ShanghART is pleased to announce Tang Maohong's solo exhibition Riverbed at ShanghART Beijing, opening on September 16, 2017. The art works in this exhibition were inspired by his interests in image mass production after 'Exclave Con'.
The art works of the exhibition started from a fictional event made up by Tang Maohong: a group of people carry stones on their back and empty a riverbed. The event is similar to a Chinese fable famous story Yugong Removing the Mountains. People are excepting to achieve an ideal outcome by uninterrupted working, even though no one really knows what is going on: where are they heading to? How many people are going this? And is it possible to empty the riverbed? All these questions put the event to an unforeseen future.
Rather than answering these questions, Tang transforms himself into 'the man carrying stone' by this exhibition. He elaborates the event repeatedly by the art works in the show. Photography is the first chapter of this series. A large number of black and white photos show the collectivity of the event, but meanwhile, the ambiguous identity of people, as well as the fakeness of stones make the tragic and serious behavior absurd.
This absurdity is more pronounced when the artist shifts the medium from photography to painting. Stone turns into other objects, such as legs, human bones, or unidentified symbols. In some works, even the human figures are also painted adhere to the symbol. By painting them flatly, the images bloom as scenes of a kaleidoscope, and the images of 'men carrying stones' has distorted. For the artist, the photographs in this exhibition are more like stones in the river bed, they are solid, straightforward, seemingly monotonous but full of rich details. While the paintings are the water in the river, staggered color groups and the flow of symbols constantly disperse the original intention of the artist.
About Tang Maohong
Tang Maohong was born in 1975 and graduated from China Academy of Art, Hangzhou in 2000. He currently working and living in Beijing. Recent exhibitions include: Temporary Boundary, Galerie Paris-Beijing, Brussels, Belgium (2015); Video Art at Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai, India (2014); TANG Maohong: Exclave Con, TANG Maohong Solo Exhibition, ShanghART Beijing, Beijing (2013); Transmedia Art and Fashion Exhibition, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2013); The Garden of Forking Paths, Exploring Independent Animation, OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, Shanghai (2013); Green Box, Remapping- The Space of Madia Reality, Hangzhou (2013); Uninkable, Taopu Contemporary Art Centre, Shanghai (2012); Nomadic Report 2012, Arko Art Center, Seoul (2012); Huge Character, Cooperation Project by SUN Xun, TANG Maohong, ZHANG Ding, ShanghART Beijing, Beijing (2011); Shanghai History in Making from 1979 till 2009, Shanghai (2009); Trans Local Motion—7th Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai Art Musuem, Shanghai (2008).
Press release courtesy ShanghART.