Chambers Fine Art is pleased to announce the opening on February 23, 2019 of Against the Stream: Fu Xiaotong, Guo Hongwei, Li Qing, Wu Didi. These four artists have all previously worked with the gallery, and have each developed a unique artistic style in his or her own creative field. With changes in global political, economic and cultural environment, artists are facing with challenges from various directions, and yet conquering these obstacles through hard work and self-discovery.
Since 2010, Fu Xiaotong (born 1976) has been evoking vast mountain ranges through an extraordinarily labor-intensive technique, excavating Xuan paper with a needle many thousands of times. Different from her earlier landscapes, the large-scale work Reincarnation presented in the current exhibition not only displays sophisticated and abstract forms, but also reveals her references to the elements and forms from ancient Chinese murals. Inspired by murals from the Han Dynasty, patterns of dragon and phoenix, sacred animals, and restless waves weave an intricate image of reincarnation. The artist has integrated her contemplation of life as well as respect for traditional Chinese art into the work. Similar to Fu Xiaotong’s attention to detail, Wu Didi’s (born 1976) paintings often thematically revolve around bamboo, mosses, overgrown logs and green vines, revealing on canvas the vitality of life in the natural world in a respectful manner. In her works, symbolism has become an understated yet powerful reality. For example, in her most recent works, nearly hidden spider webs can be found within a pile of old wood logs, signifying the vitality of life while magnifying the visual pleasure and imaginary space embodied in the work.
Guo Hongwei (born 1982) has long been observing reality and nature from his uniquely acute perspective, and is known for using his unique watercolor and oil painting techniques to reveal the reality and nature of objects. In his newest series The Origin of Landscape, presented for the first time in this exhibition, he deconstructs seemingly realistic landscapes in an improvisational manner. Utilizing his exquisite painting skills, this new body of work in fact reveals Guo Hongwei’s new exploration in abstract painting. In contrast to Guo Hongwei’s approach of creating multi-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface, Li Qing’s (born 1981) Neighbour's Window series present window “views” by combining paintings with actual windows, reclaimed from old buildings in Shanghai and Hangzhou. These old and worn-out windows are touched up and, fitted with new panes of plexiglass, directly upon which Li paints, creating his ‘views’ of the outside. The windows become part of the work, physically connecting spaces of different dimensions. In Neighbour's Window• Emperor, sections of the window are cleverly re-arranged into neon billboards. The drastic contrast between the plain and rustic window and the busy and flashy night scene, forms two distinct cultures and identities, naturally leading viewers to associate it with the current Chinese society.