CURATED BY Song Zhenxi

Co-curated by Gong Haoyan

Having excess, or “surplus,” is a common phenomenon that occurs in a capitalist society. Manufacturing surplus is a capitalist goal, therefore it is an inevitable result in the progress of productivity. Within this system, the needless excess is consequently shelved if it cannot be consumed. The opposite of needlessness is consumption. Surplus earns its “meaning” by being consumed, and human desire becomes materialized by this surplus value. 

The artist Sun Datang’s “Invisible Series” has found a way for us to re-visit reality from the “excessive” framework of thinking that is so common today. In his works, we can see the combination of concise ideas in his photography and artistic expression. Excessive images that do not conform to the aesthetics of the spectacle, or those processed into the aesthetics of the spectacle, will disappear behind the image and become invisible. Sun Datang’s photography reverses these images, making the invisible parts visible again, and giving the meaningless parts meaning again. Aesthetic rules have also been reversed, and he constructs new rules for the process of viewing. Behind this new image, people seem to have found unlikely opportunities to re-conceptualize the standards of modern, “spectacle”, beauty. 

Song Zhenxi