Posts tagged: 2016

Dan Walmsley and Jai Redman, Jai Redman In the Studio (b), 2016

Artist: Dan Walmsley and Jai Redman (1971 -)

Title: Jai Redman In the Studio (b)

Year: 2016

Medium: Photograph

Dimensions: Digital Photograph

Accession Number: US2016-16b

Acquisition info:

Photo documentation of creative process behind Engel’s Beard.

Dan Walmsley and Jai Redman, Jai Redman In the Studio (a), 2016

Artist: Dan Walmsley and Jai Redman (1971 -)

Title: Jai Redman In the Studio (a)

Year: 2016

Medium: Photograph

Dimensions: Digital Photograph

Accession Number: US2016-16a

Acquisition info: Photo documentation of creative process behind Engel’s Beard

Jai Redman, Engels’ Beard, 2016

Artist: Jai Redman

Title: Engels’ Beard

Year: 2016

Medium: Fibreglass

Dimensions: Approx. 5m x 4.5m. Weight approx. 2.5 tonnes

Accession Number: US2016-17a

Acquisition info:

Engels’ Beard is a sculpture and also a unique bouldering wall at the heart of the University of Salford’s Peel Park campus. The artwork was unveiled on 22 September 2016 and was commissioned by the University through the art policy relating to the New Adelphi building, the new home for the School of Arts and Media.

The Engels’ Beard project was several years in the making and began in 2014 when the University commissioned Salford based arts production company Engine (Jai Redman and Ian Brownbill) to make the sculpture as part of the public realm work surrounding the New Adelphi building. The idea had existed for much longer – Jai and Ian had come up with the idea with their former business partner Simon Chislett, after reading Manchester, England by former Haçienda DJ, Dave Haslam. Haslam referred to a failed plan in the mid 1980’s to relocate a statue of Friedrich Engels from an unspecified former Eastern bloc country to Manchester City Centre.

Engels had written The Condition of The Working Class in England after observing the conditions of people living in slums in Salford and Manchester in 1845. It is also rumoured that he drank in the Crescent Pub, Salford, with Karl Marx, with whom he later wrote The Communist Manifesto.

Jai and Ian formed Engine in 2014 in order to deliver more ambitious public art projects made ‘with people, rather than at people’. Finally they have been able to realise their ambition to celebrate the work of Friedrich Engels. They have focussed on his signature beard as a symbol of wisdom and learning, while the climbing aspect came from the desire to make the sculpture an interactive artwork.

Jackie Kay, Chancellor and Writer in Residence at the University of Salford, and Scottish Makar wrote the poem Thinker in response to the sculpture – the last lines are incorporated into the landscaping surrounding the sculpture.

Jackie Kay, Thinker, 2016

The ground beneath our feet
may give way at any minute

so we climb to try and find
you, who holds the small key

to the brain in winter or spring,
the way reality holds imagining,

a struggle for a shorter day
when the nights come in

shifts, dusk to dawn
dawn to dusk, stars stitched –

workers are not machines
students are not shoppers

we stand on your shoulders
on your acts of kindness

and you pass down this puzzle
that cannot be solved, ever:

the three great levers
heave the world out of joint

Article from Westdeutsche Zeitung featuring Engels’ Beard.

Yang Yongliang, Mountains of Crowds, 2016

Artist: Yang Yongliang

Title: Mountains of Crowds

Year: 2016

Medium: HD Video

Dimensions: 7m 58s running time

Accession Number: US2018-06

Acquisition info:

Yang Yongliang was trained as a pupil to traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy since early childhood, he later graduated from China Academy of Art in Shanghai in 2003, majoring in Visual Communication. Yang Yongliang exploits a connection between traditional art and the contemporary, implementing ancient oriental aesthetics and literati beliefs with modern language and digital techniques.

Mountains of Crowds is a HD video made in 2016. Yang Yongliang uses images of architecture as brushstrokes; heavy mountain rocks with enriched details draw a faithful reference to Song Dynasty landscape painting. Urban development makes life in the city flourish, but it also imprisons these lives; centuries-old cultural tradition in China is profound, but it has also remained stagnant. Ancient Chinese people painted landscapes to praise the greatness of nature; Yang’s works, on the other hand, lead towards a critical re-thinking of contemporary reality.

In Mountains of Crowds, Yang features a large crowd of people in a busy city centre. As it occurs in urban life everyday, the crowd is seen as a part of the landscape. They move faster and faster, people submerge in each other until they gradually become blurry, and even invisible. However, despite the change in the crowd, the mountains stay still.

Mountains of Crowds exhibited as part of group show Digital Matters: The Earth Behind the Screen at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, Manchester (November 2017 – February 2018). In November 2018, the work will exhibit in Acquired: a century of collecting at Salford Museum and Art Gallery.

