On April 14, Qi Mu Space and Between Art Lab will jointly declare the opening of “Studio”, a joint exhibition of works by Wang Shuo and Liu Chao, a couple. In this exhibition experiment that tries to reconstruct the artists’ life and artistic creation, Qi Mu Space is refashioned into the couple’s studio in Xianggeweilan, Shenyang, a hotbed of life and ideals in their painting career. Here on display are not only their works done in the past two years but also their state in which these works were created. They were classmates in the secondary school attached to the art academy, and were admitted to the art academy in the same year. They fell in love, got married and became teachers at the academy after they graduated. In these years of shared life and devotion to art, they conflicted with each other and learned from each other as well, exploring their individuality and developing sensitivity in their own ways.
For some time Wang Shuo had been following a clue we may call “representative indication”. The pictorial experiments in this period reorganized the fragmented figure images, natural scenes and moments of real life to correspond reciprocally with the “indications”, therefore building an abstract “tendency of momentum”, which had been the focus of his practice. In recent works, however, we can identify something new: “sketchy attitude”. This “attitude”, having little bearing on traditional sketch, refers to the artist’s choice to challenge the “established pictorial styles” and pursue pictorial accessibility through liberating pictorial media and varying pictorial approaches. The shift from routine practice to the essence of painting activates and reorganizes previous experience and new elements.
Liu Chao is concerned more with pictorial space. Her juxtaposition of the scattered space with the frequent “viewers” introduces into the painting a non-linear visual logic that creates a void in the recognition of the subjective identity. In her paintings, Liu Chao tries to settle, for non-rational constancy, the conflict between existence and non-existence where painting lies. In the paintings there is also dynamic thinking that helps to unlock the constant potential by means of various of pictorial languages, like color, stroke and composition. The dynamic may originate in the artist’s constant control and loss of control, visual and mental connections, and the pictorial languages. When space and figures become new elements with generative and dynamic capacity, the affective accessibility gets scattered into the constantly generated fragments in space. As a young artist, Liu Chao keeps exploring the pictorial world.
Introducing the concept of “studio”, this joint exhibition for the two artists is designed to reconstruct an on-site locale for artistic creation by highlighting the connection and contrast in terms of creative ideas and means of expression between the artist couple with the same education background.
Wang Shuo was born in Changchun, Jilin in 1986. Liu Chao was borin in Chengde, Hebei in 1987. Both graduated with a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree from Studio No. 2, Oil Painting Department, Luxun Academy of Fine Arts. They now teach at Luxun Academy of Fine Arts.