In the afternoon of April 28, 2019, artist Liu Xinyi’s solo project Applause is Due opened at DRC No. 12. Liu refurbished this residential unit into an idle site for “Chinese Consulate Services”, located in a state-designed community for foreigners at the center of Beijing.
Coming off the elevator, this former residence is divided into the following order: a waiting area at the entrance of the residence, security check to its left, followed by Visa service, restroom and Oversea Chinese Consular service; while an information room/rest area is at the center, and to the right side are the office’s meeting room and en-suite restroom. The interior of these three main areas are replicated to the closest likeliness of any Chinese Overseas Visa Application Centers and Consular Services, and even the video projection on the wall is taken from the official documentation. It was a PowerPoint cover of a speech introducing the state of affairs in China, given by the former Chinese vice consular based at the Consulate-general of the PR China in Edinburgh to the local municipal government officials.
Liu Xinyi appropriates the limitations of the DRC No.12’s visiting policies and places the visitors as an effective component of the project in the normative state of a “China authority’s agency stationed abroad”, so they are given the opportunity to re-conceive their roles and that of the city with regards to locality and foreignness.
Liu Xinyi’s works have been focused on the intersection of individual realities and macro social and historical situation. In addition to clearing up the puzzles of his own experience and resetting the existing logic, his project-based practice also intends to open up opportunities to identify and recognize public affairs within the exhibiting framework of contemporary art.
In this project, Liu Xinyi places his observations and understandings of the space function and daily atmosphere of the China authority’s agencies stationed abroad into The Space of DRC No.12 at Jianguomenwai to present and record, to discuss in the new phase of China’s economic and social development to the context of international mentality and political ambition, as well as the cultural choices shared with today’s global political diversion.