“Eroticism is the question of questions. Out of all questions, eroticism is the most mystic, the most common, and the most ancient.”
-Georges Bataille, L’Érotisme (1957)
Blindspot Gallery is pleased to present “Away from Disgrace”, Jiang Pengyi's fourth solo exhibition at Blindspot Gallery. The exhibition will showcase his newest works from three series which involve different experimentation of photographic materials, underscoring Jiang’s persistence to constantly investigate and innovate with the boundlessly generative potentialities of the medium.
Deeply inspired by French surrealist philosopher Georges Bataille’s text L’Érotisme, Jiang conceived his recent development of art as an existential inquiry into the solitude of being, and the role of sexuality in human relationality and spirituality. The three series being showcased, In Some Time, The Sun Matched with the Sea and Dissolution, forms a thematic exploration and a way of thinking about human mortality through the making of art.
In Some Time is a series of abstract images of dreamy colours, the result of a cameraless analogue technique in which Jiang personally manipulated the physical contact of coloured fluorescent paper against 4x5 large format photographic film in the darkroom. The former absorbs and emits light, while the latter registers and fixes the light reflection by a silver-salt reaction. Using photography to paint with light, the process is as much about the mastery of photo-chemistry as the pursuit of accidental beauty in the temporary connection between two sensing and reactive bodies. This process of painting with physical contact in the darkroom is an analogy to the acts in erotic play.
In The Sun Matched with the Sea, Jiang captured found pornographic images on expired instant films and violently treated them with excessive force, folding, pressing and prodding in an act of utter destruction and violation. The resultant image shows creases of radiating patterns, dramatising the explosive power and domination that characterise the underlining sexually explicit images.
In Dissolution, Jiang directly intervened in the found images through an emulsion lift from the instant film material. By separating the image-bearing emulsion from its original setting, Jiang gives a sculptural body to the once flat images, creating photographic objects that are unique, blurring the line between photography and sculptures.
“Away from Disgrace” represents the most recent development in Jiang’s evolving artistic practice. Select work from these three series will be featured in Art|Basel Hong Kong 2017.