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Installation view of SHEN XIN’s Provocation of the Nightingale #1, 2017, digital video with color and sound: 22 min, at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, 2017. Photo by John McKenzie. Copyright Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art. Courtesy the artist.

Alternative Neo-Spiritualities

Shen Xin, Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, Mountain River Jump, Zadie Xa and Waqas Khan

Shen Xin’s video works—which focus on the ways spirituality and everyday life intermingle in a world complicated by power, science and love—convey a perpetual instability. In this turbulent environment, which mirrors our contemporary age, the artist posits that there is a need for constant reassessment of presented narratives. Through multichannel installations, split screens and the interweaving of abundant voices and images, Shen demonstrates the endless push and pull of disparate forces that affect our daily existence, and the fluidity with which these seemingly fixed and antithetical impulses interact with and transform one another. Achieving spiritual balance can be an alluring alternative to worldly conflicts, but in Shen’s work, faith is also depicted as a torturous journey paved with uncertainty. 

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