On March 18th, 2017, A Thousand Plateaus Art Space is pleased to announce its annual experimental group exhibition, Spring Discovery 2017. The show is a survey of the latest artistic creation of 12 artists, who were born between 1950s to 1980s, working with different mediums such as painting, video, photograph, installation, etc. By collecting individual cases, it presents lavish artistic contemplations and progresses. They are Guo Gong, Han Mengyun, Li Yifan, Wang Chuan, Wang Jun, Wen Hao, Xie Fan, Xiao Wenjie, Yu Guo, Zang Kunkun, Zhang Ruyi, and Zou Sijin.
Wang Chuan, Wang Jun, Xie Fan, Xiao Wenjie, Yu Guo, and Zou Sijin maintain painting as their primary creation method. As one of the pioneers of Chinese contemporary abstract painting, Wang Chuan's works have a close connection with his life experiences and feature self-healing. In the past two years, his works have began to demonstrate the meditative aspect of the language of oil painting. In Wang Jun's works, as he described, he keeps on chasing the essence of visual language, by finding the intersection between spirits and forms though the texture of a work of art. Xie Fan’s well-known works are full of classic Chinese complexities. Starting from there, he is now exploring space in the painting, as well as the relation between canvas and space. Xiao Wenjie tries to employ a technique inspired by classical painting, to capture the most elusive subject - shadow on canvas, whose form rests between the 'visible' and the 'invisible', as a reflection of vision itself. The paintings of Yu Guo are built upon scenes or stories, combining his contemplations on our living environment. Instead of narrating a story, the artist chooses to express himself through color and forms, which creates an atmospheric tension in the work. Like narrative poetry, Zou Sijin’s works evolve from scenic narration to the construction of visual fragments and later to a frictional vision of destructed scenes. Predictably, these artists continue to explore the visual language of painting, combining perceptions of their historical background, experiences of personal lives, and their active or passive relationships with canvas.
Both Han Mengyun and Zang Kunkun try to break the boundaries between painting and installation and to extend the painting itself beyond its material properties. Han uses classical ink painting as a basic element in her work, enlarging the brushstrokes with digital tools and printed them on canvas, thus forming a new material relationship between the ink traces and the canvas. Zang Kunkun tries to dissolve the flatness of painting by using different materials to replace the function of the pigment, so that the painting itself becomes a combination of various materials. Different still, like Guo Gong, Wen Hao's and Zhang Ruyi's installations emphasise on the perception of materials, and perceive different materials as the starting points to analyze the connection between inner worlds and outsides. Guo Gong combines the methodology of Chinese classical philosophy with his own creative practice. His works use the simpleness of glass mirror to highlight the connection and conflict between matter and perception. Wen Hao creates his works with plaster and natural objects during live performance. The logic of his work remains in the reconstruction of nature plants and their union with minimal walls. By doing this, he investigates the heterogeneity between substances. In contrast, Zhang Ruyi's works discuss the relationships between the light and the heavy, the practical and the non-practical through a concise form. She also sees perceptual congnition like self-gaze and her waved mind while standing in front of the material properties as the core of creation.
Li Yifan, one of the most significant Chinese documentary directors, has accumulated an archive of Chinese social realities based on his working experiences. He extracts the past into time pieces, by making the pictorial documents into collages and executing the reconstruction and heterogenization of them. “Spring Discovery 2017” has invited Li’s two videos and LED works to connect and map the trace of this exhibition in order to provide a thought-provoking exhibit for viewers.
Press release courtesy A Thousand Plateaus Art Space.