The summer exhibition at Ikon Eastside is by Xu Zhen, ‘one of the most inventive young Chinese artists’:
For summertime at Eastside, Ikon presents another small sculptural piece, a slightly-larger-than-life-size replica of a mosquito. One of The Last Few Mosquitoes, it sits on the wall of our ‘white cube’ project space. On close inspection it appears to be sucking blood from the building, glowing red as it ingests the nutrition it needs.
Exhibition preview: Xu Zhen, BirminghamBuzz up!
Robert Clark The Guardian, Saturday 20 June 2009
Xu Zhen creates installation intrigues. Past work has included the construction of a model of the summit of Everest enclosed in a monumental glass case. Then there was the engraving of an astronaut's footprint on to a grain of sand which one could only view through the lens of a microscope. It's as if the artist was extracting and isolating aspects of life for our extra-special, super-focused attention. Here, on one wall of the white cube project space of the Ikon Gallery's Eastside site, sits a lone, slightly larger than life replica of a mosquito which glows red as if gradually sucking the lifeblood from the building. The installation's title, The Last Few Mosquitoes, might suggest some environmental concern, but beyond that the artist is careful to avoid giving the enigmatic game away, leaving visitors to come up with their own interpretations as to what the bloodsucker means.
Ikon Eastside, to 5 Jul