00 featured image of Director of the National Gallery of Indonesia Tubagus Andre Sukmana and artist Xie Dongming

“SELF SPACE”– Xie Dongming’s Solo Exhibition was unveiled at the National Gallery of Indonesia on February 14, 2017, the exhibition presents more than 25 paintings which were recently created by Xie Dongming, covering a variety of mediums such as oil on canvas, paper and serigraphy, in addition to several creations inspired by previous sketches in Indonesia. Although it is a cross-regional cultural dialogue, seen from the curator’s exhibition theme “SELF SPACE”, “other” vision has been relegated to this place or it can be said that it is not the “cross-border” perspective that helps view the art, but it is important to emphasize the calm perception under the colorful rhythm. Specifically for the local Indonesian audience, this observation can be described as Xie Dongming’s self-space that agrees with his inner experience.

Born in Beijing in 1956, Xie Dongming graduated from the Department of Oil Painting, CAFA in 1984, and he taught in the third studio of the Department of Oil Painting in the same year. Now he works and lives in Beijing. In the relationship between art and the time, Xie Dongming has always been running in the opposite direction, which is because he chooses the country life and image themes though he is not a loyal realistic painter. For Xie Dongming, the world of his brush reveals the Land of Peach Blossoms in his mind.

The exhibition is divided into three parts. In these works, we can clearly see Xie Dongming’s attitude towards the painting itself that it is clear and pure. Especially in the portraits of characters, it is neither intended to highlight the identity, nor deliberately arrange a narrative, but remains as a generality, a pure and sincere feeling. In many cases, Xie Dongming gives the painting a persuasive power with the transfer of emotions.

There is a tension in Xie Dongming’s painting which can be understood from multiple levels. The problem of art intervening in reality is that he uses the Land of Peach Blossoms in his mind to maintain a sense of distance. He chooses the same theme, but uses different colors, strokes and perception of details to achieve a difference in interpretation. As for the thoughts around representational shaping, the attempt of using strokes to capture the dynamic images in the early years has been replaced by the instantaneously fixed image and the intention of writing characters. In other words, the “brushstroke” which is given expression and emotion is the image of a sense of tranquility and eternity in the seemingly messy, paved and staggered shaping, which is more difficult than the earlier explorations. This can be specifically seen in the exhibited works with different expressions, such as: smile, meditation, gaze, etc., it gives the painting a far-reaching calmness with the stirring strokes, which reveals the traces of the expression of the inner mind, while the purified art language and emotion undoubtedly make the whole painting stable in facing confrontation.

On the other hand, the gorgeous colors under the sun also particularly touch Xie Dongming’s heart. Among them, the admiration of the sky and sunset is revealed in many works, with great thanks to his direct experience in sketching outdoors. His sketch of Indonesia can be said to have inspired a visual freshness for Xie Dongming. This freshness is transferred to the canvas, which does not only exacerbate the degree of clarity and performance in the light sensation, especially the emergence of certain sporadic factors, but also expands the subtle differences of the different layers of colors, while it reveals different appearances depending on geographical differences and instantaneous touching of the mind. Therefore, we can find some subtle changes and differences in the processing of colors from many works.

Xie Dongming takes painting as his personal self-space, which is the artistic attitude that he has always adhered to, and he also considers it as a dialogue with the times and reality. In many cases, the negative effects of the modernization process are increasingly confusing and disturbing and we have a sense of being lost at the same time. If we have not yet sought a direction to avoid the trouble, for Xie Dongming, he not only takes his Land of Peach Blossoms in his mind to gaze and think of what is happening nowadays but also turns the Land of Peach Blossoms in his mind to a pure ideal land.

The exhibition remains on view till February 24.

About the Exhibition

Artist: Xie Dongming

Curator: Rizki A.Zaelani

Duration: February 14, 2017 – February 24, 2017

Address: National Gallery of Indonesia

Courtesy of the artist and National Gallery of Indonesia, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO

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