Gao Ling - The Big Mist

Gao Ling

Gao Ling was born in Jiangsu, China in 1980 and currently lives between Beijing and London. Her inter-disciplinary approach encompasses diverse mediums of visual art, photography, installation and performance. Her work closely scrutinizes the ‘norms’ of daily life and creates surprising and often humorous interventions and re-appropriations that challenge our relationship with them. Her artworks have been featured in a number of exhibitions including in Get It Louder, Milan Design Week and e-flux project: Pawnshop.

In 2008, together with Chinese American artist Elaine W. Ho, Gao founded the arts group LING & COMMA whose primary interest is to investigate issues of female identity, body-politics, space and interaction with the everyday. Gao Ling’s prominent works include the widely exhibited and published Nv Quan. In 2009, she was invited as a visiting artist and photographer to PROGRAM Berlin and Kontemporar gallery to join the project PUBLIC Research. During that time she began the art project Let Out A Yawn. Two of her works Nv Quan and Hey! TTTTouch Me! are included in the traveling exhibition WOMEN我們 which premiered in Shanghai in 2011, traveled to San Francisco and is currently on view in Miami. n 2012, she collaborated with the NGO Shanghai Nvai to launch the performance/protest “Occupy Shanghai Subway: It’s A Dress, Not A Yes”.. Using Gao’s art piece in Hey! TTTTouch Me! the performance/protest provoked a national discussion, and was featured in international media such as the BBC and the Economist. Her work was reviewed in the contemporary arts journal Yishu in 2012. In 2013 she was interviewed by the Asia-Pacific Research Centre of the Tate Modern which is one of the leading centres for research in visual art and museum studies.

Gao Ling
Project Statement

The Big Mist

The Big Mist project was launched in January 2013 at which time Beijing was shrouded in smog and Asia was in turn adversely affected by China’s worsening urban air pollution. The Big Mist seeks to create a global archive of ‘selfies’ that playfully engages our contemporary attitude to air pollution.

The art project took the form of an open call, through social media, for creative photographic submissions responding to the theme of environmental air pollution in Asia. Sites such as Facebook, Weibo and Douban were used. Several dozen submissions from around the world, from Beijing to Hong Kong, Kathmandu to Berlin, London to Madrid, were received. An aim of The Big Mist is for participants to use performance and humour in the photographic form as a challenge to over-industrialisation and the pollution it brings. It also acts as a collective silent cry.

The art project is ongoing and more photos will continue to be added. An independent magazine The Big Mist will be published in February 2014 to coincide with the first anniversary of this project.

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