Exhibition's Introduction by Kang Xueru
The past decade of Wang Haichuan’s artworks is rich and complicated, including painting, installation, photography, videos and on-site performances. the art project he spends year doing is still under progress. It concerns the most pressing socials issues in China. In this exhibition, we present his unique and meaningful art creation through his paintings.
Wang Haichuan’s latest paintings have three distinctive features:
The first lies in his use of composite, which is very obvious. The artist puts different images under the same frame based on visual needs, his story or some fleeting feeling. This is relative the core concept of his paintings, that is those chosen images are deprived of prototype meanings and gain a kind of liberating power. They run away from previous meaning and concepts, get another identity and meaning in their new images, or become pure forms, indispensable forms of the paintings.
His second feature is the unique colors he creates with Tibetan paper. This special handmade material from Tibet is simple, hypoechoic and absorbs water very well. Wang Haichuan always uses other colors as a base and then paints on it, which makes those colors lack purity and the whole picture deep and thick. Of course, this also has to do with his uses of gray and historic images and old photos.
The third feature is his incomprehensible contents. Uncomprehensible is an obvious trait of today’s artwork or it is the standard of modernist art. Although we could tell some features of Wang Haichuan’s paintings, but what exactly is each painting saying or how exactly is each painting created is probably forever a secret. We could only see one piece of image after another and the gap between them, never fully grasp their meanings. This is why this exhibition takes its title from Lautreamont ‘s poem, The Chance meeting of a sewing machine and an umbrella on a dissecting table.
Why an umbrella meets a sewing machine on a dissecting table by chance, we could never know. But we can see their images fabricated together, becoming a whole perfect painting.
About Wang Haichuan
Wang Haichuan (王海川) was born in 1968 in Jilin Province, China and currently lives and works between Beijing and Chongqing.
In 1997 he graduated from the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, with a major in Visual arts. He used to work in the field of architecture and landscape for many years and became widely recognized as a visual artist. Wang Haichuan’s works destroy the superficial characters of private lives and a harmonious society. He attempts to demolish the trace of reality and replace it with relics of time. His works were featured in solo-, as well as group-exhibitions and art fairs within China and abroad.
Wang Haichuan’s installation Seven Days (2013) is exhibited at the 11th Shanghai Biennale “Why not Ask Again: Arguments, Counter-arguments, and Stories”, which is curated by the Dheli-based artist and curatorial group Raqs Media Collective. This thematic exhibition explores the turbulences and transports of our time. His work features collected furniture that was discarded within seven days by former residents of copper manufactory workshops in Chongqing. It has its origins in Wang’s Tongyuanju project, which was initially an art education plan to include the community into various art projects, that later turned into a series of works within this community in Chongqing, showing a typical example of China’s urbanization process. Wang creates a sort of confession room — odd arrangements manifesting distances between life and power.
About curator Kang Xueru
Kang Xueru graduated from Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in 2008. Kang Xueru currently lives and works in Beijing. He was former editor-in-chief of Art Time (Nov. 2011-Apr. 2015), editor-in-chief of Art Bank (Jun. 2014-Apr, 2015), associate editor of Art Time (Nov. 2008-Apr. 2010), edit of Art Map (Aug. 2007-Apr. 2008). He founded an experimental space in Beijing in 2013: We Wanted to Have a Space So There Will be a Space. He curated group exhibitions including: The Dilemmas of Painting (Asia Art Center, Beijing, 2017), The Cabinet of Wonder (Hei Qiao Art District, Beijing, 2015).
正在进行的第十一届上海双年展有展出王海川的《七天》的装置作品。此次上海双年展的主题为《何不再问？正辩，反辩，故事》，有印度德里的Raqs小组策展。 这个专题展深入探讨了我们这个时代的动荡与转变。他的作品《七天》，收集了来自铜元局工厂居民在搬迁之前丢弃的家具用品。 此件作品来自于他于2010年开始的“铜元局”项目。铜元局历史一百多年，从晚清因造币建成，历经民国弹药制造，再到解放后彻底成为一个三线军工企业。但是，这样一个有着辉煌历史的企业在80年年代末的时候，也不得不经历转型的阵痛。国有企业改制，工厂拆迁，员工下岗，房地产的介入。王海川正是通过“铜元局”这一项目对这一百多以来的现代化进程展开反思。其实，这不仅仅是重庆铜元局的命运，而是整个后发现代国家所经历的变革，正因为这种普遍性代表而被进入到第十一届上海双年展之中，成为讨论的议题。《铜元局》项目已经进行6年，作为一个庞大的包括摄影，影像，装置，活动等跨媒介，跨学科的项目，王海川准备一直要持续下去。