Following the group exhibition project Summer Discovery in 2014, A Thousand Plateaus Art Space will present the annual group exhibition Winter Discovery by the turn of year 2015 to 2016, including paintings, videos, photographs and installations from ten active contemporary artists: Cai Dongdong, Chen Xiaoyi, He Xun, Ji Lei, Li Lang, Qiu Anxiong, Tao Hui, Yuan Keru, Wang Jun and Zhang Xiao. Without the restriction of theme and content, Winter Discovery presents in parallel recent creations and reflection of artists and brings segmented presentation of today’s Chinese contemporary artistic creation.
Cai Dongdong was born in Tianshui of Gansu Province in 1978, and currently lives and works in Beijing. The original images of Cai Dongdong’s photographs installations were sourced from his photos taken in these years. He operated on them, like a surgeon. He applied various methods according to different pictures: engraving, rubbing, curling, or making a photography installation with other objects. He tried all he can to save these pictures by giving them new meanings. This creation blurs the boundary between a photo’s touch experience and cognitive experience. The photo’s dimension was extended. You may mistake the picture for a painting. (compilatory extract from artist statement of Cai Dongdong).
Chen Xiaoyi was born in Sichuan Province in 1992 and currently lives and works in Chengdu and London. Her practice is tied to a natural, oriental aesthetic, influenced by Western abstract art and oriental philosophy. Photography is a personal tool for Chen, used to question broad concepts that migrate from the personal to the philosophical realm. Her recent work focuses on the combination of photography and printmaking, a combination of techniques used to explore beneath the surface of things by simplifying and abstracting; an approach aimed at reviving spiritual awareness and intuition before entering the symbolic nature of what we view.
He Xun was born in Jiangxi Province in 1984 and currently lives and works in Beijing. His painting creation follows his interest in speculative philosophy, ambiguity and poetry. Therefore he projects his thoughts and perspectives on 'objects'. More precisely, he looks for information of objects in sorcery and science, for example 'source' (original intention of creator), 'function' (whether known or unknown), 'symbol' (distance with the the thing itself) etc. Interestingly he avoids presenting the essence of objects. He regards the essence as source of actuation of all objects. He is fascinated even by the objects covered by veil and the objects with cold aspect. (compilatory extract from artist statement of He Xun)
Ji Lei was born in Chengdu in 1972 and now lives and works in Chengdu. About the playground themed series of Ji Lei, Wu Wei, the critic says 'When brilliance meets nothingness, there’s a dissociated free sense inspired in the artist’s work. The essence of movements, 'back and forth constantly repeated', is just exactly what Hans-Georg Gadamer required for the games. Speaking of games, Gadamer had revealed some phenomena, such as light wavering, the movement of rolling waves, gear or machinery parts, mutual limb movement, the movement of forces, the movement of insects and even words. 'It is in this sense, the game is a way of being, the game is a work of art itself existence–which absolutely no grasp of the subject is engaged in the game.' As for Ji Lei, besides to express the theme of playground, game also reflected the lure of colour, or a process and a scene of colour changing diversely'. (Wu Wei
Qiu Anxiong was born in Chengdu in 1972, currently lives and works in Shanghai. Cake is an experimental short animation film with hand-drawn and clay animation. Cake as a carrier, depicting the head, vines, gauze ...... etc. grow out from the cake constantly devour each other, entangled. Wrestlers skillful body fighting, the sound part of the work does not seem to come from the image itself, but more like a another physical interference from more expansive space, resulting in a suspension of some sense of weightlessness. Cake metaphor associated with wealth, interest, desire. The people and things grow out of the cake with endless devouring each other and fighting is the absurd and true metaphor of relations of humanity on the basis of the interests.Tao Hui was born in Chongqing in 1987 and currently lives and works in Beijing. The video artworks of Tao Hui make art start to tell stories again. The narrative structures of films, TV shows and theatres incite him to create new ways of transmission of information and emotion. By the simple visual artistic form and a parallel way, Tao Hui’s works reflect the predicament and absurdity of society. In artwork The dusk of Teheran, a full-dressed Iranian girl says actor's lines from a Hong Kong singer. This artwork reflects the hard experience of all women who live in depressive society. The touching part of Tao Hui’s works is his interpretation of establishment of social structure and individual situation in the society by lyric and emotional way. By creating the interaction between different characters, he also presents particular culture and complexity of second and third-tier cities of China. We are full of hope for his future because of his particular literary imagination, narrative characteristics and visual expressivity.
Yuan Keru was born in Hangzhou in 1990 and now lives and works in Shanghai. In her three-screen video installation A Salted Encounter, Yuan Keru presents by black and white films her personal feelings to Ancient Tea Horse Road, an area full of histories and pathos, where the hardship and romance exist in the same time. In eyes of Yuan Keru, the colourful border area of Yunnan becomes a monotonous tone with anxious mood and lost illusion (text by Li Feng). In this film, the scene with illusion and strong contrast is applied to demonstrate the spooky stories happening to three young people who are walking in Yunlong County, Yunnan Province. It is about mutated bodies in the course, bewildering love, expected murder and terrified mood. Along the way, the sceneries seem to be spiritual clouds rather than the only sceneries. History becomes part of the travelers rather than the only local history, Passing on in their veins. Never try to control over it as there are too many unexpected and new experience. Just throw those complex and constraining trifles away. Go ahead with all your simplicity and wilderness. Eventually, empty handed, come back with rewarding experience.
Wang Jun was born in Chongqing in 1974 and now lives and works in Chongqing. His recent paintings created have a close relationship with the concept of 'cover'.
'Essence of covering is to make successfully false appearances in order to create illusion. This operation is delusive in itself. But this kind of delusion would be closer to the reality created by paintings. In fact, I often remind myself do not indulge in the creator of paintings. Paint a picture is more like a thief who makes a scene of crime in a room. Before the police arrives, he must mess up the site, erase the traces or make some false appearances then close the door and go away. This is the concept of 'cover' that I mean. Face to a painting, the audiences see the trace of painting brush. What the artist needs to do is creating apertures and imagination space for public. Artist tries to establish an equal and discussible view. In fact, it is the real respect for the public.'–Wang Jun
His artworks often start from a landscape photo taken casually. He paints the landscape by a non abstract way and then cover the image with paints to make the image at the point of transition between abstract and non abstract in order to catch the flash feelings. Therefore he doesn’t regard his paintings as abstract.
Zhang Xiao was born in Yantai in 1981, currently lives and works in Chengdu. Artwork exhibited is photograph installation Video Hall. Video hall was a frequently visited place when I was young. Hosting different people though, it still has the temptation irresistible to a young country boy, where shootout films and x-rated films usually dominated the lines. I extracted some frames and sound particular at that time from video cassettes, re-labelled the cassettes with instant films, equipped each cassette with acoustic source, recorded the sound clips separately and played them at the same time. This photograph installation (unique edition) is part of artist’s series 'About My Hometown'.
Press release courtesy A Thousand Plateaus Art Space.