The original name of this exhibition was Absent-minded, for the reason that many of my ideas are natural thoughts of one thing while I am doing something else. But think it over, 'absent-minded', 'distracted', 'not paying attention', these words all seem to carry an unfair premise that what you are doing are more important than what you are thinking. Therefore, I just change the name of the exhibition to Meanwhile, which sounds fairer.
Everyone who studies history should be familiar with the saying that 'all history is contemporary history', and there could be more important things existing in certain time and state. For example, in middle school, when reading leisure books was caught in self-study class, teachers would bitterly persuade me to do more exercises even though my homework was finished. Although I knew there was completely nothing wrong to take light readings, I would still bear a sense of guilt. I also enjoyed scribbling on the margins of the textbooks–different themes in different periods, but mainly sneakers, high heels and beautiful women. However, I was still afraid of the textbooks being found painted in a mess. After all, the pressure of ranks and exams were always there, and I was a person who's only rebellious within the safe zone. When I grew up, I came to know that these moments of reading and mind straying have determined the trajectory and inertia of my life and work today–I am the kind of person who needs to multitask at the same time, not those who only do one job at a time. This state has been particularly evident in the past two years. For me it feels good to carry out multiple creative projects while painting: painting, writing, translating, reading, watching US TV shows and listening to podcasts in the meantime. The working state of 'meanwhile' endows me an active thinking ability to switch from one state to another and to look at the previous problems and dilemmas from another point of view, as well as providing me a subtle sense of relaxation in tension.
In this exhibition you can see the impressions from the books I read, the US TV shows that I watched–these projects carried out at the same time have drawn a positive influence on my creation. Many of the characters in my painting are in a state of distraction, but their minds could have been wandering into some other fantasies. There are women who are bugging to conversations at the next table, some food and lots of coffee in my paintings. These are the source of energy and the inertia that makes life colourful. There are cats, people reading books, and things in the books and other things that have been done in the meanwhile serving as clues of this exhibition.
What I've done in the meanwhile is meaningful to me, because hectic times stimulate me to think more about the possibility of creation, and to extend my creation into deeper dimensions, so I tried my best to draw or write down the pictures appearing in my head when I am out of my mind. From this point of view, the way people think and create things can be very strange and different, maybe I have been doing the same thing all the time–to make the creation natural, active, and free, thus what is done in the meanwhile is also an important and serious thing.
Description on some of the themes will be presented in the exhibition, and more information will be issued soon.
Press release courtesy Tabula Rasa Gallery.