An experimental space with a mission to bridge social and cultural gaps within the field of contemporary art, by working with and providing resources for under-represented artists.

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Happy Valley
1 -29 May 2023
Private View: 1 May 2023 6-9pm
Accesible until the 8th of May
Vitrine only thereafter, reopens on the 24th of May until the 29th

Happy Valley is a vitrine installation presenting Meitao Qu’s Enter the Fortress: play well, eat well, sleep well (2021). The title of the work refers to a colloquial Chinese phrase which describes the fundamental components of a happy life. From the world’s factory to a high-tech nation, China’s rebranding in recent decades has been intimately intertwined with the reimagination of its cities. The three-part sculpture, composed of miniature models and ready-made assembly kits, explores the varying sectors of the urban-industrial complex.

A projection of Meitao’s video work Treasure Islet (2022) will be presented as part of the opening event alongside a short publication Guan (2021). Born in Shenzhen, Meitao recalls childhood memories of growing up in ‘Overseas Chinese Town,’ a cluster of tourist and residential complexes that was home to China’s first ever theme park. The video, created in the construction and management simulation game Planet Coaster, combines video game cinematics and real estate advertisement to consider the aspirational imagery of urban environments.

Meitao Qu (b. b. 1996, Shenzhen, China) is a London-based Chinese artist working across sculpture, installation and XR. She holds an MFA from the Ruskin School of Art (2021), funded by the Oxford-Kaifeng Graduate Scholarship, and an MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art (2020). Her practice engages with how images are constructed and the role they play in shaping discourses of gender, race, and nationhood. Recent exhibitions include ‘Bloomberg New Contemporaries’, South London Gallery (2022), ‘Dreaming of Red Mansions’, The Photographer’s Gallery (online), and ‘Adventures in Fact’, The Residence Gallery, London (2022). Current and upcoming projects include artist residencies at Turf Projects, Croydon (2023) and Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka (2024).

List of Works
1. Enter the Fortress: play well, eat well, sleep well, 2021
    Sculptural installation (Polystyrene, resin, building blocks, cardboard models, plastic trees, ceramic figurines, decoden pieces, toy truck, miniature dollhouses, copper wire, pebble rocks, 1:100 figures, wooden display tables, hamster cage)

2. Treasure Islet, three-part video, 2022. 2’49”; 2’41”; 3’28”
    Sound by Nikolas Babic (opening only)

3. Guan, publication, 2021 (opening only)  

Private View