Capsule Shanghai is pleased to present Haptic Memory, German artist Mevlana Lipp's (b. 1989, Cologne) first solo exhibition in Asia, on view from 8 November to 24 December 2022, curated by Vincent Vanden Bogaard.
In his work, Lipp tangoes with colour codes and hue contrasts, following a universal path that echoes shades in the change of seasons. His hand-painted reliefs reveal the emotional landscape of serenity and tension, while channeling the same paradoxical forces that are hidden behind the endless combinations of a botanical garden.
In Haptic Memory, Lipp evokes our primordial recollections and sensations, taking us to an oneiric and mystical place nestled somewhere beyond the fences of this garden and ruled only by our dreams and feelings. Over time, our relationship with nature has been shaken and disrupted by a swirl of fragmented perceptions that are overflowing our imagination and our reality. His flora and fauna-inspired beings become symbolic representations of human affections reshaping our lost memories and our sensations, silently querying: what will remain of our throes of passion? Of our hugs and clasps? Of the first time we met?
Named after ancient myths or hinting at biological processes, such as Venus, Genesis, or Flame, the works on view embody the natural and the non-material origin of everything that could be imagined within a fictitious Eden seeded by the artist. Lipp's approach is a limitless exploration of the language of the body, the plants and all living creatures ceaselessly moving in this world. This sacred garden can be interpreted as an abstract psychological shelter from which the artist draws inspiration to create and elaborate his visual lexicon and symbolic motifs. Lipp's Eden depicts and epitomises the interweaved web of relationships among all forms of lives, where he experiments with different means of translating seduction in a visual form, and explores how we perceive the phenomenon of enticing forces such as hunger or physical attraction.
To achieve this, the artist employs an interplay of different techniques that gradually moves away from traditional canvas painting towards sculptural reliefs. Carved wooden structures are hand-painted with acrylic and ink with varying brushstrokes to create textured surfaces, adding a certain materiality and calling forth haptic sensations—a compositional 'trompe-l'oeil' where the blossom seemingly pops out of the frame into the dimension of reality, or the pond echoes with the ripple of the stream. The regular canvas is replaced with light-absorbent silk velvet, forming a background of infinite depth against the vibrant three-dimensional carved elements. Framed within the lush garden of Capsule Shanghai, these fantastical creatures create an immersive and elevating experience in the heart of Shanghai, transferring the audience into an atmospheric vegetal fable.
Text by Vincent Vanden Bogaard.
Press release courtesy Capsule Shanghai.
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