Tang Contemporary Art is proud to announce the opening of Freedom from Resistance, an all-new solo show for Wu Wei curated by independent curator Yang Zi, in the gallery's Beijing Space I on 19 December 2020.
In the introduction to Flesh and Stone: The Body and the City in Western Civilization, Richard Sennett describes how highway engineers created 'freedom from resistance,' which allowed people to move without expending any effort and thereby become invested in this resistance-free road system. This created geography lulls travelers into a hypnotic state in which they passively perceive the world. Wu Wei's solo show 'Freedom from Resistance' references this modern anesthesia. When confronted with today's urban planning mechanisms, how can we free the body and regain our vitality?
In this exhibition, Wu Wei infuses his work with more expressive visual forms than in the past. Typhon is named for a god in ancient Greek mythology, a fearsome monster who failed in his attempt to overthrow Zeus. In this series, Wu Wei continues to use a technique from his past work, in which he cuts paper to resemble animal fur. However, he has changed the surface to which the 'fur' is affixed, using the discarded exterior pieces and interior parts of a car. After being covered with 'fur,' the worn parts of a black sedan look like long-horned animal skulls. The irregular lines on the inside and outside are revealed, and structures that once had a practical function now have aesthetic significance. Wu applies a similar creative method to several parts of the car, all of which carry the genes of their 'mother' vehicle. The organic curls of paper 'growing' amidst these intensely industrial lines connect to a primitive era distant from industrial civilisation.
Another difference from his previous works is that specific Chinese characters and symbols do not appear in Freedom from Resistance. Here, Wu Wei abandons circumscribing intellectual frameworks of imagery and language. He enlarges some of the patterns that he had painted on his phone into Fission and Fusion, a painting installation measuring 3 x 6 meters. Wu emphasies living intuition and belief in a moment, thereby establishing the motivation for the work. The seemingly closed expression of individual will embody an examination of universal fate - those free lines are like calculating the probability of an unknowable realm running inside the world based on a program.
Press release courtesy Tang Contemporary Art.
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