Platform China presents the solo exhibtion of artist Xu Cheng in Beijing, which is the first exhibition to represent Xu Cheng’s recent works since 2010, which includes three parts, “Swordsman”, “ Reading” and “Body”. Wang Minan is the academic host of the exhibition, in his opinion, the creation of Xu is profane painting, which is in order to liberate painting from the realm of the sacred. Xu Cheng’s painting is precisely this means of liberation, also, it can be regarded as a playful approach.
In recent works, Xu Cheng paints all kinds of figures on corrugated cardboards, sometimes coarse cardboard changes the direction of painting brush, sometimes he paints some straight lines deliberately, which stands in for the creases in the cardboard itself, and are often mistaken as such. In this way, the painting attempts to gain a sense of illusion, feeling like a game of painting. In his painting, games exist everywhere. “About Dream and Love, I Know Very Little”, on a cardboard which pasted the portrait of Marx, he wrotes. Generalized “Dream” and “Love” is the topics he constantly explores. Such exploration may seem out of season, he does not mind, instead, he jumped out, stepping back to his canvas, expressing his “dreams” in a sportive way, reading, swordsman, woman figure, legs, bread, eggplant in the glass, horse rushed away etc. “Dream” lies here, “Love” lies here as well.
There is no argument in Xu Cheng’s work, only game-playing and profanation. “Profane painting is not bad painting. If bad painting always uses one aesthetic or value to defame another, or replaces the “good” with the “bad,” then profane painting is the total opposite. Profane painting cancels out all forms of values in painting. It cancels out both good painting and bad painting simultaneously, just as it cancels out both pornography and beauty in the nude, Wang Minan writes, “Xu Cheng’s profanity is not aimed at proposing some new principles or aesthetics of painting, but instead at dismantling existing aesthetics of painting. It causes the various systems of painting to collapse, so that painting can revolve free and unfettered. When there is no sacredness at all to man (even such a venerated figure as Gandhi appears in crude form), and when even the crudest things can occupy the center of the painting, and cheap, fragile cardboard can serve as the backdrop, where is the sacred dogma of painting? This skepticism is where Xu Cheng’s painting is truly provocative.”
About the artist
Xu Cheng was born in Shanghai, China in 1968. He graduated from No.3 Studio of Majored in Mural Painting, the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1991, and Melnikov Studio of Repin Academy of Fine Arts, Saint Petersburg, Russia, in 1995. Currently, he is living and working in Beijing and Shenyang, China. Selected solo exhibitions: Solo Exhibition of Xu Cheng, Platform China Contemporary Art Institute, Beijing, China(2017) ; Solo Exhibition of Xu Cheng, Gaodi Gallery, Beijing, China(2016); My Everyday Life is Full of Happiness, Gaodi Gallery, Beijing, China(2010). Selected group exhibitions: Change, Jolie Gallery, Shenyang, China(2015) ; My Way, 01100001 Gallery, Beijing, China(2014) ; Where the Eyes Can See, Art Channel Gallery, Beijing, China(2011); Diorama on Wall, 01100001 Gallery, Beijing, China(2010); Northeast Hotpot – 2009 ACEA 1st Exhibition, Gaodi Gallery, Beijing, China(2009); Reality and Irreality, Gaodi Gallery, Beijing, China(2007).
About the exhibition
Dates: May 2, 2017 – Jun 11, 2017
Venue: Platform China
Courtesy of the artist and Platform China, for further information please visit www.platformchina.org.