Wu Hao
Rolling Gate No. 6, 2014

Paint residues and ‘collaborations’ provide the starting point for the ready-made sculpture Rolling Gate No. 6, 2015, which is created from a series of nine gates. All of the gates included in this group of artworks are from Wuhan, a city with a population of millions in the province of Hubei in central China. Like many of China’s industrial cities, Wuhan is experiencing a rapid but precarious boom that not only unbalances the economical situation but also leaves deep marks in social structures.
In these works, Wu Hao analyses the (unintended) existence and materiality of abstract painting in the urban space. The artist bought the rolling gate from a shop-owner in Wuhan, having it replaced with a new gate. With the exception of the addition of his signature, he left it completely unchanged. This object that has been converted into an image that attests to the fight for control between the public authorities (cheng guan [civic administration]) and the population of Wuhan: people looking for work have left their telephone numbers on the gates for anyone who might be interested in their services. These have been scratched off or painted over in broad strokes by the guardians of order – to ‘make the city more attractive’. This cat and mouse game, which plays out over weeks and months, creates plenty of rather colorful layers of paint, which are regularly covered over by columns of numbers.

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