The 58th Venice Biennale, May You Live In Interesting Times (11 May–24 November 2019), certainly benefitted from low expectations, given the lacklustre curatorial of the previous edition, when different segments of the show were conceptually framed with titles like 'Pavilion of Joys and Fears' and 'Pavilion of Colours'. Add to this the...
Hong Kong-based artist Zheng Bo's social, ecological, and community-engaged art practice has, in recent years, focused on moving beyond a human-centred perspective to an all-inclusive, multi-species approach. He takes up marginalised plants and communities of people as subjects in his large-scale interventions, which reintroduce wildness into...
The weather was clement for the annual Auckland Art Fair (2–5 May 2019), which was again at The Cloud on Queens Wharf. This year's edition was a get-together of 41 galleries, mostly from around Auckland and across New Zealand, with 5 spaces hailing from Sydney and the rest from Cook Islands (Bergman Gallery), Hobart (Michael Bugelli Gallery),...
The exhibition FLUX shows a series of works by the eminent artist and artistic director, Wang Huangsheng, who is versed in classical forms of ink, presenting a range of expressive paintings that exude a sense of expansive and creative energy.
Wang Huangsheng's series of ink paintings offer a dynamic flow of lines that move across space like a murmuration of starlings, forming a singular yet mass movement of constant harmonious rhythm. In a kind of extended form of abstract calligraphy, lines transform into squiggles and squiggles sometimes merge into denser formations of scribbles, then the scribbles become proactive non-writing or over-writing everyday political or financial events in the mundane ephemera of daily news. Beyond the scribbles, Wang creates further formations in objects made of materials such as xuan paper, metal, and piping. His wide-ranging sculptures and installations pull us away from the graphic and calligraphic into a deeper sense of materiality and spatial dimension.
In FLUX, Wang presents the world as holistically or immersively inscribed in poetic terms that can be interpreted also in the realm of physics as 'a fluid, radiant energy, or particles across a given area'. As a kind of continuum, it contains a sense of timelessness and seems to describe a balance of forces, as articulated in the earliest Chinese philosophy of Laozi's Dao De Jing. It also evokes experimental contemporary energy and a flow of movement inwards and outwards. Wang's exquisitely sensitive delicate works convey a rooted sense of being alongside a continuity of time as a constant, ever-shifting ‘presence’. With a deep connection to literary and philosophical traditions in which the human spirit is connected through brush and ink, Wang's body of work shown in FLUX encapsulates the current contemporaneity in ink practice.
Dr. Katie Hill has extensive experience in the field of contemporary Chinese art, and has been involved in exhibitions as a curator and researcher. She is the Programme Leader of Art of Asia and their Markets at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London, as well as Deputy Principal Editor of the Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art (JCAA). Her recent work includes In Conversation with Ai Weiwei, Tate Modern; selector panel/author, Art of Change, New Directions from China, Hayward Gallery, London, and specialist advisor/author for The Chinese Art Book (Phaidon, 2013). Hill is Director of OCCA, Office of Contemporary Chinese Art, an art consultancy promoting Chinese artists in the UK.
by Katie Hill
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