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Yique’s Way – Mutuality In Extremes

2 August @ 18:00 - 15 August @ 18:00

Free – 10£
The University of New South Wales Judith Neilson Chair of Contemporary Art Paul Gladston, in collaboration with Ugly Duck, proudly presents “Yique’s Way – Mutuality in Extremes,” an innovative exhibition featuring the works of emerging artist Yique.
Last year, Yique and a collective of artists made a bold statement by completely whitewashing the Brick Lane graffiti wall and stenciling the twelve socialist core values of the Communist Party of China (CPC), creating the “art action” East London Socialist Core Values. This sparked intense debate across social media platforms and within the local community, to the point where people were cyberbullying him and writing anti-Chinese government slogans on the wall. Despite the Tower Hamlets council eventually covering the artwork, it garnered international attention and was featured in esteemed media outlets such as the BBC, The Guardian, ArtNet, CNN, and TimeOut. Renowned artist Ai WeiWei even praised it as “the most noteworthy work in London.”

Hailing from China, Yique is known for his provocative artistry, often infused with a sense of absurdity. A graduate of the Royal College of Art, his multidisciplinary approach explores various media and elements, delving into the complexities of human consciousness.

The exhibition “Yique’s Way – Mutuality in Extremes” includes seminal works such as Field Temporary Work Co., Take Break, Get Pay, Perhaps Love, and Apple. It traces the evolution of Yique’s art leading up to the controversial East London Socialist Core Values. His artistic interventions challenge societal norms and invite viewers to contemplate the human experience within social constructs and existential realms. The exhibition also features engaging events, including the debut of a documentary film, a captivating performance, and a panel discussion.

Events Details:

  • Exhibition Opening dates & hours:
    August 3rd – 15th
    Tuesday-Friday 12:00 – 18:00 / Saturday – Sunday 10:00 – 18:00
    Free Entry
  • Opening Night (Private View)
    August 2nd, 18:00 – 22:00
    Free – registration required
  • Documentary Viewing Party
    August 4th, 18:00 – 20:00
    Free – registration required“The Movement of the Opposite”
    This documentary shows the making of an ‘art action’ by the Chinese artist Yique, East London Socialist Core Values, which became a focus for intense international media interest in 2023. The video includes comments by the artist Ai Weiwei and UNSW Judith Neilson Professor of Contemporary Art Paul Gladston on the significance of the action.
  • Theatrical Performance
    August 9th, 18:00 – 20:00
    Ticketed: £8.00 Online // £10.00 on the door“Echoes of Shadows: The Toll of Trolls”
    Experience the gripping shadow performance, Echoes of Shadows: The Toll of Trolls, as it delves into the overwhelming and relentless world of online trolling. This evocative show explores the harrowing journey of Yique’s East London Socialist Core Values, where he faced a torrent of death threats and vile comments following its global exposure. Witness shadows bring to life the artist’s struggle against backlash, illustrating how social media can profoundly impact art by amplifying its reach, bringing both widespread acclaim and intense scrutiny.
  • Panel Discussion
    August 10th, 18:00 – 20:00
    Free – registration required
    The panel discussion features Paul Gladston, Dr. Katie Hill, Dr. Hongwei Bao, and Yique, exploring contemporary Chinese art and its social and cultural impacts, often challenging Western views on democracy and freedom. They will examine the role of artists in society and the intersection of art, politics, media, and public perception. The panel will also address reactions to Yique’s East London Socialist Core Values, discussing its political implications and media portrayals. Attendees will engage with experts who challenge conventions and expand our understanding of contemporary art.Yique is a Contemporary Chinese artist whose research spans classical Marxism, the Frankfurt School’s critique of society, and the social transformations under neoliberalism.Prof. Paul Gladston is the inaugural Judith Neilson Chair of Contemporary Art at the University of New South Wales, Sydney and a distinguished affiliate fellow of the UK-China Humanities Alliance, Tsinghua University, Beijing.Dr. Katie Hill is currently Academic Lead, Asia and Senior Lecturer at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London, where she founded and directed the MA in Modern and Contemporary Asian Art.

    Dr. Hongwei Bao is Associate Professor in Media Studies at the University of Nottingham, UK, where he co-directs the Centre for Critical Theory and Cultural Studies.


2 August @ 18:00
15 August @ 18:00
Free – 10£
Event Categories:


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Ugly Duck’s ground floors HUB and GARAGE are both fully accessible. The access route for wheelchair users is via the car park into the Garage. We have one fully accessible toilet. All toilets are gender neutral. There are benches and chairs accessible in the space to sit down. If you need us to help facilitate your visit to Ugly Duck please contact us at and we will do our best to help you to plan your visit. Ugly Duck is run by queer and queer “friendly” staff. All of us have basic training in inclusivity and accessibility.

Ugly Duck is a London based arts organisation that supports under-represented voices and emerging artists. 

Established in August 2012, their programme enables makers, community groups, professionals and the public to come together around unique cultural experiences and curated events.

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