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Manling Xue
Time Spider
Apr 17–Apr 19, 2021

In the past, archaeologists relied mainly on the human sciences of documentation and chronology to date the remains of ancient man. The advent of new technologies has renewed the archaeological tools to piece together and add to a clear chronicle of the Earth by dating the relative or absolute age of those ancient materials through the determination of reflective elements in rocks and new elements produced by decay. At the same time, modern techniques of modification and synthesis have made laboratory products and man-made elements the best alternatives to ancient natural mineral resources.

The exhibition attempts to visualize the concept of “laboratory time” or “unnatural time” by considering fragments of stratigraphic minerals and their cross-sectional patterns as figurative objects of (earth) time, reconstructing or blurring their boundaries by combining synthetic techniques with external means of purification techniques.

"It explores with a single command—a complex and large figure—and moves endlessly through this strange and uncharted territory."

The main presentation of the exhibition, Time Spider (2021), is an unfinished, ongoing project whose concept stems from the artist's thoughts on time since 2018: how will things be linked and creatively active in the future, and will the shape of time be reshaped in the future?

This exhibition attempts to respond to how humans can be inspired by the ever-emerging new technologies and media with a non-human perspective. In addition to photographing mineral specimens and recording the state of fluorescence under long and short-wave ultraviolet light respectively, the work also experiments with 3D scanning techniques, post-processing and recreating the data, translating it into other image forms. In these processes, an attempt is made to fantasise a future form that stretches out in all directions like a spider: natural irregular structures and violent forms are interspersed with structures to form a new, unknown elastic composite of closed forms.






Installation view of Time Spider, 2021
Manling Xue
Tianyi Wang
Special Thanks