Yallay Space Hong Kong
3 April - 3 May, 2013
A new generation of artists is emerging in China.
Following the 1st generation Post 89 and the explosion of its international recognition in 2005, everybody was expecting a new wave, a rebirth. 3 recent exhibitions have just revealed it: August 2012 with the expo “CAFAM -Future “ at Beijing CAFA (Central Academy of Fine Arts); September 2012 at the Shanghai Biennale under the curatorship of Qiu Zhijie; and finally January 2013 with the exhibition On /Off at the UCCA, the Ullens museum in 798 district of Beijing.
This generation of 30-years-old artists, born after the Cultural Revolution and MaoZedong's death in 1976 is radically different from that of their elders from whom they want to distance themselves. These artists that are quiet, discreet but with strong personality create conceptual and minimal works with a more global, universal touch. Far from the identity concerns of their elders (portraits, representations linked with the human body and performances), they produce artworks with a formal perfection using extensively the technology, the internet and the latest information media, underlining both the scope and the limitations of technology.
Wang Yuyang for instance exhibits here his invisible sculptures. Based on well-known shapes by Brancusi, his sculptures in composite materials are invisible to the radar, just as the furtive plane Stealth Bomber of the US army. The very complex calculations and algorythms that were needed to achieve this radar-invisible quality are displayed on the wall behind the sculptures. Xu Qu proposes a lettering realized from recycled computer hard disks. In his other 2 paintings a wave – that could be iconic for this movement – explode with panache and decompose/recompose itself into a multitude of small computer-synthetised polyhedrons. Su Wenxiang on his side wants to show the limits of technology, with his curious death announcement of a covered camera that produces black photographs. Black also is the monolith by Wang Sishun, made of immaculate deep black marble extracted from a well-known quarry in the north of China, much valued by the Japanese. The carved edges of the 2 tons monolith indicate the position of a watch 's arrows: 02H30 AM in a night without moon.
The nearly 4 meters large kinetic painting by Li Shurui shows us a storm center, representation of a quiet strength with a cosmic appeal. More peaceful is the 4 canal digital video from Li Ming, young prodigy graduated from the multimedia faculty at the academy of Hangzhou. His installation is a poetic and unreal wandering by truck, by boat, by zeppelin, by bicycle with consistently the same leitmotive shouted or drawn in red chinese characters, “Today nothing is happening “.
The Mountain-Forest II by talented sculptor Yang Xinguang is made of thin steel triangles delicately welded and in which a wood log with no bark is fetched, evidencing contrast between nature and artifice.
Finally Zhou Yilun is here the only one among those artists not to follow this path of a quest for formal beauty/ truth through technology, and to graze a different ironic societal look.
Polar light N. 3
acrylic on canvas
240 x 180cm