MadeIn, Spread B-049, 2010.
Collage on Canvas, 195 x 280 cm.
Courtesy of the Artist and Long March Space.
In the Heat of the Sun at Gallery Hyundai
In the Heat of the Sun
13 October–10 November 2011
80 Sagan-dong, Jongno-gu
Seoul 110-190, Korea
T 82. (0)2. 2287. 3500
F 82. (0)2. 2287. 3580
GALLERY HYUNDAI is pleased to announce the group exhibition titled In the Heat of the Sun, presenting eight Chinese artists so called “The Post-70s.” The artists include Chen Wei, Li Qing, MadeIn, Project without Space, Tu Hongtao, Wu Junyong, Yang Maoyuan and Zhu Yu. The Post-70s Chinese Artists all lived through The Cultural Revolution, the Tiananmen Square killings and the economic boom that came with the government’s open-door policy whilst actively importing capitalism. These artists witnessed and experienced the upheavals and vicissitudes of Chinese history and yet have also benefited from the economic revival of their country. They have been able to openly absorb Western culture/thoughts without hindrance. Very young at the time, the fierce socio-political struggles of the time seem somewhat distant to them, an object of blind fetishism or idolization.
The eight Chinese artists who participated in this exhibition do not candidly or directly reveal their general memories of the turmoil of contemporary Chinese history, although this must be what identifies their generation. However, we can sense the dim afterimage of that era subtly implied underneath their work. These memories are not a complete memory per se, yet are archived in a small corner of their minds and deserving of reflection. We do not have to gauge how well and accurately their childhood memories are portrayed nor try to speculate which point of history they wish to convey. However, it must be worth noticing the traces of collective memory that are distinct for their generation. This exhibition aims to reveal how their memory is summoned to the present through involuntary recollection, yielding new meanings.
Chen Wei produces somewhat stage-like photography with articulate mise-en-scene, dream-like backdrops and riddle-like narrative. Chen meticulously directs props, costumes and compositions and talks about his inner landscape and fragments of memory. The dark and handicapped mind and memory of the scars of the past are seen in a symbolical and dreamy way.
Li Qing juxtaposes two paintings, almost identical except for a few differences, and shows the process of converging two or more images with his consecutive photographic work or painting. These are like his personal essays upon reflecting how the contrasting ideas have converged, synthesized and been modified during the era of his childhood. MadeIn is a group of creative artists established in 2009 with Xu Zhen at the center. While the previously-mentioned Wu Junyong’s works rouse discourses on the ghost of communism still haunting China even after reform and opening, MadeIn’s works discuss the aftermath of the non-discriminative assault of capitalism that bludgeoned China. Their world stands upon the irony produced by the discrepancies of the dichotomy of actual truth and rumored truth of the capitalism-infused China. MadeIn discusses this subject through various mediums.
Project Without Space is the joint group of Chen Shaoxiong, ex-member of Xijing Men, and Lio Ding from 2010. Their paintings show multi-layered masterpieces well-known in art history, and video work that contains the artists’ discussions to complete them. Their attempt is significant in the sense that it connotes how contemporary art is reborn as the successor of the true course of art history by reflection and retrospection, not by idly residing in formless self-denial. Their work opens up discussions of how art form can participate in society and, ultimately, the value of art.
Tu Hongtao articulated piles of humans, fragments of life, as a mountain hill, representing the confusions and fears caused by China’s drastic reforms and opening. The blunt expressiveness and treaded, unidentifiable background and people grope in memory upon which one does not really wish to reflect, some memory that cannot be identified.
Wu Junyong‘s world is fantasy itself, seemingly from the realm of fairytale. The protagonists who are wearing cone hats perform collective actions that are seemingly witty and fantasy-like, and this is a symbolical cynicism of the socio-political disorder. This is Wu’s criticism of the Chinese government’s fall to the spell of the redundancy of meaningless rituals.
Yang Maoyuan offers colorful ceramic works with the head of a Venus or an animal with a tint of humor. Yang traces back the Western/Oriental history of the human exploitation of animals, which stems from how humans differentiate themselves from animals. These subjects are portrayed with circle-shaped (inflated) bodies conveyed in ceramic art, which is generally regarded as the art form of the East. With this, Yang aims to combine and connect the past with the present and the East with the West.
Zhu Yu presents his ‘Stain’ series, which depicts finished tea cups, and ‘Pebble’ series. These works uniquely combine Eastern thought with Western hyper-realistic methodology. His ‘Pebble’ series reminds one of the ‘sari’, the end-result of true Buddhist practice and asceticism; pebbles as a superstitious symbol that signifies the various lives inherent in a pebble. His ‘Stain’ series attempts to portray the oriental thought of surveying the whole of life through remnants of a life in the past, as symbolized by the leftover stains of tea.
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