Retainers of Anarchy at OCAT Xi'an / by Howie Tsui

Howie Tsui: "Retainers of Anarchy"
Exhibition Dates: November 3, 2018 to February 3, 2019

OCAT Xi'an is thrilled, in this our anniversary year, to join in partnership with the Vancouver Art Gallery, which commissioned artist Howie Tsui to created the work Retainers of Anarchy in 2017.

Retainers of Anarchy is a scroll-like film organised around a large format video projection 17 meters in length that references the life of heroes and the communities they protect during the Song Dynasty (960–1279AD). It draws for inspiration and motifs upon the wuxia genre of martial arts fiction and fantasy. As an animation, Retainers is the result of hundreds of individual drawings, special here is that the video there is neither beginning nor end in the conventional sense, only the computer program randomly zooms in and out of the various animated scenes creating a new experience each time the work is viewed.

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"Howie Tsui: Retainers of Anarchy" is a highlight programme for the OCAT Xi'an fifth anniversary year. The project could not have been possible without the support and assistance of the team at the Vancouver Art Gallery including Gallery Director Kathleen Bartels, Associate Curator of Asian Art Diana Freundl, Head of AV Wade Thomas, and Curatorial Assistant of Touring Exhibitions Justina Bohach.

Thanks go to the artist Howie Tsui, his collaborator Remy Siu, and animators Roxanne Zagar, Kodai Yanagawa, Amelia Earhart, Kerel Alaas, and Sitji Chou. We are also grateful to Martin Kemble and the team at Art Labor, Shanghai, for bringing the work of Howie to our attention and for their support of this project.

OCAT Xi'an also received support from the Canada Council for the Arts; the Canadian Embassy, Bejing, and we offer special thanks to Martin Laflamme, Nancy Xie and Liu Zengyue.