01 Exhibition View of Exotic Landscapes

September 8, 2012, Pin Gallery was pleased to announce the opening of the “Exhibition of Chen Wenling’s New works: Exotic Landscapes”, which exhibited the latest series of large-scale sculptural installations created by Chen Wenling. Started from the inner dimension of the concepts of artworks, the artist has made some conscious settings combined with the features of space to conduct further “transcendental” promotions and developments from the viewpoints of vision, conception, language and internal logic.

Chen Wenling (b.1969) has been devoted to sculpture-creation since the 1990s when Chinese contemporary art was just about to prosper, with realism, his works have made a series of expressions, explorations and attempts on “the typical images of desire” and subjects have been stimulated by and transformed from news events in this material society. As he went deeper into the knowledge and criticism of social problems as well as the symptoms of the era, his works have gone beyond concrete modeling presentations and unidirectional linguistic directives to open narratives, which have made a multiple overlapping, permeability and transformation within an historical and cultural context, sociology as well as historical ideas have become possible.

“Exotic Landscapes” is a comprehensive mutation of the landscapes of art, humanity and history, as well as an appropriation and convergence on the basis of a Chinese traditional aesthetic visual experience and modern elements. The installation “Deep-Sea Sharks”(2012, on-site installation) made by the abandoned engine parts from the beach and the photography “Solidity” series (1997-2012) are both allegories of the material alienation and reconstruction caused by the phenomenon of over-expansion in the process of modernization. Furthermore, in “Building Home” the pastoral situation was replaced by the steel lotus pond cast by industrial residues, ins an analogy to the portrayal of the social reality of China’s urban area of city and country, this grafted “moving landscape to create a situation” also revealed the lack of and regret for nature in the industrial ecology. The large-scale stainless steel installations “Calabatine”, “Urban Bulls” and “Transcendental Landscape” with a huge bulk are juxtaposed and have constituted a kind of progressive spatial relationship in the exhibiting space. Starting from the polysemy of “calabash” in traditional Chinese culture and the modernity of sculpture, “Calabatine” was created as a vaguely defined shape of body of which the sleek lines have lengthened the illusion of time and the multi-dimensional viewpoints have broken the barrier of sculpture that can be thought about but can’t be close to. The modeling of “Urban Bulls” and “Transcendental Landscape” are full of subjective aesthetic images of the artist while classical Chinese elements like Prunus mume branches, pierced works and screens are combined with the mechanical sensitivity of modern industry like pipelines, seams and cabins, etc., the artist has created a chaotic scene with social energy in which there are various suggestions from all directions and this also reveals his question about various kinds of contradictory phenomena, the variations and crisis of modern society.

Whether the rich implications of the “Original Shape” in Chinese traditional culture, the stainless steel forms full of industrial sense, or the reflecting and flowing aesthetic feeling of the space and the tense social issues…All have developed continuous integrations and confrontations on different levels among each other, hereon, the public nature of sculpture has been reduced to an interactive site, as well as offering a social function and artistic quality to accomplish a contemporary experience and sharing in the interactions between the audience and the works.

Chen Wenling’s works remind people of the idea of “Post-secular Societies”, proposed by Juergen Habermas, one of the most famous contemporary thinkers, to promote us to encourage new thinking about the accelerated-developed secularization process in the era of globalization. The meaningful exotic landscapes formed by these new works tell the profound spirit of grass-root heroism, highlight the significance of spiritual salvation, undoubtedly, letting the audience appreciate the extraordinary charm of the Neo-Romanticism.

—-Wang Mingxian.


The openness of Chen Wenling is the complete opening-up of visual field with invitations for the audience to participate from multiple perspectives. In his wonderful visual imaginations, all shapes and subjects have been given life and turned into living breathing organisms. Maybe, this kind of miracle will change China’s dreary urban landscapes.

—-Xu Gang

About the Exhibition

Duration: September 8th, 2012——November 7th, 2012

Academic Director: Wang Mingxian

Venue: Pin Gallery

Add: 798 Art District, No.2 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, P. R. China

Tel: +8610 5762 6200/11

Email: info@pin-gallery.com, press@pin-gallery.com

For further information please visit www.pin-gallery.com.

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