On the afternoon of May 21, 2017, jointly hosted by Wang Shikuo Foundation and Today Art Museum, “Amassing Force – 2017 Wang Shikuo Award: Today Art Museum Exhibition of Nominated Contemporary Artists” officially opened on the 4th floor of building 1, Today Art Museum. Yang Dayong, founder of Wang Shikuo Foundation and Chairman and CEO of the Sino Credit Corporation, Wang Xingzui, founder of Wang Shikuo Foundation and Vice President of China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, Wang Qun, Founder and Secretary-General of Wang Shikuo Foundation, Gao Peng, Director of Today Art Museum, and the representative of the academic jury and curator Huang Du, as well as representatives of the shortlisted artists attended the press conference.
Starting from Yu Ying’s latest video work entitled “Unfinished Village”, which echoes the most important work of Wang Shikuo, through the rehearsal of the villagers they were able to connect with the fate of a painter, the fate of a work and the fate of an anonym who died struggling for the ownership of land, to reflect on the heritage of the land and power of the modern Chinese revolution. It can be said that Wang Shikuo’s “Bloodstained Garment” is the original idea of this film. Wang Shikuo was an important contemporary revolutionary realist painter who had an important position in the history of Chinese art in the 20th century, and he consistently adhered to the creative spirit of realism, his creative way had a profound impact on the thematic creation and academy teaching in new China. Gao Peng said that the Wang Shikuo Award aimed at seeking artists of “the creative spirit of Wang Shikuo”, which was also the original intention of the establishment of the award.
The finalists of this exhibition include Ge Pingwei, Geng Xue, Meng Boshen, Ren Yuan, Ren Han, Tan Xun, Wu Ziyang, Ying Xinxun, Zheng Jiang, Zhang Wenrong, Cong Ming and Yu Ying. Their works cover easel work, video, sculpture, installation, and so on, as well as being involved in many dimensions of contemporary art, these seemingly unrelated artists actually have a common spiritual core: they have insisted on the road of creation for decades, they have the courage to constantly try and break the self in the experiment, while the most valuable thing is that they are like Wang Shikuo and the senior generation of artists, who stubbornly chose those that are the most solid, purest, even the instinctive art style that seems to be “clumsy” in creations: Zhang Wenrong’s large-scale comprehensive art project “>丨<” involves thousands of people, trying to build the new art perspective and creative logic in the context of globalization; many people are impressed by Geng’s wonderful old ceramic piece entitled “Mr. Sea” series, but this exhibition choses her sculpture as it usesan original method – sculpture, bringing the “Love Song by Michelangelo”, which is a dialogue with the master in the Renaissance across time and space; Ge Pingwei’s “Knot” series are also sculptures, he chose a log coherently carved to form a work; Ren Han’s action painting was finished by the artist on-site then cut and chiseled in the wall; Tan Xun’s “Li Mingzhuang Project” used the daily necessaries to outline the artistic concept of traditional Chinese landscape painting; in the “Dust 201501”, “Indoors”, Zheng Jiang has a complex description of frosted glasses in his childhood memory; Meng Boshen’s work seems to be finished by using simple pencils, but he often spends a few years completing it, in the period of forging works it is like a process of self-cultivation and understanding; Ying Xinxun uses transparent leather to create a strange and incredible image, a “creature” integrating a mutative origin and alienated body; Wu Ziyang’s “The Last Subway” presents a virtual and real city entitled “Lo Shan Jing”; Ren Yuan, who is engaged in programming, in his view the creation of artworks is a process of creating “rules”; Cong Ming suffered deafness when he was one year old, while he uses his own unique sense of art to interpret the painting, the ordinary lattice, circles and lines were given a new life in painted language, presenting the Oriental texts, culture and philosophical thoughts with a unique way in creation and painting, the use of Oriental philosophy combining the Oriental and Western way of painting to show the world and reincarnations.
The preface of the exhibition states that, these artists “have experienced the tempering of time, and their personal art stories and the spirit have gradually matured and their art is gradually perseverant. Some of the artists reflect the concern on the material properties, to explore the relationship of the dialogue between the physical properties of works and the audience in the architectural space; part of the artists concern is on the thoughts on the relationship between the individual and society, in the works that express many plights of people, or the use of the absurd, naive, strange visual forms and animation to express the relationship and thinking of the inner world and the public; part of the artists return to the creation, painting behavior itself, through physical actions they are able to express the awe of painting creation, or creation.”
The exhibition invited Gao Peng, Wang Qun, Huang Du, Su Xinping, Zhang Gan, Wu Hongliang to be members of the academic jury, and along with the public solicitation of the network and experts’ nomination were able to collect works, after they experienced three months of solicitation and preparation, the works by the 12 artists were finally presented, and the exhibition continues to July 2. The winner of the Wang Shikuo Award 2017 is about to be selected from the 12 outstanding artists and announced next month. It is worth mentioning that for the selection of Wang Shikuo Award, Today Art Museum also welcomes each audience member who visits the exhibition to vote – each person on-site receives a ballot sheet in the exhibition halls of Floor 4, building 1, Today Art Museum and they choose the favorite artwork, in addition to inviting the credible personel from art circles.
Text by Lin Jiabin, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO
Photo by Lin Jiabin/CAFA ART INFO & Today Art Museum
About the Exhibition
Title: Creating the “Amassing Force” – 2017 Wang Shikuo Award: Today Art Museum Exhibition of Nominated Contemporary Artists
Organizers: Wang Shikuo Foundation, Today Art Museum
Exclusive Support: SinoCredit Corporation
Participating Artists: Ge Pingwei, Geng Xue, Meng Boshen, Ren Yuan, Ren Han, Tan Xun, Wu Ziyang, Ying Xinxun, Zheng Jiang, Zhang Wenrong, Cong Ming, Yu Ying
Duration: May 21, 2017 – July 2, 2017
Venue: 3F, 4F, Exhibition Halls of Building No.1, Today Art Museum