© Peres Projects

With beautifully curated contemporary art shows, Berlin-based Peres Projects has gained a following far beyond the city limits. Gallery owner Javier Perés has now taken his expertise and artists to new places, and quite literally so, opening new art galleries in Seoul and Milan, two crossroads of art, fashion and design, and last but not least, a keen audience. In the latter city, Peres Projects has secured a prestigious location at Palazzo Belgioioso, a grand 18th-century residence built by Italian architect Giuseppe Piermarini who is best known for designing the city’s illustrious La Scala opera house. The inaugural show in Milan, entitled SIGNAL, presents a body of work by Chinese painter Tan Mu (1991). Born in Yantai, Mu graduated from the High School of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing in 2011, and earned her BFA in Expanded Media Studio Art from Alfred University in Upstate New York four years later. An oft-cited turn in the media landscape was the emergence of 24/7 live news in the aftermath of 9/11. The seamless reportage of events from nearby and afar created a shift in the public’s cognitive modes of being in the world, and accordingly, the artistic representation of this perception.

Parallel to the relatively small number of news photographs that went on to define a historical moment, continuous coverage and news tickers have joined an infinite number of amateur photos and video footage that has come to shape the narrative and collective memory of a certain space and time. In the densely woven network of events, the institutional apparatus increasingly appears as imminent generative machinery. In early 2022, a war unfolds in a cultural, political and censorial proxy battlefield, echoed in many other aspects of everyday life, with powers and intentions conferred on individual life by contending states and organisations. Conversely, web protocols morph into proliferating consumer goods alongside myths and controversies, public health policies dictate a household’s routine and living conditions, and multilateral or intergovernmental fora present a succinct expression of individual beliefs and sentiments. The inner workings of the machinery, meanwhile, remain obscure to many. The careful choice of subject matter and imagery sources allows Tan Mu to explore the image as a medium. In particular, the way truth and value is constructed both aesthetically and through how the image comes into being and is circulated.

For example, the paintings based on archival or documentary images retain a connection to the past yet at the same time engage with the viewer in the present. Mu’s work restores the visual and spiritual potency of technology, combining sociohistorical and philosophical approaches in her art practice. Her paintings and multidisciplinary work examine bodily and mediated presence in a knowledge society, beyond machinery practicality and iconography; from IVF and DNA editing to quantum computer and privacy stamp, the interiority of each apparatus joins the artistic process of thinking and making. Additional focus is placed on the convergence of geometry and physics with nature and technological culture. In the works on display, Mu’s vision reorients to an interconnected world in reflexive formation and the apparatus behind images that reveal or conceal what reality is. Beyond the artistic concept and subject, the artist’s technique, developed through her vigorous training in painting and media at top academies in China and the U.S., conveys a distinct style that balances meticulous control, confident execution and genuine appeal (on through Jun 13).

Peres Projects
Piazza Belgioioso 2 (Duomo)
20121 Milan
Telephone: +39 02 94340158
Mon-Fri 11am-6pm

© Peres Projects