Controlled Demolition / 定点爆破
- Johan Kleinjan
Johan Kleinjan is a Rotterdam-based artist working with painting and illustration. In the past 4 months, he wandered through different hutongs and neighborhoods of the city, with a box of colored pencils and markers, and made sketches of people and buildings. Somehow many restaurants happened to be the perfect places for Johan to draw people without being noticed and made it possible to hide his painting tools between the food and beer. So around the time he needed to start planning this exhibition, he had made about 100 drawings.
A hand-made burial suit is also presented in the exhibition space. After seeing a visitor with a Bao Bao Issey Miyake bag Johan noticed many people had these bags, and probably many had copied versions too. This gave him the idea of mixing the design of the bags with a jade burial suit he had seen in the National Museum. Moreover, something is going to happen out of the exhibition space. During the exhibition period, at some point, Johan will put on this suit, lead us to an unexpected place and implement his intervention as a consumeristic tourist.
Besides spending most of his time making drawings, Johan also decided to make new architectural work during his stay in Beijing. He had noticed his original imagination of the gray hutongs was actually becoming a reality through the government´s relentless bricking up of all the windows and doors of the shops and restaurants that had been welcoming and open when he just arrived here. Seeing this development in combination with a tour of the old run down communist high-rise, led him to build a scaled down high-rise building in the Black Sesame Space and making it collapse during the opening. This performative gesture finally realizes his childhood dream of carrying out a controlled demolition as well as showing his view on the current situation in Beijing.