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If Trouble Was Money 假如烦恼是钱

Curated by Alexandra Grimmer

Pfeuferstraße 38, 81373 Munich

May 25 - July 2, 2023 | Wed - Thur 3 - 7pm

Birdhead 鸟头 | Cai Dongdong 蔡东东 | Cao Shu 曹澍 | Chen Xingye 陈兴业 | Cui Guotai 崔国泰 | Dong Wensheng 董文胜 | Tomas Eller | Olga Georgieva | Elke Graalfs | Hubertus Hamm | Huang Min  黄敏 | Gudrun Kampl | Larissa Leverenz | Lv Hsiaokai 吕晓凯 | Ma Jia 马佳 | Georgij Melnikov | Nikola Milojcevic | Mosaic Cat | Nie Shiwei 聂世伟 | Bartosz Sikorski | Kelvin Kyung Kun Park | Red Huemer | Bianca Regl | Gert Resinger | Shi Jiongwen 史泂文 | Sun Xun 孙逊 | Wang Lei 王垒 | Yang Gang 杨罡 | Zhang Wenrong 张文荣 | Zhang Wuyun 张武运 | Zong Ning 宗宁

9 female artists and 22 male artists.

If Trouble Was Money is another exhibition by the 1976-born curator that explores the question of the now. To what extent have the last few years influenced or changed us and how is this actual condition reflected in the works of international artists?

China and Europe have been dealing with very different issues recently. Their respective problems seem so present that the other continent seems to be pushed further away than ever. Despite a seemingly "normal" life, each has to cope with new situations.


What are the themes of the artists in this exhibition, most of whom were born in the 1980s and 1990s? What synergies and opposites exist in the West as well as in the East? What are the things we cannot escape despite headlines and fake news?


The exhibition is divided into five headings of contemplative, or private to intimate attributes associated with life.

Sensuality as well as passion versus control manifest themselves in the works of Gudrun Kampl, Bianca Regl, Olga Georgieva, Mosaic Cat and Huang Min.


Ten (with the exception of Hubertus Hamm) Chinese artists revolve around a form of contemplation and observation in their work: Sun Xun, Ma Jia, Dong Wensheng, Cao Shu, Shi Jiongwen, Wang Lei and Cui Guotai.

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If trouble was money, I'd swear I'd be a millionaire

If trouble was money, babe, I'd swear I'd be a millionaire

If worries was dollar bills

I'd buy the whole world and have money to spare

(Songtext von Gary Clark Jr.)

In their depiction, Birdhead always start from the notion of a world seen solely through one's own eyes.

In Hubertus Hamm's case, it is the observation of a process that brings the respective thematised object into a new state.

In Yang Gang's work, the concept of a language universally employed by their identity plays an important role.


Cai Dongdong, Zhang Wuyun and Bartosz Sikorski have constructed their pictures from the side of an external observation. A certain voyeurism can be detected in all three of their depictions, which the three artists playfully deal with.

Kelvin Kyun Kun Park, who regularly observed a tiger in the zoo over the period of pandemic, manages to create an unusually trusting relationship and thus a form of intimate representation of the wild cat.


"Boldness", offence but also bankruptcy and "Cheap Thrills" find their consideration in the fourth chapter.  In his Expendic series of works, Tomas Eller undertakes an attack with various firearms on the source material of his works, thereby deforming them. In the case of Georgij Melnikov, Nikola Milojcevic, Red Huemer and Gert Resinger, the mastery of the material is less important than the statement they convey to the viewer.


Finally, an attempt is made to mirror the chaos and longing brought up by Blixa Bargeld's song lyrics into 2023: Can longing still come from chaos?

To what extent is chaos still possible in our regimented world and can the "only energy" still emerge from it?

Chen Xingye defines his concept of beauty and longing through a skull from an undefined, overgrown background. Larissa Leverenz lets two mysterious grey eggs linger in her painting, Lv Hsiaokai has taken the theme of a lawsuit for his pictorial content "Mr. Taylor, Even if I accept your sweetness", Nie Shiwei works off Western art history and Elke Graalfs counters difficult themes with her usual sovereignty.


Following the True Porcelain exhibition in Summer and Autumn 2022, works from Blue Mountain Contemporary Art (BMCA) are again included in this compilation. Founded in 2013 by Ofer Levin, the collection and project platform embodies a rich source of Chinese contemporary art in Europe and simultaneously promotes as well as facilitates exhibition projects and publications in a patronage.


"If Trouble Was Money" addresses the re-emergence of communication and focuses on common themes that concern us both in the West and in the East.

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