Li Binyuan's Deathless Love comes to CFCCA

In his first solo exhibition in the UK, Li Binyuan comes to Manchester's CFCCA – and presents his work Deathless Love as part of Manchester After Hours

Preview by Sacha Waldron | 07 Apr 2015

Browse YouTube for performances by Beijing-based artist Li Binyuan and you will come across an odd report from China’s English language TV network BON TV. The presenter tells us that Binyuan had become famous in 2013 for running and riding a scooter naked throughout the streets of Beijing, carrying either a crucifix or a blow-up doll. He told the Global Times that his night-time activities were a therapeutic way to deal with artists block and “other hardships.”

At the time of the 2014 report, Binyuan was seen performing again, this time naked and painted blue, climbing trees and running through the city streets with the blow-up doll. It was reported in the Shanghaiist newspaper that the act was to help him “mourn recent gambling losses.”

Naked adventures are, thankfully, not the only performance works the artist makes. Binyuan comes to Manchester this month with a new exhibition at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) entitled Social Behaviours. The solo exhibition, his first in the UK, will present work ranging from video to live action and performance, all dealing with ideas of public disturbances of Beijing’s social life.

“[Binyuan’s] art is challenging and anarchic, but also frequently hilarious, and always universal,” says CFCCA director Zoe Dunbar. “He uses a combination of his body and surroundings to create pieces that are at once video art, but also draw from contemporary sculpture and behaviour art practices. Through this approach, Binyuan has created a new relationship between the artist and the audience.”

The highlight of the exhibition period will definitely be a live performance of one of Binyuan’s most well-known works, Deathless Love, in which the artist repeatedly smashes hammers, and which will be staged as part of 2015’s Manchester After Hours event on Thursday 14 May. (More on that event once the full programme is announced.) Binyuan will be present in the gallery and the exhibition will be open late.

Watch a trailer for Deathless Love:

Category 1 Li Binyuan Deathless Love from Li Binyuan on Vimeo.

Social Behaviours runs 10 Apr–31 May. The preview is on 9 Apr – if you would like to attend, register on the CFCCA website here

Li Binyuan: Social Behaviours, Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, Manchester, 10 Apr–31 May, free