The Illusory

Galerie Huit is pleased to present “Illusory – Realness and Truth”, its grand opening show at the new gallery space in Soho 189, No. 189 Queens Road West, Sheung Wan. Curated by Julia Mao, this group show will bring together a selection of works from seven emerging Chinese artists, Ge Yan, Xiao Jiang, Zhang Xuerui, Li Shun, Wang Lei, Ji Xin and Zhu Changquan and to explore the messages evolve around realness and truth through different artistic creation process.

  • Exhibition Period: 10 March – 10 April 2015

Art, does it represent any truth?

Art, in it only lies resemblance.

The truth of art is a visual representation presented by an artist after a series of mental and behavior pondering. These artistic works bring us to an unprecedented circumstance where our knowledge and vision fail to understand and capture the works. In this context, all of our previous learning vanished, experienced direction gone, and we are left, perplexed, to explore forward in this unfathomable imagery. Perhaps, nothing in art is created to reflect the objecive truth. Perhaps, every piece of art is a “trap” designed by the artists to achieve their expected response from the viewers. Each piece of work is a “conspiracy” with endless possibilities.

An artist’s creation process is a journey of exploring the truth and realness.

Entitled “The Illusory”, this exhibition explores the ways and expressions in presenting the idea of “truth” in Chinese contemporary art; and through this, provides a glimpse of the messages the artists are trying to convey behind their works.

Ji Xin’s works look as if they are filmed over by a shaded light; this fading visual effect becomes an extremely reognizable artistic expression of the artist. While creating his works of oil paintings, Ji explores and employs the use of an oriental cultural perspective that is different from other traditional visual angles that viewers understand. Alternations on situation or context change the understanding of certain subjects. For example, a classical painting would have different implications and connotations while being displayed in a modern art gallery and a museum. In light of this, the “truth” that the viewers are willing to believe becomes more significant that the “truth” that the artist intends to express.

Li Shun’s art has always been revolved around the idea of word, language and expression. To create his works, Li puts a camera at a fixed position on a moving car, and employs the technique of long-time exposure while recording the journey of the driving vehicle, creating images of the space and time of the forward and backward scenery in the same dimension. As a result, he has created his own “languages and words” that meander between “likeness and unlikeness” or “truth and falsehood”. The viewers are the ones who control the ways of exploring “truth” in his works.

Ge Yan’s “Piled Castles” series features the image of “drawers” which connotes hidden emotions and the passage of time, forcing the viewers to reflect and accept the questions and challenges these images evoke. In his other series “The Lost Civilization”, Ge assigns new meanings to daily objects through his brush. By portraying them in contexts that are different from our former understanding, Ge created a novel and absolute visual space in which “realness” and “truth” seem tangible to the viewers.

Zhu Changquan’s works aim to reveal the “deepest” fear, hidden inside human heart that shapes people’s behavior, life and personality. Set out from internal fear, the artist attempts to structure a multi-perspective narrative and establish a “Full-scale Factor Imagery”. At the exhibition display, objects of daily life are added to the artwork setting, allowing daily scenarios to reappear at the exhibition. With the artist’s “crude but not rough” additional edit, the work is presented more three-dimensionally.

Xiao Jiang’s works depict seemingly mundane and stale space and situations of daily life, communicating an unspeakable dilemma to the viewers. What the works convey is not hardship, but instead, oblivion, neglect, insignificance and futility. Xiao Jiang’s works erase the boundary between reality and fantasy, pulling together absurdity and realness, and create a world of confusion and dreaminess. His works force the artist and viewers to become observers detached from the scene, unable to voice but can only feel.

Through “displacement” in her works, Zhang Xuerui explores the idea of new concept, language and form of presentation. The artist creates her own narrative by the replacement, displacement, dislocation and reinterpretation of daily images and materials. By presenting familiar objects – fabric, patterns, design – in a novel arrangement, Zhang creates an image of pristine aesthetics and redefines the beauty of imperfection.

The beauty and charm of art lies in the intangible conversation between the work itself and the viewers. The artists do not define the works for the viewers, but create languages that invite the viewers to ponder. Art itself is enough to create a “truth” that does not require previous experience and knowledge, instead, art breaks those contraints.

We need art, yet we do not need art to “tell” us the “truth”.
JULIA MAO
CURATOR