Cavity Drift

Galerie Huit is pleased to present the Hong Kong debut solo exhibition ‘Cavity Drift’ by Vivien Zhang.

Vivien Zhang’s (b.1990, Beijing) carefully orchestrated assemblages poised on bold and infused coloured canvases avoid predictable interpretation or narrative. Through the transformation of personally sourced context-specific motifs that are partially used, reduced or metamorphosed, Zhang builds a new painterly language.

‘Cavity Drift’ comprises new and recent paintings that pertain to the interstitial domain and avert literal interpretation.

Trompe l’oeil plays a key part in the construction of Zhang’s compositions. Individual icons are progressively painted in layers to mimic the texture of aluminium foil, printed paper and stickers, which serve as a starting point to creating a new form. Electing to reproduce the icons by hand, the artist is able to enlarge the scale and manipulate the colours, moving away from the ‘linear translation of the real’. The motifs are duplicated or multiplied, propositioning a unique dialogue within each painting.

The painting Double Bloom gestures upon the immediate repetition – a reflection of the original, two facsimiles of Horst P Horst’s photograph of neo-classical carvings, reproductions of a reproduction oppose one another on the edges of the canvas amidst two large sepia-toned gömböcs that blend in the background. Battalions of white ‘stickers’ hover on the canvas.

The gömböc reappears in Deeper Bite, asserting itself in numbers. The mindfully interrupted rows of the sabotaged motifs protrude and hide simultaneously against two broad vertiginous strokes. Zhang’s translucent acrylic and oil washes demonstrate assured mark-making where parts of the painting are removed and reconfigured in another part of the canvas.

Zhang’s formative years were spent in Beijing, Nairobi and Bangkok, and Surf: String Theory pulls together influences and inspirations from such travels. The familiar kilim pattern as often depicted on Iranian rugs forms the basis for a new series where Zhang reconstructs its identity and interweaves its fundamental elements between a milieu of painted architectural fragments, Japanese stone paperweights and the feet of Greek and Roman sculptures.

Vivien Zhang’s multi-layered excavations proffer a visual lexicon of re-assembled concepts and precise actions, asserting a distinctive voice in contemporary painting today.

The public exhibition opens on the 15th JAN 2016 and runs through to 25 FEB 2016. For further information please contact Galerie Huit on (852) 2803 2089 / 2803 2528 or