Storm Resurrection: John Young Solo Exhibition @ Pearl Lam Galleries
The exhibition will bring together three series of works: Storm Resurrection, Naïve and Sentimental Paintings and Veil. Using his “human-computer friendship” method, Young melds contemporary technology with oil painting techniques in his signature works, drawing on an innate human sentiment in his selection of presented images to create art that engages with the anachronistic condition of painting in the age of photography.
Shaping the core of the exhibition will be works from Young’s new Storm Resurrection series, where the artist manipulates original paintings by Wang Ji Yuan, Guan Liang, Qiu Ti and other members of the Storm Society, China’s first modern art association, to generate abstract compositions that he later uses oil paint to translate faithfully onto linen. In this series, Young searches for a historical significance that has somehow escaped the cultural consciousness of artists in China, as he tries to rediscover the source of Modernism in China. While the Shanghai Art College never rejected Western
Modernist styles of painting, they were reserved in their support of its development in comparison to Chinese painting. In response, societies were formed after class and off-campus to maintain its development, which is how the Storm Society was conceived. However, with little attention or appreciation for the Western style they espoused, the society ceased to exist after four exhibitions and twelve issues of their periodical. Selecting these works as the basis for his series, Young puts forth his belief in the retrospective importance of this movement as a breakthrough towards Modernism in China.
Young’s Naïve and Sentimental Paintings series serves as an introduction to his oeuvre as a whole with its reference to early Western Modernist paintings. The title was inspired by Minimalist composer John Adams’ Naïve and Sentimental Music, which itself derived its name from Friedrich von Schiller’s 1795 essay “On Naïve and Sentimental Poetry”. Young’s Veils, an ongoing series that was first created eight years ago, is influenced by Mark Rothko and Morris Louis, two New York Colour Field painters who worked in the 1950s and 60s. The works use deep, intense colour to engage the viewer, in some ways reminiscent of Morris’s drip paintings with the suggestion of paint flowing from the top edge of the canvas.
Storm Resurrection runs from 5 June until 21 August 2016 @ Pearl Lam Galleries. G/F, 181 Jiangxi Zhong Lu, near Fuzhou Lu. Tel: 6323 1989. Web:www.pearllam.com
Zhang Qing's Solo Exhibition: Boundary @ ShanghART Gallery
Surveillance devices have been invariably seen as the representation of power. The unreserved filming lens objectively documents daily experiences and social relationships when circumstanced as video art. Its panoramic view is an indispensable supplement in terms of individual psychology: becoming the loops of the social collective consciousness and personal psychology, aiding selfintrospection. This exhibition aims to unearth the thrilling world lying between public and private appearance.
The exhibition collectively presents Zhang’s in-depth exploration in surveillance art. Driven by personal physical experiences, Zhang concentrates on the relationships amongst gender, body and consciousness. He delves into social reality and psychology of particular ideologies through public interactive performance art.
Zhang Qing's Solo Exhibition runs until 3 July @ ShanghART Gallery. H Space, Bldg. 18 Moganshan Lu. Web: www.shanghartgallery.com
Tell Me a Story: Locality and Narrative @ Rockbund Art Museum
The exhibition draws on artists from all across Asia to share 11 stories from distinct regional cultures as they have evolved throughout the modern era. Through the exploration of personal ties between artist and environment, each work exhibits multiple facets of local life, revealing in the process a side of Asia often left unseen and unheard. Though originating from different locations and cultures, these stories harmonise with one another as much as they contrast. Although each work expresses a different saga, they nonetheless manifest a deeper, shared history, bringing to view the full complexity of existence “on the ground” for contemporary Asian societies.
Though the fate of a people is inscribed within geographical and national boundaries, it is no less true that the land and its contours are determined by its people. While some of the pieces in the exhibition revolve around histories and structures located in space and time, others exhibit the very real connection between people and land through fictional projections into the past and future. These pieces unearth the equally important role of imagination in shaping locale, the double-relation between terrain and culture, as well as their mutual impact. The force of imagination and the potential of the future are no less important than the facts of history, or of physical limitations, in transforming landscapes both great and small.
Though taken all together, the works manifest a remarkable diversity, yet nonetheless share a common narrative. Close and personal examination of displacement and belonging, geography and culture, accumulated history and dreams of the future, characterise the artists’ moods and methods. The result of the connections between their pieces is the emergence of a greater panorama—just as suggestive and perhaps, uncertain, as their respective subject matters, though surely no less profound. The exhibition provides a meaningful context for engagement on the difficult issue of preserving, as well as discovering, local identity in the midst of larger social forces. In that sense, it should not fail to resonate with any viewer who dares to meet its challenge.
Tell Me a Story runs until 14 August @ Rockbund Art Museum. 20 Huqiu Lu, near Beijing Dong Lu. Tel: 3310 9985. Web: www.rockbundartmuseum.org