Exhibition View of Tip of an Autumn Down

N3 Contemporary Art presents the group exhibition “Tip of an Autumn Down” in Beijing. The exhibition features paintings and drawings by the reknowned painters Duan Zhengqu, Mao Xuhui, and Wang Yuping. The exhibition is curated by the aclaimed art curator Dai Zhuoqun, who leads us looking into auro, sensitivity, and serenity in the realm of art.

Tip of an Autumn Down

“Tip of an autumn down” is a metaphor in ancient Chinese literary canon, first seen in the essay “The Adjustment of Controversies” in Chuang Tzu: “Under heaven there is nothing greater than the tip of an autumn down, and the Tai mountain is small.” From the point of view of the austere ontology of pre-Qin era philosophy, the autumn down and the Tai mountain are both representations stemming from the essence of nature. Laws of physics operate on a level as microscopic as the tip of a hair, the universe shares the same origin with human beings, and everything in the world identifies with “us.” Divinity, the inception of life, manifests itself in the minute and invisible details of things.

Duan Zhengqu, Mao Xuhui and Wang Yuping are among the best painters in my point of view. Their sheer devotion to, concentration on and obsession with painting has always been moving. For the three painters, painting is an act of mind and body, when the heart follows the mind, and the mind follows the paintbrush, the vital energy and blood would tumble as the paintbrush goes, so do the lively spirit, vigor, and charm. “The tip of an autumn down” here aptly delineates their painting practices.

The exhibition will be featuring the paintings on canvas and on paper by the three artists. The setting is like two parallel lines, weaving, engaging and mirroring each other, either at ease or with caution. They provide us with multidimensional entries into the subtleties of the painters’ inner world.

All three painters are fond of nature and love to paint from life. Scenes like Duan Zhengqu’s Mahuangliang of northern Shaanxi, Mao Xuhui’s red soil of Mount Gui, Wang Yuping’s Jingshan Front Street, are coated with a personal tint in the paintings.

New potentials are also evident in those paintings. Recent years, Duan Zhengqu is shifting away from the figurative and bold style which he was known for, towards a formal study of imagery, composition, shape and color. The painterly image becomes more lucid and lively, a refresher for the eyes. As a pioneer of the new southwestern figurative painting during ’85 New Wave, Mao Xuhui has gradually stepped out of his enthusiasm for conceptualism, into the origin of painting per se with his new series of life paintings and drawings done in Mount Gui. It is a return to the intuition and poetics of the languages of art, after offloading the burdens of the sentiments of our time. Wang Yuping, as always, maintains the purity and naivete in his paintings. His steadfast stance and his anchoring power resist distractions from the outside. It is the manifestation of the insistence, tenacity, and aloofness of the artist consciously keeping a distance from the worldliness. “Tip of an Autumn Down” will include not only the new paper-based work Bosporus Strait, but also the four paintings of Obscurity series, finished in 1989, which are the thesis works for Wang’s study at CAFA, presented in this show as its public debut 30 years after completion.

Dai Zhuoqun

Translated by Feng Junyuan

About the exhibition

Dates: Jun 22, 2019 – Aug 20, 2019

Venue: N3 Contemporary Art

Courtesy of N3 Contemporary Art.

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