Taste And Reality – Art Exhibition
Curator: Luo Fei
Artists: Liu Deng, Li Fan, Li Jihua, Lei Wei, Yan Renkui, Yan Linxiao, Zhang Xingwang
Opeing: 2010. 9. 17 Fri 20:00
Address: TCG Nordica, Loft, Xi Ba Road NO.101, Kunming
TCG Nordica gallery is going to present 7 local artists’ works in this weekend, they are Liu Deng(刘邓), Li Fan(李凡), Li Jihua(李纪华), Lei Wei(雷炜), Yan Renkui(严仁奎), Yan Linxiao(严琳骁) and Zhang Xingwang(张兴旺), all of them were born in 1970s. The exhibition theme is about Taste And Reality. They will present more than 20 pieces art works in this exhibition, include oil paintings, drawing, sculptures and video installation. The art works relate to the childhood memory, allegory, urbanism, bodily experience, games and abstract art. We invite you to attend the exhibition opening at 20:00, Friday, 17th of September. Thank you!
About the Taste and Reality Art Exhibition
By: Luo Fei
In 2006, seven artists Liu Deng, Li Fan, Li Jihua, Lei Wei, Yan Renkui, Yan Linxiao and Zhang Xingwang came to Kunming Mayuan Art Community one after another. That was in 2009 when Manyuan Art Community was about to be tore down according to the city planning that they decided moving to the “City of Tomorrow” Residential Quarter, where the rent back to then was cheaper. Before long, City of Tomorrow became the largest local artists studio community in Yunnan with approximately 50 local young artists, which is quite phenomenal in recent years.
Meet up for painting, drinking wins as well as tea, footballing, randomly talking, why not having an exhibition too? Simple, that’s a normal motive for artists coming together for an art exhibition in Yunnan, which is rare in other cities in China. An exhibition is to reflect and review one’s own works after a period of time, as well as to meet some more friends and have a bit of more sharing.
On this exhibition, we noticed some interesting details from the works of these seven artists. The dimensions of tastes and attentions given to the reality were artistically conveyed by the materials used, the way expressed as well as the theme chosen.
Taste was initially a concept about morality, rather than an aesthetic one. In the history of aesthetics, David Hume, a 18th century British empirical aesthetician, was the first person explicitly stated the idea of “taste”. The appeal for taste also has its profound lineage in China’s traditional poems and paintings. By the time when Liang Qichao looked at it, taste was not merely about aesthetic appreciation. It was uplifted to the very level of ontology and axiology where humanity finds its fundamental meaning. Taste is to be understood as lofty as life itself, is to be perceived from every specific life practice of one person. Regarding aesthetics as one’s real situation of living, a state of life, that is one of the most distinctive features of China’s traditional aesthetic approach. Thus, the spirit of Chinese aesthetics is that of the aesthetics of humanity and life. That is what you will find from the artists of current younger generation. Art is to achieve a unique life situation, experience and state. China is currently experiencing a very unique situation in her transition. Not every artist can just focuses on his/her own tastes and develop them into a way of living. The anxiety towards the cold reality keeps us from ignoring it exclusively. That was what we saw from the exhib that some artists made their addresses to the reality readily observable. On the exhibition, a proper balance was well maintained between the taste and reality, yet also perfectly communicating their individual way of looking at the world.
In the paper paintings by Liu Deng and Li Jihua, we found that two of them were practicing and cultivating in the stillness of night. A sense of form featuring lines and dots was presented either intentionally or unintentionally. One can sniff their taste for the preciseness and form from the liveliness in every detailed tittle and jot. The differences? Liu had his every painting well craftily designed which brought out the originality of a gardener; while Li’s were almost as if precisely duplicating the microorganism proliferation under the microscope.
Li Fan’s oil painting creatively blended the historical scenes and the fashionable beauty contest into a suspended sand table. A cruel war battle was put on like a puppet show that gave us so much to ponder upon. The history is presenting right in front every audience like a screen pulled down showing a 3 D movie. And fashion is no more than a palm-size showplace where people got entertained. People of all generations, ancient in the past as well as present right now, have been in the eyes of an Another, being presented to, being watched by.
Lei Wei’s sculpture grafted a flower onto the shoulders of a sexy woman. A body of flirting signified the ever-present temptation posed to the lust of the flesh in our city life. Having a city life full of lusts and flesh, are we more satisfied and comforted spiritually, or are we caught up in the crisis of moral corruption. Probably, that is a subjective question left for the audiences by the artist.
In Yan Linxiao’s works, the classical poetries and poesies or doggerels were interpreted as a bunch of QR Codes with the employment of digital techniques. Being presented on the canvas, reading was encoded as merely a process of transmission and identification, and literature as the information, finally ended up to be some cold and abstract patterns made of QR Codes. The doggerels, normally a personal taste, is used for mocking or teasing, however, itself was translated into barely a series of identification codes by the artists in a digitized era. This is a unique taste that ingeniously mingles traditional cultures and digital information.
In the last two years, Yan Renkui has made the colors of his oil painting both elegant and graceful, and the shapes lighthearted. Allegorical stories featuring the relationship between human beings or that of the insects, as well as the interests mankind has for the future or the unknown have frequently themed his works, presenting a refreshing childhood taste and a good sense of humor which brought back our sweet memories for the carefree childhood and the simply life in the countryside.
Zhang Xingwang had the video installation covered with thin glasses of spumescence, right over the TV screen that broadcasting programs. The images from whatever programs running, may it be about politics, sports, economies or health, became blur and ambiguous. We became so strange to what used to so familiar with, the TV or its programs. What was communicating here was contemporary society has so much been influenced by the television culture. Bubble crisis is hidden in the imagery information in an ear where even media has been exalted and worshiped.