The gallery focuses on discovering and promoting the artists across all media who produce works of impeccable quality and originality, whose artistic practice questions the contemporaneity, the self, the others but more importantly who focus on making their art a vital and meaningful part of people’s life. Whether it is a social commentary, a ironic conceptualization or a personal reflection, the works of art that Art+ Shanghai Gallery is planning to present at the 4th edition of the Art Central are multi directional and multi-meaningful, with each artist taking a different attitude, presenting a matter from one’s unique standpoint, and in a variety of media, some leaning towards the mysterious or subconscious, intuitive or metaphorical, while others towards something more aggressive and daring.
Tamen+ collective’s bold and polemic conversations in oil on canvas challenge our conventional outlooks on the contemporary society, culture and art world, stimulate thoughts on past and present, traditional and bizarre, righteous and corrupt; dreamlike, eclectic and borderline surrealistic imagery by Wang Haichuan, liberated of its original meaning, create complex visual structures with new identities; phantasmagorical and speculative scenarios of Ye Hongxing’s sticker mosaics explore spirituality and
reflect critically on the social and political state of affairs in the world. He Jian’s works create a unique temporal dimension by presenting the subject matter of contemporary everyday life with the painting techniques of Chinese antiquity. Some of He Jian’s works ridicule Chinese modern life attitudes while others recall with nostalgia childhood memories. Through the new series of crystal, bronze and wooden sculptures, Huang Yulong channels his concern for the overwhelming amount of people killed by guns
everyday and hopes to reach the global communities through the international scene of the Art Central. Filigree lines of Tan Danwu's porcelain reliefs, resembling the skyline of cities, symbolize just how fragile the morphology of modern cityscapes is.
An array of works that Art+ Shanghai Gallery intends to bring to the Art Central 2018 demonstrates the magnitude of creative thought and complexity of ideas of Chinese emerging and established artists that the gallery represents.
Artist: Ye Hongxing
"It is this visual conflict and reconstruction that made her works gleaming with visual tensions, enriching the essence of her works and introducing endless possibilities to the ways her works explains the space. It is a genius attempt trying to put something metaphysical and concrete all in one artistic space, a deed made possible only by the adoption of visual language.” Meng Luding (Head of Studio 4 at the Central Academy of Shanghai Art, Beijing)
“Within Hongxing's works we see a poetic view of a changing and divided society. Her densely, visually packed works solicit a conversation on clashing worlds, that possibly hint more towards a sense of (dis)utopia rather than Utopia. They question the position of China as a major world economic player in culture and commerce and the reliance of the West on such a self-sufficient and historically rich nation. Furthermore, through a close
inspection into this young artist's work it is apparent that her unique ability to apply the visual language from the practices of everyday life strengthens her ability to critique monolithic value systems and highlights the fact that all ‘Utopias’ are in fact a work in progress.” (Sara Raza is head of curatorial and educational programmes at Alaan Artspace, Riyadh Saudi Arabia and associate curator at Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. A former curator at Tate Modern, South London Gallery and Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin she is also the editor for ArtAsiaPacific (West & Central Asia) and lbraaz.org and a current PhD candidate at the Royal College of Art in London.)
"Ye Hongxing's work dazzles at first glance then summons the viewer to look more closely. … As such, each fantasy in motion crosses into the realm of the mathematically sublime, when our belief in the rational collapses under the infinitude of signs. … What counts here is not the fixed location of identity, national or otherwise, but rather how the transformative act of making compels us to replay and imagine worlds beyond worlds."
(Nixi Cura, specialist in Chinese painting and Buddhist art)
“Although their works have involved many topics, such as the feeling for modernization, reflection on urbanization, thoughts on consumer society, thinking about globalization and the question of their own cultural identity, the topics all revolve around modernity. Compared with early western Modernist paintings that either purely criticize or praise urbanization and technology, their works are tranquil and serene. Through the works, they intend to reflect the great changes and problems brought about by China’s reform and opening-up policy. If Modernity is indeed the transient, the fleeting and the contingent as described by Charles Baudelaire, then their works would completely agree with the characteristics of modernity, because the experiences recounted by their works are
shattered, segmented, realistic and unavoidable by modern people.” He Guiyan (Art Curator)
"While we can never be certain what tomorrow may portend, Tamen, as twenty-first century soothsayers, seem to have in their possession the real and imagined oracles which they continue to impart through their painted vistas of the beautiful and the sublime."
(Julie Chun, Art Historian)
About Wang Haichuan
Can painting become a form of daily recording – not an instant capturing of photography, but the consecutive visual text, like diary, news, and film, which is possible to watch and read. Secondly, just like everyday reality recorded and referred to in diary, news and film, it contains highlights, emotions, cultural symbols, memorable imageries, familiar stories, exotic customs, prominent events, but is more of a mixture of daily fragments. What we have accessed is only bits and parts of life, the tip of an iceberg. If we wish to unravel the world behind the veil, we probably will only find endless frustration and incompetence, which is exactly what Wang Haichuan and his paintings are about to confront, and what his images can provide to us. (Kang Xueru, Art Curator, Art Editor, artist)
About Huang Yulong
Overwhelmed by the outbursts of terror and violence that have been recently happening across the world, Huang Yulong has created his new “Snowflakes” series made of crystal, bronze or wooden gun-shaped fragments that when assembled together resemble a shape of a snowflake.
The artist sympathizes to the victims and witnesses of terror whose world has crumbled into pieces in the midst of peaceful and serene everyday life routine. The same way a blizzard lashes down unexpectedly in the middle of a summer day, people’s lives are being disturbed by uninvited intrusions and attacks of violence and terror. With the help of a universal art language, by shaping guns into snowflakes, the artist hopes to transmit a simple message across the borders and nations that there is simply no place for violence in this world and it has to melt away and disappear eventually just like the snow that always melts in the end of winter.
About He Jian
“I personally like He Jian’s works very much. Although his work incorporates many elements of pop culture, his paintings are from being superficial or Kitsch. He Jian is not trying to be a part of the ‘mainstream’ fashion-chasing artists, he hasn't caught himself in the trap of replicating the same themes over and over again, or limited his practice to the endless search of new symbols of kitschy shames. On the other hand, he belongs to the type of artists who is full of passion to challenge the tradition and seek rebellion. He is not a ‘fashionable type’ or an ‘avant-garde’, he is someone who is smart and sensitive to his own cultural experience, full of reflexivity. For this reason, he is precise in what he does, his artistic sword is devoted to restoration in a rather low-key but still ‘attacking’ manner.
The artist sometimes reluctantly reduces his work to merely "commodities" in the art market. It is in this seemingly contradictory state of mind and its approximate state of traditionalism that artist creates his "heterogeneous" works, inspired by the style of ancient murals he portrays contemporary life scenes. The practice of art for He Jian therefore creates a formal sense of alienation on one side, and, on the other, a medium for his mind to reflect on the current state of existence.” (He Guiyan, Chinese Art Critic)