Wuhan-based artist Wu Hao’s first solo exhibition is presented by Magician Space. The exhibition brings together a heterogeneous body of work to together examine the outer limits of representation, abstraction and figurative painting. Through different series, Wu Hao varies the level of formal decision-making, heightening the capacity of painting to gauge influences as ephemeral as temperature (social or meteorological), chance, and time, revealing a persistent inquiry into the fleeting and the permanent.
In his ongoing series ‘Watermarks’, paintings are created mixing colors of paint with water, pouring the liquid into wine glasses, and other vessels of differing shapes and sizes. The objects are then left until evaporation of water leaves behind a residue of pigment. In a previous iteration ‘Watermark Project’, these experiments were carried in Wuhan, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, revealing degradations of chromatic variation working in tandem with differing conditions of weather, heat and humidity unique to these cities. Taking this idea further, the artist taught participants in these cities principles of executing the work – enriching his ‘collection’ of time to include the input of an anonymous collective of individuals.
Another variation of ‘Watermarks’ will also be on display. Whereas ‘Watermark Project’ creates an index of commonplace items related to their encompassing topological environment, the latter experimentation is directed more closely by pre-determined factors established by the artist. Incorporating flat panels of transparent glass into the paint mixture, the correspondence between dimension and duration take on a more prominent role. With a form of experimentation occupying months and years to bear fruit, Wu Hao has become adept at approximating time and dimension to probe further the vocabulary of abstract painting – an increased level of control, paradoxically giving rise to further nuances of unpredictability.
The materiality of paint and its ubiquitous presence in the city finds its form also in the work ‘Rolling Gate’. In a new series, Wu Hao collects old rolling gates from stores in Wuhan pockmarked with advertisements, which have been re-painted into a beautification attempt by city authorities. Relocated into the exhibition space, these found objects embody both conscious and unconscious attitudes captured through the action of painting, standing as an unexpected measure of social temperatures demarcating degrees of order and disorder in the city.
The exhibition will also include a selection of figurative paintings Wu Hao continues to produce in parallel to his temporal paintings. Pulling images from screen-shoots taken from Cinema, they are portraits of archetypal female characters whose images are saturated by staged gestures, fake traumas, and enveloped with nostalgic undertones. These works offer a synthetic structure for feeling and intimacy, lending a more formalized interplay of gazes with viewers in the space.
Wu Hao’s solo exhibition coincides with his upcoming participation in the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France. Curated by Jo-ey Tang, ‘Inside China: L’Interieur du Geant’ features a selection of five Chinese artists in dialogue with three French artists.
About the exhibition
Duration: 11 Oct – 23 Nov 2014
Venue: Magician Space
Opening: 11 Oct 2014 Sat 16:00
Opening Hours: 10:30-18:30 Tue – Sun
Add: 798 East Road, 798 Art Zone, No.2 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Courtesy of the artist and Magician Space, for further information please visit www.magician-space.com.