The Klein Sun Gallery in Chelsea is currently presenting a collection of work by Beijing-born artist Geng Xue for the show Mount Sumeru, the first major solo show of the artist’s works in the West. For this exhibition, Geng Xue unveils a diverse series of porcelain and bronze sculptures in which she incorporates sound installations that can be heard and felt inside the structure. The exhibition references the sacred mountain Mount Sumeru which is considered to be the center of the physical and spiritual universe in Buddhism. With these works, Geng Xue captures a sense of supernatural elements while capturing the relationship between perception and embodiment.
For instance, a piece entitled View Delusion 1 (2016) depicts a male head surrounded by natural elements such as mountains and small ponds with ripples. Like many other of Geng Xue’s works, the heads, feet, and hands, that represent the human body and our internal consciousness, are often situated in the middle. The human body parts are intended to dissolve into the landscape to convey unity of physical and spiritual elements.
Another piece that effectively illustrates these elements is Sound Healer 1, which features a female head resting on its side on a body of water, most likely a river, as though trying to connect the natural rhythm of the water to her soul. A human hand gently rests itself on her neck, seeming to represent her being able to feel outside forces.
A piece that also illustrates touch is Ocean’s Roar, which depicts a human arm and hand reaching in and touching the water of an ocean creating a ripple effect that travels far and into other small bodies of water. In the background, giant waves creating a loud, crashing sound can be heard.
One eye-opening piece in the show, Mountain Gate, depicts a sturdy mountain splitting in half as pieces of bone rest on top both pieces broken apart from the divide. In between the split pieces, a male human head peeks curiously through the open space while out in the distance another pool of water with a broken bone resting on top can be seen.
Finally, a piece that has a calming effect is Radiates a Light which features a mother holding her baby, serenely watching the reflected light on a pond and the mountains beyond.
Geng Xue was born in Jilin Province, China, and graduated with an MFA from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, where she is currently teaching. Her work has been featured in numerous solo and group shows around the world including, most recently,
Poetics of the Body–The Sculpture & Video Art of Geng Xue at Fengmian Art Space in Guangzhou, China, and Amassing Force for which she received a 2017 Wang Shikuo Award from Today Art Museum, in Beijing.
At the Klein Sun Gallery, 525 W. 22nd St., through Jun. 17. The gallery is open Mon.—Sat. from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.