On May 12, 2017, Su Xinping’s solo exhibition entitled “Fictional Reality” opened at the He Art Museum in Wuhan, and the exhibition is planned by the curator Yu Ke, and Lu Hong, Executive Director of the He Art Museum serves as the academic host. It features a series of works including “Eight Things”, “Papers Used to Wipe Brushes”, “The Waste Land”, “Ping Ze”, “Crossing”, “Gray” and “Portrait”, and so on, attempting to through the artist’s recent works and representative works created in the previous important periods to form a clear context of creation and exhibition, and outlining the artist’s creative content, to show a real Su Xinping.
Yin Jinan, Dean of the School of Humanities, CAFA, Yin Shuangxi, Director of CAFA Editor Office, Yu Ding, Dean of the Institute of Arts Administration and Education, CAFA, Prof. Xi Chuan, Prof. Zhang Ga, Prof. Liu Qinghe, Prof. Meng Luding, Associate Prof. Liu Libin, Associate Prof. Guo Hongmei, Zhang Zikang, Deputy Director of National Art Museum of China, Wang Shaoqiang, Director of Guangdong Museum of Art, Zhou Xujun, Director of Beijing Minsheng Art Museum, Yan Yan, Deputy Director of Today Art Museum, Xu Yongmin, President of Hubei Institute of Fine Arts, Lu Bin, Deputy Party Secretary, and Liu Maoping, Vice President, Xiao Feng, President of Hubei Provincial Academy of Fine Arts, Ji Shaofeng, Director of Hubei Art Museum, Fu Zhongwang, Artistic Director of Hubei Art Museum, Fan Feng, Director of Wuhan Art Museum, art critics Lv Peng, Huang Du, Li Xu and Sheng Wei, artists Zhang Xiaogang, Fang Lijun, Yue Minjun and other honored guests attended the opening ceremony of the show.
Fan Di’an, President of CAFA was unable to attend the opening ceremony of the exhibition due to the work of the “Belt and Road” international forum, but he congratulated the exhibition and mentioned that Su Xinping was a representative of the artists adhering to idealist, sticking to faith and exploration in the course of the development of contemporary Chinese art, Su concerned the reality, being sensitive to the changes in the outside world and continuing to return to the heart, starting from the mind to create a strong image of the soul. He also affirmed Su Xinping started from the printmaking and then moved towards a comprehensive form of expression, reflecting the pureness and subtleness of language in the grand narrative, offering a valuable example for the breakthrough of painting in the era of image.
The theme of this exhibition is “Fictional Reality”, the proposition that seems to have a strong dialectical logic, actually prompting an artistic reality at the moment, “in such a parallel world that is full of sensory consumption and virtual discourse, the proposition that seems to have a strong dialectical logic, has been desalted by the national movement, geopolitics, religious game, what is the direction for art creation in this case?” Curator of the exhibition Yu Ke said that, Su Xinping’s early art was more concerning the reality and literary, and now depicting a different way that was different from the previous experience, but for his art, “real or not”, “fictional or not” was actually not the key to the problem, itwas important that what relationship was established between his works and the art museum, city, society, it was important that what perspective did his creation offer us to think of the current art. Artists have always been looking for the values in the social changes, deepening in the insight on life, through the fictional –imagination to finish the reality in his understanding.
It features more than ten series of works in the Halls 1, 2, 3 of the He Art Museum, the work of installation entitled “Papers Used to Wipe Brushes” is both the starting of the exhibition and the introduction. Academic Host Lu Hong introduced that all people who were engaged in oil painting would produce a large number of papers used to wipe brushes, which formed some accidental traces, which were converted to inspiration for Su Xinping, who created a series of works of oil painting depending on the prompting of traces, including his reference to the traditional ink art, and then the illustrations of oil painting were transferred to printmaking by the way of copper etching, and the video of the creating process, together with the corresponding relationships between the original copperplates and works of printmaking & oil painting are also clearly presented in the show. It is through the exhibited works and clues to outline two parallel thoughts of Su Xinping since 2008: the exploration of the ontology of art as well as the further expanding of the thinking that focuses on the state of life.
Speaking of his own creation, Su Xinping believed that in the own creative system, it exists a “self-virtuous circle”, for example, when one created an oil painting, many papers used to wipe brushes are produced, while each paper used to wipe brushes has the value of independent works, prompting his new creation and producing new papers used to wipe brushes. At the same time his current creation is the dynastic state of “A Brush Is Born in Another Brush”,“Growth”, and there is not a concept of completion, but carrying forwards based on the previous stroke and feeling, which has never stopped until a certain time, rather than the work is finished, nor continuing to start creating by inspiration after a period of time. Such a state of creation is different from the previous model, and also an irrational logic, which is also an open state of creation, which is both reflected in a type of “creative cycle”, and the “fragmentized way of procession” in the creation of Su Xinping, desalting the border requirement of creation, desalting the edges of the works, life and creation, began by feeling and stopped in any place where you like, everything is a real self-state manifestation. Through the exhibition to review Su Xinping’s artistic creation, he has always been on the road of self-inquiry, of course, this inquiry also contains the way of knowing on the self, world and realty for art.
When Su Xinping was interviewed by CAFA ART INFO and asked the continuation of different series, he said that, this sequence of creation is also a process of expressing himself, and the trace of learning the self. At the beginning, his creation focused on the images of Mongols, creating a lonely, solemn emotion by a surreal way, which is the artistic externalization of his own identity, growth and memory, and also “really” reflecting the artist’s inner appeal and expression of painting; and then the attention of the self was replaced by the attention of the “social person”, for example, “A Rush Man”, deeply thinks of the relationships between the art and society, culture, the times, reflecting the difficulties and disorientations of people in the reality; a series of works started in 2008 has been changed to the exploration of language from the reality of the subject, and also began the re-understanding of the self, the state of life and artistic way. The art-inquiry of Su Xinping is consistent with the self-awareness keeping up with social reality, in the process of the growth of the artist, “reality”might once have a border, with a cognitive standard, which is a rigorous rational logic, but with the expansion of society, thought, and cognition, we might think of whether it is a real objectivity that can be described in reality. The “reality” is also dynamic, while the shape is varied, which is different from the individual’s standard and perspective. If the description of the painting is only the reality in the truth, it actually deprives the function of the narrative, art and the expression of the world. This confusion or questioning is becoming more obvious in the present context of the “reality” which is increasingly ambiguous, and the expansion of virtual reality technology, virtual socialization and consumption prompts a new relationship of “real-realistic-virtual”, which is inevitably refracted on the phenomenon of artistic creation at the moment, Su Xinping’s art might be such a kind of consciousness.
The exhibition remains on view till August 12, 2017. On the opening day of the exhibition, it held a lecture entitled “Dialogue with Su Xinping”, for the artist, curator and academic host to have interpretations of the concept of art, and alsoon-site exchanging with the audience by the way of question and answer, and it will also hold a series of related public education events during the exhibition.
Text by Zhang Wenzhi, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO
Photo by Yang Yanyuan/CAFA ART INFO