18 Jan - 23 March 2008 - Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester UK


Death by a Thousand Cuts (solo show)

Exhibition Talk/Preview 24 January 2008
Talk 5.30pm Preview 6pm – 7.30pm

Gordon Cheung’s first solo exhibition at Chinese Arts Centre, Death by a Thousand Cuts, sees the artist continuing his interrogation of power structures and belief systems, and our obedience to them. Cheung’s paintings capture the hallucinations between the virtual and actual realities of a globalised world oscillating between Utopia and Dystopia. Spray paint, oil, acrylics, pastels, stock listings and ink collide in his works to form epic techno-sublime vistas.

Featuring newly commissioned works, Death by a Thousand Cuts responds to the rise of China as potentially the next superpower, its affect on the world order and how their socialism is mutating into socialist capitalism. Cheung captures a sense of these issues and formulates his response by working with Chinese propaganda and acrobatic images converged with ideas of zombie horror B movies.

The exhibition title is a dark playful reference to the cut/paste techniques Cheung employs to create his post-apocalyptic landscapes. The title also references ‘slow slicing’ or língchí, a form of execution used in China from roughly 900 AD to its abolition in 1905. A torturous practice, the method of execution has become a fixture in the image of China among some Westerners. Some modern writers suggest that exaggerated retellings of língchí have led to it becoming known as the sensationalistic ‘death by a thousand cuts’ and betray mistranslation, cultural differences, racism and other factors. Nowadays the phrase is used metaphorically to describe the gradual or incremental destruction of something, such as an institution, program or policy by repeated minor attacks or in business management to describe a product or idea that is damaged or destroyed by too many minor changes.

Gordon Cheung lives and works in London. He graduated from Royal College of Art in 2001 and since then has exhibited nationally and internationally. Cheung was the second artist to take part in Chinese Arts Centre’s Breathe artist residency programme in 2004 and was the first British born Chinese artist to be included in the largest and most ambitious survey of recent developments in UK art, The British Art Show 6 and The John Moores Painting 24. In 2007 he was commissioned for a Laing Art Solo Award (Selected by Susan May), Laing Art Gallery, UK, a solo show at the Aspex gallery, UK called The 1000 Yard Stare and God is on Our Side, Unosunove Gallery, Rome. At the same time as this solo show at Chinese Arts Centre he will be having a solo show called ‘The Fall of the Rebel Angels’ at Alan Cristea Gallery, London.

For email interviews, images and further information on Chinese Arts Centre, please contact Alyson Doocey at Chinese Arts Centre on:

+44 (0) 161 832 7271

Chinese Arts Centre
Market Buildings
Thomas Street
Manchester, M4 1EU

Mon-Sat 10am – 5pm and Sun 11am-4pm

Notes for editors
Chinese Arts Centre was established in 1986 and acts as the national agency to promote, commission and exhibit Chinese artists. Following on from a £2.5 million Lottery grant it opened it's new Centre in November 2003 and received a RIBA award for architecture and was a finalist for the accessible building of the year in 2004. In 2006 Chinese Arts Centre was proud to receive a Pearl Award for Creative Excellence. During 2007 Chinese Arts Centre celebrated its 21st Anniversary.

©Chinese Arts Centre 2007 Confidential Established in 1986



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