Zhai Liang, “Dark Heart of the America”, watercolor on paper, 16.1 x 12 inch, 2014 © 2014 Zhai Liang, courtesy Fou Gallery

Zhai Liang, “Dark Heart of the America”, watercolor on paper, 16.1 x 12 inch, 2014 © 2014 Zhai Liang, courtesy Fou Gallery

New York – Fou Gallery is pleased to present Beijing based artist Zhai Liang’s first solo exhibition in the United States from September 6 through November 15, 2014. The exhibition will feature nine works on paper, created in New York during the artist’s three-month residency at Fou Gallery. According to Zhai, “Everyone has his/her own ‘dream’ of New York. Dazzeld by a riot of colour in New York, everyone is living in the lie of this kaleidoscope.” The public opening reception will take place at Fou Gallery on September 6, 5-8pm.

Every image is a unique scene of New York built by Zhai Liang himself, who tries to explore the intersection of reality and the imaginary. A group of half-sitting people, hands with wine glass, a suspended heart and a walking pigeon – everything in Zhai Liang’s works seem to be isolated from the surrounding environment. They suddenly emerge in a void space, leading the audience to enter a surreal dream, or to believe in an elaborate “lie” by the artist.

Zhai Liang, “Sigmar Lynch”, watercolor on paper, 12 x 16.1 inch, 2014 © 2014 Zhai Liang, courtesy Fou Gallery

Zhai Liang, “Sigmar Lynch”, watercolor on paper, 12 x 16.1 inch, 2014 © 2014 Zhai Liang, courtesy Fou Gallery

Zhai Liang has deliberately placed the exhibition and works’ titles in quotation marks, making them appear like quotations attributed to a fictional person of the artist’s creation. In “Pinocchio’s Face,” several abstract geometric compositions form a long-nosed face. However, a close look reveals their real identity – five shreds of paper. Pinocchio – an intriguing figure known for his lies – is the inspiration of the exhibition’s title. The quote-like titles construct a double scam. The unidentified reference person is another creature of the artist, as if standing from the perspective of a third person. “Sigmar Lynch” is an appropriation of a portrait in Museum of Modern Art’s Sigmar Polke exhibition. Zhai Liang stretches the young boy’s face to make him resemble the protagonist in David Lynch’s classic film Eraserhead. “Dark Heart of the America” is a careful examination of the flashy social scenes in New York. Two smiling faces hang in the void. With no bodies in the scene, two hands holding wine glasses become the highlight of the image. A dark heart is suspended on the other side.

Zhai Liang works in a very intuitive manner, as if in constant improvisation. He starts with a brief idea and develops the work with feedback from the process of drawing. The diverse cultural scene in New York inspires him to bring deliberate accidents in final works. Zhai Liang complains that “New York is a Big Liar.” However, he is the initiator of the deception. He builds the mirage out of his imagination, and lures us to look into the kaleidoscope and to create our own mirages.

Zhai Liang, “Pinocchio’s Face”, watercolor on paper, 16.1 x 12 inch, 2014 © 2014 Zhai Liang, courtesy Fou Gallery

Zhai Liang, “Pinocchio’s Face”, watercolor on paper, 16.1 x 12 inch, 2014 © 2014 Zhai Liang, courtesy Fou Gallery

 About the artist

Zhai Liang (b.1983, Houma, Shanxi Province, China) graduated from Oil Painting department, Sichun Academy of Fine Arts, Chongqing (B.F.A.) in 2006 and Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (M.F.A.) in 2009. His works were featured in Leap, Artforum and Hi Art, etc. His recent exhibitions include Zhai Liang: Catalogue – Babel Library at White Space, Beijing (2013); Zhai Liang: The Garden of Forking Paths at 1000 Plateaus Space, Chengdu (2011 and 2013) and The Diary of Travelers at Hive Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2014). His works have been included in the public collections of Long Museum (Shanghai) and He Xiangning Art Museum (Shenzhen).

About Fou Gallery

Fou is an apartment gallery and creative lab based in Brooklyn, New York. Fou is dedicated to promote creative talents and projects of our time. As suggested by its name, Fou is a denial of the mainstream commercial gallery model and an active contributor to a new organic art community. With the belief that enjoying art is an essential part of everyday life, Fou offers a vibrant, enjoyable and inspirational selection of original works in art and design.

About the exhibition

Duration: September 6–November 15, 2014

Public Opening: Saturday, September 6, 2014, 5-8pm

Address: Fou Gallery, 535 Dean Street, Apartment 507, Brooklyn, NY11217

Hours: Saturday 2-6pm, other time by appointment only

Press Contact: Ning DING (fougallery@gmail.com; 1.347.326.1580)

Courtesy of the artist and Fou Gallery, for  further information please visit http://fougallery.com.

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