October 20th, 2011, Boers-Li Gallery is pleased to present Zan Jbai’s solo exhibition—“I’ve Got Something” on its second floor. This exhibition features Zan’s works created recently, which is also his first solo exhibition in China.
Zan Jbai chooses randomly images stored in our daily visual memory, instead he makes them seem unfamiliar within his works. They maintain easily recognizable characteristics, but are constantly being tampered with and altered from their original state; metaphors for life, politics and history are all concealed within these altered traces. An excessive control of color endow his oeuvre with a light grey appearance; “light” but lacking in warmth, his tableaux are inclined towards austerity. These distinctive properties hint at the artist’s particular preoccupation with cleanliness. A meticulous and gentle quality hover in Zan Jbai’s visual spaces, forms are indefinite and weightless, and we are unable to determine if these contours are in the process of appearing or disappearing.
“I’ve Got Something” represents a new period in Zan Jbai’s practices of painting, in which he attempts to awaken a new vocabulary and an intuitive sense of form that can be used by both the artist and the viewer. Over a long period of time, our confidence in judging a painting has come from textual interpretations based on analysis of form and sociological content. This nature of swift interpretation effectively endows a work with context and it is also an efficient and pragmatic method; Zan Jbai believes that artists should consciously resist textual invasions of the canvas. However, this is not a rejection of interpretation and it merely avoids catering to it. Compared to stopping at merely exploring aesthetic values, Zan Jbai is more interested in becoming conscious of the guesses and imagination that are produces in the process of visual identification; he is experimenting with a kind of rhetoric that is able to be directly used as imagined paintings.
Bonsai, snake skin, a greedily hungry snake—these extremely obvious information tidbits are not narrative and neither are they lyrical; Zan Jbai extracts their forms from their concrete material properties, as the material dependent on the second stage of creative reality, this is a work method imbued with symbolic meaning. He subconsciously reduces any overly clear or purposeful expressions, leaving only certain hints. His method of retaining only partially control of painting process, which makes his practice relaxed and closer to a game. More importantly, opposite this game there is never serious contemplation but sheer reality. Through a domination of his swelling imagination and continuous practice, Zan Jbai has created a particular “kind” of painting; he makes it possible for people to “unassumingly and safely” confront a sinister reality filled with the ordinary (which manifests itself through half finished products and casual appearances) and he has established a deep form of equal exchange that surpasses technical rationality.
Zang Jbai (b.1980) was born in Ningbo. He graduated from the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris. He currently lives and works in Paris and Beijing.
Opening: Thursday October 20th, 2011; 16:-19:00
Exhibition Dates: October 20th–November 20th, 2011
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