Yang Yongliang’s work has been exhibited internationally at museums and biennials, such as Thessaloniki Biennale in Greece (2009); Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing (2012); National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne (2012); Moscow Biennale (2013); Metropolitan Museum of Art New York (2013); Daegu Photo Biennale in Korea (2014); Singapore ArtScience Museum (2014); Modern Art Museum Paris (2015); Kunst und Kultur in Neuried e.V (2015); Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (2015); Somerset House London (2016, 2013); Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney (2016, 2011). His work has also been collected by more than 20 public institutes including the British Museum; Brooklyn Museum; How Art Museum in Shanghai; the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; Museum of Fine Arts Boston; San Francisco Asian Art Museum and University of Salford Art Collection.

Artist’s website:

Mountains of Crowds was purchased with support form Art Fund and in partnership with CFCCA.

Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) logo

Lu Xinjian, City DNA/Salford and Manchester, 2015

Artist: Lu Xinjian

Title: City DNA/Salford and Manchester

Year: 2016

Medium: Acrylic on canvas

Dimensions: Approximately 140 x 200cm

Accession Number: US2015-20

Acquisition info:

Lu Xinjian’s art and design practice hovers between representation and abstraction, aiming to convey the historical evolution of cities and their structures. 

City DNA/Salford and Manchester presents a graphic view of the topography from the University of Salford campus to Manchester city centre, where the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) is located.  Working from aerial views from Google Earth, the painting began as a series of sketches, which were then made into a stencil using Adobe Illustrator. The final design of lines, curves, squares and circles was hand-painted. What is given in lieu of an accurate cartography is a sense of place – the vibe, rhythm or tempo of the area where Salford and Manchester meet. It was also made into a pink and blue wallpaper for CFCCA.  

City DNA/Salford and Manchester is part of a larger body of work, which includes views of Beijing, Amsterdam, Groningen, New York, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Paris. This work is unique in its presentation of two city spaces. 

This was an important moment for me, back several years ago when I was asked by the University to add a piece to their collection, and painting the CITY DNA/Salford and Manchester piece. Although I had begun to grow in recognition in Asia, this was one of the first times I had been asked by an institution in the UK to be part of their collection.
Lu Xinjian.

Recent exhibitions include: PRESENCE: A Window into Chinese Contemporary Art, St. George’s Hall, Liverpool (2018); Reflections, ART LABOR Gallery, Shanghai, China (2017); Lu Xinjian: City DNA + Reflections, Fabien Fryns Fine Art, Marbella, Spain (2017); Infinite Lines, de Sarthe Gallery, Beijing, China (2017); City DNA / Jiang Nan, Matthew Liu Fine Arts, Shanghai, China.  

Artist’s website:

City DNA/Salford and Manchester was co-commission with the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) to celebrate both our partnership as well as CFCCA’s 30th anniversary in 2016.

Brass Art, Shadow Worlds | Writers Rooms’ – Freud’s House, 2016

Artist: Brass Art

Title: Freud’s House: The Double, and Freud’s House: The Double Mirror.

Year: 2016

Medium: Digital video, Installation.

Dimensions: Variable.

Accession Number: US2015-18

Acquisition info:

Work commissioned and acquired by University of Salford’s Commission to Collect Programme.

Thomson & Craighead, The War on Terror, 2016

Artist: Thomson & Craighead

Title: The War on Terror

Year: 2016

Medium: Print, typewriter


Accession Number: US2016-09

Acquisition info: Purchased in 2016

aaajiao, Tennis for None, 2016

Artist: aaajiao

Title: Tennis for None

Year: 2016

Medium: Digital Video

Duration: 9 mins

Accession Number: US2017-01

Acquisition info:

Tennis for None was first exhibited at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) in 2016, as part of Remnants of an Electronic Past, aaajiao’s first solo show in the UK.

“Tennis for none” (2016) is an installation that turns the earliest video game into a video projection. The original ‘Tennis for Two’, created in 1958, used a vacuum tube analog computer, most of which were destroyed during the 1960s. The game was fairly simple: two players would each control a knob and attempt to bounce a ball (displayed as a dot) over a net. Aaajiao has reimagined both players as machines. An endless loop plays of a ball bouncing into infinity, a game that involves no one.

Shen Xin, Warm Spell, 2018

Artist: Shen Xin

Title: Warm Spell 

Year: 2018

Medium: Digital Video


Accession Number: US2019-05

Acquisition info: Joint acquisition with Middlesborough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA), supported by The Elephant Trust London, and completed during Shen Xin’s residency at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam.


Ryoichi Kurokawa, unfold.alt, 2016

Artist: Ryoichi Kurokawa

Title: unfold.alt

Year: 2016

Medium:4K video / stereo

Dimensions: Variable. 58m 44s running time

Accession Number: US2016-10

Acquisition info: unfold.alt is a single-screen version of unfold which was shown at FACT,  Liverpool in 2016. unfold was co-commissioned between FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), Stereolux and University of Salford Art Collection, with the support of C EA-IRFU – Paris Saclay (Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission / Institute of Research into the Fundamental Laws of the Universe), Arcadi and DICRéAM.