Relic, No. 20
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50 cm x 33 cm
For The Hallowed Object, a 2016 solo exhibition in Beijing’s Caochangdi art district, Lei Yan displayed seventy-six sculpted objects en masse, arranged along a narrow shelf the entire length of a gallery wall. The exhibit also included black-and-white photographs of the objects—some taking representational shape, others uncanny in form—as single pieces or in small groupings. An assembly of objects resembles a domestic still life with bottles, vases, and a candlestick, but it also includes the axe and sickle, a bugle, an antitank missile, and a trench mortar bomb nose down and fins in the air. What might seem to be an ornamental vessel with a handle turns out to be a hand grenade. Eccentrically shaped containers mingle with those of recognizable use.
Chapter 7, Figure 7
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Photograph courtesy of the artist
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