Lazy Dog, Tabula Rasa Gallery (Beijing, 2020); The Endless Spring, J: Gallery (Shanghai, 2016); Tissue and Tissue Paper, Tabula Rasa Gallery (Beijing, 2016); Lead, Lead, Lead, Surplus Space (Wuhan, 2016).

Mónica Heller (b.1975, Argentina) is a cartoonist, painter and video artist. Throughout her twenty-year career she has created 2D and 3D animations, using both amateur production strategies and CGI models taken from open-source and free libraries. The self-taught nature of her approach to digital technology and the artisanal dedication she puts into each of her pieces laid the foundations for a DIY work ethic that characterizes and singles out both her varied production and the place she occupies within the Argentine art scene.

She participated in the first edition of the Artists Programme of the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella (2009), created by Inés Katzenstein. She received a grant from the MMSN Foundation for a residency at Hangar Contemporary Promotion Center, in Barcelona (2010). Among the several awards she received in recent years, the following stand out: the First Prize of the Fundación Andreani Award (2017), the Stimulus Award of the 72nd Salón Nacional de Rosario Castagnino + Macro (2017) and the Third Prize of the Fundación Fortabat Award (2021).

Nathan Zhou (b.1980, China) currently lives and works in Shanghai. Before his full-time professional art career began in 2014, Zhou worked as a translator, a cocktail mixer, a gallery staff as well as an editor at the magazine Art World. Known for his changeful colors and strong contrast, he likes to layer imagery from his everyday hobbies on the canvas. These include music, films, soccer, and arcade games. His instinctive methodology points to his life experiences, creating a forceful space for the imagination.

His works have been featured at various institutional group exhibitions include SNAP Shanghai (2019), Sifang Art Museum (Nanjing, 2018), chi K11 Art Museum (Shanghai, 2016), Power Station of Art (Shanghai, 2016); MOCA Shanghai (2016); CAFA Museum of Art ((Beijing, 2015); Himalayas Museum (Shanghai, 2015); among others.

Xi Chen (b.1995, China) graduated from the Fine Arts Department of Jiangnan University with a B.F.A. in 2008 and from the Fine Arts Department of East China Normal University with an M.F.A. in 2012. He is a drawing expert and animation writer, and in 2013, he started to create short animation films incorporating his own drawings. In 2016, he began producing feature-length animations. His first feature-length animation "Walking Guide" was shortlisted in the "Feature Film" section of the 12th FIRST Youth Film Festival in 2018 and nominated for the "Best Artistic Exploration Award".

His recent solo exhibitions include: Ideal Man, A+ Asian Contemporary Art Space (Shanghai, 2018); ∞, A+ Asian Contemporary Art Space (Shanghai, 2016); Wild Affected, A307 (Beijing, 2015), among others.

Zhe Xu (b.1976, Shanghai, China) graduated from the Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Aix-en-Provence, France in 2006. Xu was one of the co-founders of the artist group “Organization". He received the Asian Cultural Council Visual Arts Fellowship in 2016, and is currently teaching at the Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts. Xu works in a variety of media, including video, photography, and installation. His recent work focuses on the individual’s existential circumstances in contemporary life, responding to the era we inhabit by uncovering and exploring the hidden resilience, ambiguity, and restlessness found within personal experiences beyond historical narratives.

Highlights of his recent exhibitions include: Righteous Market, Tabula Rasa Gallery (Beijing, 2024); Pathway of life, Outside Art Space (Beijing, 2024); Synthesized Recall, UCCA Center for Contemporary Art (Beijing, 2023); All Silence Is A Hidden Space, The Cloisters Project , Macalline Art Center (Shanghai, 2023); Up in the air, Spurs Gallery (Beijing, 2023); Semi Art Community Project: Boogie Woogie Museum-Two Steps After Golden Tea Room, Ulsan Art Museum (Korea, 2023); RAM Highlights "The Good Life", Rockbund Museum (Shanghai, 2022), among others.

anusman (b.1984, China) is an artist and illustrator. He is widely considered as the first comic theory scholar in China. He has published dozens of independent comic books, including the best-selling book Mr.Men, and contributed to several well-known magazines as a columnist. His works have been collected by various museums, such as Musée de la bande dessinée d'Angoulême (Paris).

His previous solo exhibitions include Xiong Yi, Tabula Rasa Gallery (Beijing, 2022); Market Street - anusman's One Year, Tabula Rasa Gallery (Beijing, 2019); Joy of Ink, WKLY (Shanghai, 2017) and Ignoramus, Tabula Rasa Gallery (Beijing, 2017).  

Art Is Poison Podcast 艺术有读 is a podcast hosted by two artworld practitioners about arts and books.

Shitou & Mingming
Shitou (b.1969, China) is a Chinese activist, performer, filmmaker, multimedia artist, and queer icon. In her early years, she lived and worked on her paintings in the Yuanmingyuan Art Village, the first art village in China. Shitou directed several films, many in collaboration with her life partner, Mingming: “Dyke March” (2002), “Women Fifty Minutes” (2006) and “We Are Here” (2015). She is one of the initiators of the China Queer Independent Film group (CQIF, 2008).She has participated in numerous exhibitions, film festivals and cultural exchanges both at home and abroad, such as: New York University, University of Chicago, Asian Women's Film Festival (Berlin, Germany), and Modern Art Museum in Stockholm Sweden, among others.

Mingming, a filmmaker, is mainly engaged in the creation of documentaries and photography, and has done hundreds of screenings so far in collaboration with friends from all over the world. His films have participated in the New York University Film Festival, China Documentary Exchange Week, Asian Women's Film Festival (Berlin, Germany), University of California Berkeley Museum of Art, Hong Kong Chinese Documentary Film Festival, South Taiwan Film Festival, Women Make Waves, Beijing Queer Film Festival, etc.

Tabula Rasa Gallery (London)
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Hoxton, London
N1 6AQ
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Tabula Rasa Gallery  (London)