Red Gate is pleased to announce the exhibition of new works on paper by Zhou Jirong. It is going to be held from August 27 through to September 18th, 2011. For the last thirty years, Zhou Jirong has been incorporating the city’s urban transformation into his repertoire starting from his “Hutong” series of screen prints in the 1980s to his “Twilight  City” series in the recent years. As an acute observer with a poetic sensibility, Zhou documents the metamorphosis of the city from a rustic sleepy town into a metropolis and its incessant evolution.

Twilight City I by Zhou Jirong, 45x65cm; mixed media, 2011

Twilight City I by Zhou Jirong, 45x65cm; mixed media, 2011

Twilight City III by Zhou Jirong, 88x136cm; mixed media

Twilight City III by Zhou Jirong, 88x136cm; mixed media

This exhibition presents Zhou’s new series of works on paper which documents the ambiguous Beijing skyline while referencing the surfaces and colours of urban decay to produce the artist’s trademark landscapes.  His eastern sensibility in these works where the architectural sihouettes nestle in a foggy horizon echos the poetic mist of a Song Dynasty’s landscape. Applying an uncanny variety of techniques that incorporate silk printing and the use of mineral colours on special handmade pulp paper, the results are a scrumptious interplay of textural and chromatic delights. An ode to Impressionism, Zhou’s metropolitan area is shrouded in a citrus cloud punctuated with vertical silhouettes that hint of construction cranes or scattering skyscrapers.

Landscapes on Paper by Zhou Jirong, 100x200cm; mixed media, 2011

Landscapes on Paper by Zhou Jirong, 100x200cm; mixed media, 2011

Nightfall from Eight Thousand Li by Zhou Jirong, 100x200cm; mixed media, 2011

Nightfall from Eight Thousand Li by Zhou Jirong, 100x200cm; mixed media, 2011

In Zhou’s monumental work “Nightfall from Eight Thousand Li”, his distilled vision of an urban sunset is transfigured as an essence of orange with a telescopic-like border. The ochre palette reinforces the sense of fiery enthusiasm and burning ambition that ignite the city. Inversely, Zhou’s janus-faced panoramas could equally be interpreted as scenes of destruction to make way for urban renewal. Embedded in the robust yet delicate works on paper lie a contradictory and conflicted duality which reverberates throughout the new China of today.

View the Chinese version of this article here

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