“I say that a poet’s mission is to attract the voice which is yet inaudible in the air; to inspire faith in the dream which is unfulfilled; to bring the earliest tidings of the unborn flower to a sceptic world.”
– Tagore: “First Talk at Shanghai” (1924)
Here, we would like to use “artist” to replace “poet”. Whether for Tagore or contemporary artists, creation is a ceremony that continuously activates ourselves, and generates a corresponding life behavior. Today, we would not question the whole contemporary art “what is it”, instead “what can it be”. Contemporary print art is no longer just the operation of the artists in the studios, but is an intuitive and active participation of a“possible life”. The nine young artists come from the Department of Printmaking, CAFA. In order to comb through it, I divided the works by 9 artists into 4 connected but separated sections:
“Uncertain” – Li Bingchuan and Zhou Hongliang’s works use the narrative way of allegory of animals to deliver a strong sense of absurdity and anxiety. First of all, Li Bingchuan superposed multi-layer colors and then insanely peeled it off, which was like a system of redemption which was concealed inside it. Zhou Hongliang painted close-up portraits of animals, and in addition the fierce, it also reveals some complicated emotions such as confusion, difficulty and sadness, their eyes look straight to the spectator outside the screen, so that it is easy to develop a strong empathy for the animals.
“The Virtual is Real” – Wang Qifan is more like a Zen master, in terms of time-order of production, the ink traces he draws are real, while the ink traces he printed are virtual, so that the virtual converts into the real between the drawing and printing; Artist Tian Qi had to give up printing, the expression of traditional medium under a specific reason, but she was also granted a more open vision, she tried to sew threads to overlay on the painted work, seen from the back of the work, the sewn threads present a uncontrolled shape, so that the visual tension of material itself can be more purely displayed and transmitted. Huang Yang created a visual style in the mystique and expression, diverted from his research, accumulation and association on ruins of ancient civilization, and he advocates the work by immersion in the behavior of “engraving”.
“Construction by Using Deconstruction” – Zheng Yu’s works applied the solo version woodblock print, unfolding around the items associated with the life itself, every piece of work is a segment of life, is simple and direct, seemingly a fragmentary record of the artist’s life on the surface. Using the sensitive and unique understanding of trace, Zhu Peihong built a world with life bodies, full of growing “alive” natural shapes.
“No Destruction, No Construction” – Zhu Yunye increasingly focused on the scenic subjects that excited him among the diverse media and language experiments, the aesthetic result of the alienation of image is an eternal loneliness.
It’s finally worth mentioning that the 9 young artists’ artistic growth is inseparable with Professor Su Xinping’s teaching guidelines. Su’s print teaching mode especially emphasizes the intelligence of the concept of print, the ductility of thinking and the language of print, expanding the material nature of medium, and emphasising the training of the method to discover the uncertain growing space of individual language. 9 young artists have already formed their own diverse artistic styles and techniques, presenting rich and multivariate morphological characteristics; and to some extent, it embodies the common direction: discovery of infinite possibility of the individuals, and is involved in a wide range of social and cultural environment – it reveals the core value of contemporary print art education.
Text by Zhu Xingguo, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO.
About the exhibition
Curator: Zhu Xingguo
Artists: Huang Yang, Li Bingchuan, Tian Qi, Wang Guozhao, Wang Qifan, Zheng Yu, Zhou Hongliang, Zhu Peihong, Zhu Yunye
Duration: September 12 – October 12, 2014
Opening Reception: at 16:00, September 12, 2014
Venue: Xuyuan Art Museum in No. 1 Art District