Beijing Commune is pleased to announce the opening of the artist Xie Molin's eponymous new exhibition Xie Molin, on 16 May 2018. This is Xie Molin's third solo exhibition at the gallery, and it will continue until 23 June 2018.
From 2004 onwards, Xie Molin initially utilised the cutting plotter to intervene in painting creation, and established his interest and direction of how humans and machines collaborate altogether to explore the possibilities of painting. And then, by designing a triaxial linkage painting machine himself, his works continued to advance towards more abstract features namely light, texture, trajectory, and colours. This exhibition mainly features Xie Molin's latest achievements in the exploration of painting in recent years.
The series 'Shuo' tried new types of mixed pigments, in which the features of interference colour make the surface of the paintings have more intensely reflective characteristics, and the artworks become more sensitive to the brightness, colour temperature, irradiation angle and distance of the light source. Different from the traditional pattern of viewing, 'Shuo' encourages the audience to move step by step in front of the paintings while viewing them. The movement of the audience triggers a sense of motion in the artworks. This is a new sensory experience brought about by the integration of materials and trajectories. In terms of 'Ji' series, the pigments constitute a continuous dagger-like texture in a one-way flow during the process of being extruded and shaven by the zigzag scraper. Different geometrical arrangements and colour combinations of the pigments create subtle variations between different paintings. The repetition and variation of the works reflect the artist's observation and experience upon life. Life flows in one direction in the dimension of time, itis fragile and tenacious, impermanent and fluctuating. These works have both similarities and continuity but are also rich in diversity. If 'Shuo' pursues the extreme sense of integration of the regularity of machine operation and the particularity of materials, then 'Ji' somehow emphasises its unique expressionistic features in the artist's calmly creative process.
Whether the results of the paintings have breakthroughs and innovations, this is an entry point for us to understand Xie Molin's paintings from their appearance. Another factor which is also equally important in Xie Molin's personal experience and action in his past few years of work, that is, the inspiration from the processes and steps of painting. A painting is not 'painted' but 'made'. The 'paint' here refers to the traditional tools and processes, while 'make' is different from 'paint'–it not only transforms the materials and painting tools but also creates a new painting appearance, and reestablishes a set of painting steps, logic and even the definition. Painting is no longer just an object shaped by materials, it also symbolises an action, or certain indirect causal action and thoughts deviated from the results of painting (such as the recognition of limitations, the improvement of certain creative process, etc.) The exploration of painting process is also an important constituent part in the exploration of painting language.
As an extension of the artist's two hands, the machine leads the artist to the fascinating inaccessible boundaries which are beyond the reach of human hands, and in the meanwhile its inescapable limitations in a way intensify the depth of artistic creation. With the abundant and dynamic interactive relationship between humans, machinery and artworks, Xie Molin's practice provides an inspirational perspective for the painting and contemporary art.
Xie Molin was born in Wenzhou in 1979. He graduated from the China Central Academy of Fine Arts (BFA) and Edinburgh College of Art (MFA). He currently lives and works in Beijing. His artworks have been exhibited in Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; the Art Museum of China Central Academy of Fine Arts, How Art Museum; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, the Netherlands; Urban Arts Space, Ohio State University, U.S.; Hillstrom Museum, Gustavus Adolphus College, U.S.; Rubell Family Collection, Miami, U.S.; Asian Art Museum, San Francisco; Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA, U.S.; and others.
Press release courtesy Beijing Commune.