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Installation view of "Village Porn," PHD Group, Hong Kong, 2022. Photo by Zed Leets.

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VIRTUE VILLAGE: VILLAGE PORN
April 16 - June 24, 2022
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Installation view of "Village Porn," PHD Group, Hong Kong, 2022. Photo by Zed Leets.

Larger than a hamlet, smaller than a town: the traditional village comes to mind as a cluster of physical spaces, agrarian and neighborly. Horses and oxen live nearby, chewing on local grasses; figures mingle freely in small courtyards and gardens; within hermetic houses, couples grow into families, families into clans.

works

Virtue Village
Talisman for Recreational Arson™
2022
Fiberglass, stainless steel chain and buckle, oil on canvas, dirt
100 x 50 x 10cm

works

Installation view of "Village Porn," PHD Group, Hong Kong, 2022. Photo by Zed Leets.

works

Installation view and details of RUSH (2022) at "Village Porn," PHD Group, Hong Kong, 2022. Photos by Zed Leets.

works

Virtue Village
Amyl Liminality
2022
Plastic automobile fender, plastic pipe, iron duct flange (rusted with alkyl nitrites), lace, epoxy putty
183 x 80 x 70 cm

works

Virtue Village
Fistful of Faith
2022
Acrylic on canvas
120 x 90 cm
Photo by Zed Leets

works

Virtue Village
Fistful of Faith (Hard)
2022
Laser-cut iron (rusted with alkyl nitrites), latex
157 x 102 cm
Photos by Zed Leets.

works

Virtue Village
Machinal Dysphoria
2022
Motorcycle parts, natural fiber rope
Dimensions variable; motorcycle component: 80 x 60 x 53 cm
Performance

works

Virtue Village
Spirit Edging
2022
Iron swing parts, stainless steel chain, stainless steel and leather choker, 3D printed polylactic acid
229 x 155 x 94 cm
Photos by Zed Leets.

works

Installation view at "Village Porn," PHD Group, Hong Kong, 2022.

Installation and detail video of Fluid-bonding Pond (2022) at PHD Group, Hong Kong, 2022.

Two bubbling ponds, watched over by skull heads, recall the spatial harmonies of traditional feng shui and scholar gardens. The sculptures also recall queer history: in the pre-Internet era, the Cantonese slang for “ponds” were sites of hookups for gay men in Hong Kong. Fashioned out of found rubber airplane tubes, technically a waste material from urban environments, the work reveals the regenerative practices of queer communities, who have always cultivated spaces for themselves.

works
works

Three images of, Sex Stains: Genie in a Popper Bottle, Sex Stains: Riding On My Imaginary Motorcycle, Sex Stains: My Rainy Thoughts. All 2022, pastel and colored pencil on burned quilted polyurethane, 41 x 38 cm.


works

Virtue Village
Panic Movement
2022
Polymer neck collar part, aluminum alloy, motorcycle fender, stainless steel chain, faux fur, synthetic fiber wig, sand, crystal, epoxy putty, plastic doll
56 x 27 x 35 cm

works

Virtue Village
Village Porn
2022
Single-channel video, audio
3 min 32 sec
Photos by Zed Leets

For further information and media inquiries, please contact info@phdgroup.art. For sales inquiries, please contact Willem Molesworth (willem@phdgroup.art) or Ysabelle Cheung (ysabelle@phdgroup.art).

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Virtue Village
Talisman for Recreational Arson™
2022
Fiberglass, stainless steel chain and buckle, oil on canvas, dirt
100 x 50 x 10cm

Yet how can this concept of “village” be updated for the conditions of contemporary, globalized communities? Clashes between the individual and the collective deconstruct notions of the communal as homogenous society. The replacement of rural animalia with machinery and cyborgian identities lends itself to new horizons of transhuman existence. The ancient ritual is commodified as charm and trinket, and yet there is still magic in the act of gathering, of transformation. In our post-internet, post-human world, what does it mean to build, live in, and reproduce as a village?

These themes foreground the first major solo exhibition of Virtue Village, in which the gallery is transformed into a neighborly estate of queerness, referencing the long histories of gay villages as sites of anti-capitalism, counterculture, and safe spaces away from violence and death. Instead, fornication becomes a metaphor for generative and artistic possibilities, and loosely demarcated areas—the village town hall, the village scholar garden, the village ritual grounds—invites participation by those who choose to engage.

image-ca4d248faa52832bc592e874911ae55a3095063b-5847x7309-jpg

Installation view of "Village Porn," PHD Group, Hong Kong, 2022. Photo by Zed Leets.

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Installation view and details of RUSH (2022) at "Village Porn," PHD Group, Hong Kong, 2022. Photos by Zed Leets.

Entrance to the village is through a new tableau vivant, RUSH (2022)—named after the recreational popper used in gay sex acts—where figures are seen pleasuring themselves against a scenery of religious iconography and pastoral tropes. Subverting the monocultural narratives seen in the works of old masters such as Hieronymus Bosch, RUSH merges the saintly, the taboo and the pagan, giving agency and visibility to pleasure as an erotic right.

Trans-humanism, as in the queer traditions of Donna Haraway and Shu Lea Cheang, narrates the sculptural assemblages found through the show. In Amyl Liminality, the equilibrium of gendered materials and shapes such as ruffled lace, car fenders, orifices and pipes, evokes gender fluidity and the queering of bodies. 

