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Bani Abidi: ‘What you see in my films is what I know’ Ocula Conversation Bani Abidi: ‘What you see in my films is what I know’

A group of voices accompanies me in the exhibition. They are singing words I cannot comprehend, yet the warm tunes are familiar: folk songs, love songs, songs of longing. There are letters, too. They speak of the quotidian details of a soldier's life: the hardness of the war, sending money to the family, and longing for familiar landscapes, food,...

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Aichi to Okayama: Art in Japan Looks to the Future Ocula Report Aichi to Okayama: Art in Japan Looks to the Future 11 Oct 2019 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

There has been a flurry of triennial and biennial art activity in Japan this year. The Aichi Triennale opened in Nagoya this August, sparking a national debate about the shutting down of a display of formerly censored works—the result of public backlash against a burnt image of Emperor Hirohito and a statue commemorating the women forced into...

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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...

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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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