We are honoured to announce the opening of Wang Lijun's first solo exhibition at Beijing Commune, Wang Lijun: Tension, on 11 June 2021. In the context of post-pandemic, while the everydayness that we live by reemerges as a worth thinking issue, as well as our anxious longing for a so-called 'balanced life', it is within this new series brought by artist Wang Lijun that a broader sense of interpretation lies in. As Wang Lijun himself said, 'if seeking for balance means to thrive for a seemingly natural state in a context grounded in pure artificiality, then, the sculpture itself could be seen as a precise representation of such means of artificial tension.'
In this exhibition, artist Wang Lijun's artistic practice is reflected in his continuous focus on investigating the interrelations between the artist's self-ego, the materiality, and the physical space that surrounds the former. To be more precise, the medium specificity embedded in the tangible material that Wang Lijun utilises, as in how the imbricated wood grains of artificial plywood are in a dissonant yet compatible relationship with natural wood, carries out an unperceivable yet essential feature that helps in redefining the philosophical dialectics that Wang Lijun finds in everyday life.
As the departure point of the artist's practice, the concept of 'self' is also the thesis to which this series eventually returns. When Self-balancing and Self-proving present the sense of balance at ground level, Self-weighing and Self-existing forms another means of tension by further stretching the plywood, in contrast to the camphorwood, in a multi-dimensional way. In Self-suspending, supported by the cedar wood as well as the steel wire rope, two pieces of plywood are closely connected yet partly disconnected. This form of suspension resonates with that found in Self-reflecting, in which two disconnected pieces of wood, with one dissected from the other, are seen amid holding the balance as well. What seems to be echoing with those, is yet put in sharp contrast to them, is the Monologue placed in the back of the room. It is not simply the white plaster, the white plywood, nor neither the iron wire that connects the former, that is shaped into the emulations, but rather the very intention in achieving the artificial balance itself.
Grounded in the materiality of mediums while driven by layers of temporal, spatial and physical concepts, what this exhibition seeks to show is not simply the physical means of tension formulated by sculptures, nor neither an instinctive portrait of the everyday life in the age of post-pandemic, but a constant and critical contemplation on our anxious longing for the idea of balance itself.
Wang Lijun (b. 1982, Hunan) graduated with a MA in Sculpture from Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2013. He is now pursuing his PhD while lives and works in Beijing. Wang Lijun's interest in issues revolving around everydayness, materiality, and spatiality could be reflected in his artistic practice throughout which sculpture and installation act as core mediums. It is within his tangible interactions with such materials that not only his personal perceptions but the issues emerging in the broader social context are represented. His works have even shown worldwide in solo and group exhibitions that include Fei Art Museum Guangzhou, Art Museum of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Beijing Today Art Museum, Beijing Times Art Museum, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna and so on.
Press release courtesy Beijing Commune.