Amalia Ulman: Privilege

Artist: Amalia Ulman

2018.3.22 – 2018.5.19

KWM artcenter is pleased to present Amalia Ulman’s first solo exhibition in China entitled ‘Privilege’ from 22 March to 19 May 2018. The exhibition presents a site-specific labyrinthine installation in which 15 photographs and 3 video works are exhibited. The photographs are both from her first photographic series ‘Excellences and Perfections’ as well as her ongoing series ‘Privilege’. The aim of the exhibition is to introduce Ulman’s practice to a new audience exposing the contradictory roles of contemporary professional and private life as they play out amongst a monopoly of contemporary stereotypes.


Amalia Ulman plays with different contemporary identity roles of women on the social media platform – Instagram. She interacts with her audience. She presents the performance including the interactive behavior itself as the final art work in photographs and installations. In her series “Privilege”, an ongoing project from 2015, the artist performs as a white-collar worker and caricature of herself producing works that allude to a women’s professional life during pregnancy and how it sits within certain labor roles including the art world. The works especially emphasise a women’s experience during pregnancy as the physiological and psychological can often divide; how the women acts as a kind of modern day Avalokitesvara as she multitasks and how a freedom yet imprisonment sentiment is often felt.  Also showing are 3 video projections from the series, one starring Bob the Pigeon, a bird companion who has become her confidante after appearing in her office and interrupting her productivity.


In addition to the latest series, the exhibition also includes selected images from Amalia Ulman’s ‘Excellences and Perfections’ project, created in 2014. In this series, Ulman used popular hashtags from micro-celebrities on the popular social network, and took on the roles of ‘cute girl’, ‘sugar baby’ and ‘life goddess’. The work underlines how the internet has given people an illusion of freedom of speech, while manipulating their imagination and recording their desires at the same time. Both projects, highlighted at KWM, explore the inherent contradiction and co-existence between the physiological identity and social/professional identity in contemporary female life.


On the one hand ‘Work’ can liberate women, but it can also transform the persona into a role that is then hard to break free from. As the awareness of urban professional life and female identity have become unavoidable in the Chinese work place, Ulman’s art, directly and uniquely, provides a fantasy out of real elements, stimulating each viewer to reflect upon and feel the dramatic dilemmas of everyday life.



About the Exhibition

“Amalia Ulman: Privilege” sponsored by Hong Kong Grand Prosperity Culture & Art Fund, the Queue and world financial centre·beijing. The exhibition is special supported by AD, artnet, Beijing Youth Weekly, CAIXIN Culture, Culture Potato, L’OFFICIEL HOMMES, NF People, Noblesse, OCULA, VICE China, XER, YITIAO(Arranged in alphabetical order).

About the Artist

Amalia Ulman (b. 1989) is an artist with an office in downtown L.A. Born in Argentina but raised in Spain, she studied Fine Arts at Central Saint Martins in London. Her works, which are primarily voiced in the first person, blur the distinction between the artist and object of study, often creating humorous, gentle deceptions, while exploring class imitation and the relationship between consumerism and identity. In addition to video, sculpture and installation work, her multidisciplinary practice has involved the use of social media, magazine photoshoots, interviews, self-promotion and brand endorsements as tools for the fabrication of fictional narratives. Ulman’s performance Excellences & Perfections was archived by Rhizome and the New Museum (New York) and exhibited at the Tate Modern and Whitechapel Gallery (London). Her most recent works are the video essay Annals of Private History (Frieze Live, 2015), and Privilege (online performance, 2016) and its subsequent solo shows: Labour Dance at Arcadia Missa (London), Reputation at New Galerie (Paris), Dignity at James Fuentes (New York), Intolerance at BARRO (Buenos Aires), Monday Cartoons at Deborah Schamoni (Munich), Atchoum! at Galerie Sympa (Figeac) and NEW WORLD 1717 at Rockbund Art Museum (Shanghai).

Installation Views

Exhibition Works


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