Deng Tai: Shadow

June 19–August 28, 2016

Deng Tai: Shadow is the first U.S. solo exhibition of the work of late Chinese artist Deng Tai (1987-2012). While living in Beijing, Deng casually enlisted friends to shoot several series of haunting photographs in which he performed for the camera in public spaces around the city. Seen as a collection, these ecstatic and melancholic images suggest the intensity of Deng’s struggle to negotiate a subversively exuberant identity in China’s changing, yet traditional, society. Taken at night on the empty sidewalks and sprawling asphalt flats of Beijing's tree-lined boulevards, Deng Tai's Shadow series documents the artist as he performs, nearly naked, with a shroud of blood-red fabric flowing around him. Deng is at once visible and illegible, bare and costumed, a fugitive body enacting a private theater in which he is both performer and audience.


Deng Tai: Shadow was originally organized by Telescope, Beijing. This presentation is curated by James Elaine, Founder, Telescope; with Klaus Biesenbach, Director, MoMA PS1 and Chief Curator-at-Large, The Museum of Modern Art.