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Aesthetic Radicalism in ‘Awakenings’ at Singapore’s National Gallery Ocula Report Aesthetic Radicalism in ‘Awakenings’ at Singapore’s National Gallery 21 Jun 2019 : Sam Gaskin for Ocula

Awakenings: Art in Society in Asia 1960s–1990s, a major retrospective at Singapore's National Gallery (14 June–15 September 2019), opens emphatically in flames. At the exhibition's entrance, viewers encounter a wall-sized image from 1964 titled Burning Canvases Floating on the River. The photograph captures a performance by Lee Seung-taek, in which...

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Thomas J Price: Reframing Classical Sculpture Ocula Conversation Thomas J Price: Reframing Classical Sculpture

When the London-born artist Thomas J Price graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Chelsea College of Arts in 2004, the school's college art prize was by no means his most notable accomplishment as an emerging artist. In 2001, Price presented his much-talked-about work Licked, a daring performance, later profiled on the BBC 4 television...

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'Sites Encountered': A Chorus of Five Artists at M+ Pavilion Ocula Report 'Sites Encountered': A Chorus of Five Artists at M+ Pavilion 21 Jun 2019 : Emily Verla Bovino for Ocula

Without punctuation, She Said Why Me, the title of May Fung's 1989 video presents itself as a statement, rather than a question. It suggests a subject who expects no response, a person prepared to make what she can from being chosen though perplexed by the attention. The video follows a blindfolded woman, then unmasked, through late colonial-era...

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Ni Zhiqi

b. 1957, China

Ni Zhiqi (b. 1957, Shanghai, China) graduated from the Shanghai Light Industry College (now known as the Shanghai Institute of Technology) in 1981. In the 1980s, he came to prominence with his early expressions and explorations in surrealism as an up-and-coming young artist during the '85 New Wave Movement. In the 1990s, the artist furthered his studies at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Belgium, where he was awarded the first-class prize in the exhibition by Karel Veslat. He currently lives and works in Shanghai.

When the artist first went abroad, he was shocked by Joseph Beuys' 'everyone is an artist' concept and the aggressive contemporary artistic environment at the time that challenged Western traditional techniques. This inspired him to experiment with artistic techniques that were extremely different from those that were predominant in China. He used anything he could find—such as containers, eggshells, chairs, etc.—as materials in his series of installation works called Mona Lisa's Rebirth (1993), which centred around the Oriental concept of the cycle of life and renewal. When he returned to China in 1995, he began his lifelong artistic pursuit of achieving a misty and hazy atmosphere in his paintings. The streetscapes in his Scenery series (1999-2011) along with elements in his Portrait, Windows, and Chairs series (2011) seem to be concealed in half-transparent sunlight or mysteriously hidden behind frosted glass. Ni considers his works to be a special type of abstract painting that focuses on the simplification and extraction of a concrete and particular object. Even an enormous representational system can be simplified and portrayed as a close-up of one of its parts under his expression, retaining an emotional or tactile feeling or fragments of memories.

In Ni's Alhambra series (2017), which combines both collage and paint, the artist has chosen to cover the canvas with a specific handmade paper produced by ancient and secretive Chinese papermaking techniques. The works focus on the Alhambra's tile patterns and evoke a feeling of infiniteness while recalling memories of the red palace built by the Moors in Spain in the Middle Ages. With the help of Chinese traditional techniques, his gentleness and warmth are slowly revealed. The core concept hidden in the faded colour and rough edges of his works is a philosophical outlook on time and memories from an Asian perspective.

Ni's exhibitions include Memories in the Books, 10 Corso Como, Shanghai; Under the City, Above the Sea: New Images of Eight Artists (2015), Da Hu Art Center, Shanghai, China; President's Charity Art Exhibition (2014), The Arts House (formerly Old Parliament House), Singapore; The Third China Oil Painting Exhibition (2003), National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China; International Contemporary Art Invitational Exhibition (2002), Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany; Exhibition by Karel Veslat (First-class prize, 1994), Antwerp, Belgium; Ni Zhi Qi: Paintings (SCHILDEREN) (1994), National Higher Institution of Fine Arts, Antwerp, Belgium; The First China Oil Painting Exhibition (1987), Shanghai Exhibition Center, Shanghai, China; Itinerant art exhibition in Osaka and Kobe (1986), University Gallery, Osaka, Japan; and Progressing Chinese Youth Art Exhibition (Third-class prize, 1985), Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China.

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Featured Artworks

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Vacuum 真空 by Ni Zhiqi contemporary artwork
Ni ZhiqiVacuum 真空, 2018 210 x 210 cm Pearl Lam Galleries
The Former Years 昔日 by Ni Zhiqi contemporary artwork
Ni ZhiqiThe Former Years 昔日, 2018 210 x 170 cm Pearl Lam Galleries
Morning in Sicily 西西里的早晨 by Ni Zhiqi contemporary artwork
Ni ZhiqiMorning in Sicily 西西里的早晨, 2018 Mixed media
210 x 210 cm
Pearl Lam Galleries
Into the Deep 深色 by Ni Zhiqi contemporary artwork
Ni ZhiqiInto the Deep 深色, 2018 Mixed media on canvas
180 x 150 cm
Pearl Lam Galleries
Combat 格斗 by Ni Zhiqi contemporary artwork
Ni ZhiqiCombat 格斗, 2018 Mixed media
250 x 170 cm
Pearl Lam Galleries
Windows 窗 by Ni Zhiqi contemporary artwork
Ni ZhiqiWindows 窗, 2012 Acrylic on canvas
80 x 50 cm
Pearl Lam Galleries
Untitled 无题 by Ni Zhiqi contemporary artwork
Ni ZhiqiUntitled 无题, 2018 Mixed media on canvas
165 x 130 cm
Pearl Lam Galleries
Improvisational Poem 即兴诗 by Ni Zhiqi contemporary artwork
Ni ZhiqiImprovisational Poem 即兴诗, 2018 Mixed media
210 x 170 cm
Pearl Lam Galleries

Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Ni Zhiqi, Vacuum. Dry Land. Into the Room 真空、干地与房间 at Pearl Lam Galleries, Shanghai
Closed
3 November–30 December 2018 Ni Zhiqi Vacuum. Dry Land. Into the Room 真空、干地与房间 Pearl Lam Galleries, Shanghai

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