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Virtue Village
Amyl Liminality
2022
Plastic automobile fender, plastic pipe, iron duct flange (rusted with alkyl nitrites), lace, epoxy putty
183 x 80 x 70 cm

image-31588cbba70fe2c9aba1d2713bbc584865760bc3-2000x2500-jpg

Virtue Village
Fistful of Faith
2022
Acrylic on canvas
120 x 90 cm
Photo by Zed Leets

Paintings of mythological, dreamlike sequences of transhuman desire and sex populate the space as visions for a more inclusive love.

Gently rusted sculptures, treated with the same chemicals found in poppers, ritualize the transformative nature of the recreational drug, as seen in works like Fistful of Faith (Hard).

The sculpture references an erotic dream that Cas Wong, one half of Virtue Village, had about a scorpion. Rendered in cold, sharp metal and yielding latex, the work is an exercise in contrast, complicating our notions of the fetishized, metallic cyborg and of our dreams. It also traces time through the gentle rust that appears on the surface as the piece ages.

image-0f7bb5c62317a5231392f323d9f0751de478a2b3-960x1200-gif

Virtue Village
Fistful of Faith (Hard)
2022
Laser-cut iron (rusted with alkyl nitrites), latex
157 x 102 cm
Photos by Zed Leets.

image-de90cb5f1576d387471676a9ed005bac128365b6-960x1200-gif

Virtue Village
Machinal Dysphoria
2022
Motorcycle parts, natural fiber rope
Dimensions variable; motorcycle component: 80 x 60 x 53 cm
Performance

In the center of the space, a half-motorcycle balances precariously between rope and the ground. Yet the mechanics of balance and adaptation are present here. Virtue Village, along with a queer Shibari artist, have created a sculpture that is also a shifting performance: when tied up, the object twists and falls according to the constrictions, reacting much like a human body would. What differences then are there, the artist asks, between us and machines?

Machinal Dysphoria is also a central element of an immersive, inclusive-bodied performance by Virtue Village that serves as a finale for their first solo exhibition.

In the “garden,” a love swing, ornately decorated, reveals the mouth and anus of a tardigrade—a microscopic, almost indestructible animal—as an uncanny manifestation of Paul B Preciado’s radical “flesh ribbon” in the essay “Anal Terror,” opening up the orifical passage and rejecting the heteronormative impulse to “redraw the body, designing outsides and insides, marking zones of privilege and abject zones.”

image-2d193f8a48a4b293bce052e9963e81e1ca36a11b-960x1200-gif

Virtue Village
Spirit Edging
2022
Iron swing parts, stainless steel chain, stainless steel and leather choker, 3D printed polylactic acid
229 x 155 x 94 cm
Photos by Zed Leets.

image-7307e75988fd53cfe4b80edf6078132fab558ac3-3011x2206-jpg

Installation view at "Village Porn," PHD Group, Hong Kong, 2022.

Installation and detail video of Fluid-bonding Pond (2022) at PHD Group, Hong Kong, 2022.

Two bubbling ponds, watched over by skull heads, recall the spatial harmonies of traditional feng shui and scholar gardens. The sculptures also recall queer history: in the pre-Internet era, the Cantonese slang for “ponds” were sites of hookups for gay men in Hong Kong. Fashioned out of found rubber airplane tubes, technically a waste material from urban environments, the work reveals the regenerative practices of queer communities, who have always cultivated spaces for themselves.

image-d8ec94cbb59bf6d9f8965bce2a27898845ce9737-2000x2500-jpg

Virtue Village
Village Intruders
2022
Acrylic on canvas, plastic locket, magnet
80 x 60 cm
Photo by Zed Leets.

In a narrow corridor that functions as an alleyway, alternative queer narratives are fulfilled through a series of three drawings on burned, quilted polyurethane, wherein a figure is born from a bottle of Rush and embarks on a dreamlike adventure.

image-4f41f6443af54c97ce1be5fc1ef55f1ec81f2748-1200x1200-gif

Three images of, Sex Stains: Genie in a Popper Bottle, Sex Stains: Riding On My Imaginary Motorcycle, Sex Stains: My Rainy Thoughts. All 2022, pastel and colored pencil on burned quilted polyurethane, 41 x 38 cm.


image-d9788af7ecda35bc22d266174e426e3b70e29fb5-2000x2500-jpg

Virtue Village
Panic Movement
2022
Polymer neck collar part, aluminum alloy, motorcycle fender, stainless steel chain, faux fur, synthetic fiber wig, sand, crystal, epoxy putty, plastic doll
56 x 27 x 35 cm

Titled after a 1960s post-surrealist theater troupe which included Alejandro Jodorowsky among its members, Panic Movement is a contemporary object of fetish, collaging art historical references with that of queer kink. Faux fur and hair taken from a Han Chinese wig evokes the clash of Western Surrealist aesthetic with traditional Asian costume, while a small genderless doll rests in a bath of black sand and crystals, signalling the desire to be reborn.

Elsewhere, voices call from a video that compiles footage of performance artist and Virtue Village collaborator Yeung Siu Fong balancing on a motorcycle, and sites of spiritual pilgrimage.

image-889eec2363eb28f8d51f261d0a7237aba5e7b87e-960x1200-gif

Virtue Village
Village Porn
2022
Single-channel video, audio
3 min 32 sec
Photos by Zed Leets

For further information and media inquiries, please contact info@phdgroup.art. For sales inquiries, please contact Willem Molesworth (willem@phdgroup.art) or Ysabelle Cheung (ysabelle@phdgroup.art).