In Just a Blink of an Eye, 2005 by Xu Zhen Courtesy Long March Space © the artist

Art: New Directions from China at the Hayward Gallery

We were hugely taken with this show, the first major exhibition to focus on contemporary installation and performance art from China. Forget star-tists such as Ai Weiwei and Zhang Huan, for this show includes names who might be big in their home country but whose relative anonymity here allows the work to shout for itself. And how it shouts. From the moment you enter, and are then accompanied by a person who shadows you silently for the rest of the show, to the sight and sound of hundreds of silkworms eating and spinning away, this is a show full of wonderful and thought-provoking surprises. In particular, don’t miss the funnily shaped ping-pong table, or either of our two favourites pieces: Yingmei Duan, who’ll you find in a dark room full of trees where she’ll sing hauntingly to you, and a figure (live) by Xu Zhen who looks as if they are falling through the air (see the picture above), . We couldn’t work out how the Xu Zhen piece was done as the figures lies there for hours, with no strings attached. Go see this brilliant show and please e-mail us the answer!

Art of Change: New Directions from China
Until 9 Dec 2012
Hayward Gallery, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XZ
— Francesca
12th September 2012