QI MU SPACE is pleased to announce the opening of Ren Han’s solo exhibition titled “Void and Ashes” on Aug. 12, 2017. Site-specific like previous exhibitions in QI MU, this solo includes Ren’s two-dimensional landscapes done in past and a new large-size painting installation on a building board.
The title comes from Bataille’s poem “I’m Accursed”. “ Void and ashes you are // a headless bird flapping the wings at the night // making the universe with bits of your wishes...”
There are four sets of artworks, among which is “Landscape of Disasters” series. The two artworks, an old and a new, were composed of hand-made and machine-made punctures on the back of carbon paper. Disaster scenes were painted on everyday materials so that the ordinary got converted into the sublime. The sketch on the wall, made with charcoal, is a figurative representation of waves from an overlooking perspective --- a dialogue between a dynamic waterscape and an industrial architectural space. Charcoal, as a natural material, is chosen for its simple, unadorned and direct quality that Ren always adheres to in his art.
The new site-specific installation is made up of six planks pieced together. On these decorative boards for construction with wood grain pattern were clouds: cuts made with axes and electric tools. The linear cuts were inspired by the visual experience from works by Goltzius, a Dutch printmaker in the 16th century, particularly his rendering of the heaving muscle. “The ax cut open the smooth ‘skin’ to reveal the real grain to form a picture with the beautiful and the sublime images built with broken cuts. In our world filled with simulacra, images are losing its significance. I choose to “sculpt” images in a “monumentalizing” way, but not for the effect of pitiful remains in the consumer culture. Meaning lies in process only, and everything is a fragment.”
Ren Han, born in Tianjin in 1984, graduated from Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts and école Nationale Supérieure d'Arts à la Villa Arson. The relation between painting and sculpture is one of his major concerns in art. Influenced by two French supervisors, he stresses the importance of reviewing physically the pictorial elements and vehicles such as canvas and frames, in other words, viewing paintings in the way we look at sculptures.