Beijing Commune is pleased to announce that Song Ta's solo exhibition "Song Ta's Drawings: 1999-2020" will open on July 30, 2020. Rebellion and recklessness run through Song Ta's artistic creation. Behind his seeming ridicule and deconstructionism are actually serious integrity and meticulous logic. The exhibition continues the artist's contemplation, research and reflection on the essence of drawing in recent years, and attempts to address the question of "why do people draw" through his practice.
Song Ta identifies himself as an "amateur painter", and his drawings are casual creations during his various "civilian positions". The series of works on paper on view range from his time as a student (1999-2011), a professional artist (2011-2017), an art museum curator (2018) and a fashion business owner (2019-2020). Here, he replaces the concept of "literati" in the literati painting tradition with "office man", a self-coined term that emphasizes on his social attributes of professional bureaucracy, business management and administration in the contemporary context.
Song Ta's practice on paper strives to remove the "Orientalism" embedded in the literati painting canon. He insists on not using brush, ink, rice paper and inkstone, and instead returns to the everyday and digital writing tools. Office supplies such as gel pens and markers that fit his writing experience eliminate the "lifting" and "pressing" strokes in traditional calligraphy and achieve the linear effect of printed letters. In calligraphy, poetry and drawing, Song Ta abandons all stereotypical compositons and symbolic elements. Working in a seemingly casual manner, he deliberately eschews any academic, "literary" and, "artistic" judgment as well as the marketability. He also opposes the idea of always seeking novelty and difference that is deeply-rooted in New Chinese Paintin. As a medium, drawing's self-disciplined and self-contained artistic language makes it its own final form.
The global corona virus crisis and the psychological aftermath in 2020 led the artist to ruminate on the conventional presentation of art. "Reading" is reintroduced into his creation as a kind of revitation of the genre. This exhibition sets up a "reading" experience from the presentation form, giving the traditional physical space a layer of "paper reading" look and feel. From his early calligraphy works, gel pens help to strengthen the font scale thinking and readability of the text, while also contributing to the simultaneity of viewing on paper and electronic screens. During the exhibition, three to five pieces of work will be revealed each week through the gallery's social media platforms, in which the context and ideas behind the works will be presented in a more comprehensive way. In the gallery space, the audience can also enjoy the original works revealed that day.
Song Ta (b. Guangdong, 1988) graduated from the Education Department of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 2010. He currently lives and works in Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Song Ta participated in the 8th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale, the 6th "Home Works: A Forum on Cultural Practices" (Ashkal Alwan, Beirut, Lebanon), and the 2018 New Museum Triennial. He also participated in group shows at Central Academy of Fine Arts Art Museum; Ullens Center for Contemporary Art; Times Art Museum, Guangdong; Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland; Marres Contemporary Art Center, Maastricht, Netherlands; Times Art Center, Berlin; Julia Stoschek Collection Foundation, Düsseldorf; Taikang Space, Beijing; Nassau Art Association, Wiesbaden, Germany; Gwangju Asian Cultural Center, South Korea; CASS Sculpture Foundation, UK; Paul Klee Art Museum, Switzerland; Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria; Para/Site, Hong Kong; Kunsthall Lund, Sweden; UAE The Art Foundation, Sharjah; Nanjing University of the Arts Art Museum and other institutions. In 2020, Song Ta was nominated for the PCS Art Prize by the Municipal Art Museum of Porto, Portugal.
Press release courtesy Beijing Commune.