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Frieze Art Fair London 2018 [Booth No. A13]
Solo Exhibition Art Fairs Art Fairs London, U.K.
Date: 10.05, 2018 - 10.08, 2018

Artists: OUYANG Chun 欧阳春

Like sunlight, air or water, earth is one of the primitive elements that form our world. I was fascinated by living a rural life and painting when I was young. I often walked on earth, and when it rained, the earth became mud. Earth is so paradoxical and beautiful. When holding earth in hands to create works, it felt like a wonderful experience of recollecting memories of the world. Actually, earth indeed carries our memories. At times, I went to the countryside or riverbanks and tried to dig things out of the earth. The things I discover often appeared mottled, vague and puzzling. But precisely because of being covered by earth, these objects were of incredible beauty, like Revelations.

Mud or earth is where we come from and where we will eventually return. It’s written in the Book of Genesis. Creating these works was a primal experience - pressing earth between your fingers and then forging them into bronze. This is especially explicit in Ouyang Chun’s work “Volcanic Ash” where hundreds of mankind’s creations were crudely rendered in mud. The process of making these works were a reflection of his childhood experiences and spirituality.

“Like sunlight, air or water, earth is one of the primitive elements that form our world. I was fascinated by living a rural life and painting when I was young. I often walked on earth, and when it rained, the earth became mud. Earth is so paradoxical and beautiful. When holding earth in hands to create works, it felt like a wonderful experience of recollecting memories of the world. Actually, earth indeed carries our memories. At times, I went to the countryside or riverbanks and tried to dig things out of the earth. The things I discover often appeared mottled, vague and puzzling. But precisely because of being covered by earth, these objects were of incredible beauty, like Revelations. “Volcano Ash” for me, someone known as a painter, was like a trip to unearth.”

Ouyang Chun could not forget the experience of making tiny sculptures out of clay when he was a child. In his mind, sculpture is naturally  connected to the way a person senses the world. Around 1999, when he was still living in Xi’an, Ouyang Chun often went on walks for hours along the train tracks in the suburbs. He found all kinds of rubbish people littered along the rail tracks, and was deeply moved by them. Since then, he collected them in a snakeskin bag and took them home like a scavenger. That was the beginning of his sculpture making. Ouyang Chun remembered a sculpture factory in a Shanxi village where he painted more than a decade ago. He returned there, used local earth to make these sculptures, and then turned them into bronze.

At the time, he had already been painting alone in Xi'an for many years, living on the margins of the city. He was also a marginal being in his living environment, and among his family and social circle. He dressed shabbily, with a snakeskin bag over his shoulder, looked like a scavenger searching for rubbish along the train line. It was as if he saw himself in those pieces of debris, and made them into sculptures. He moved many times during his stay in Xi'an and then in Beijing, and most of these sculptures got lost along the way. What’s left are photos a friend took of these sculptures many years ago.

A quote from the author Don Delillo says that“garbage is not what we cast out, but the prime locus of meaning in our lives: we arrange our existences so as to make room for garbage.”Detritus and wastes are recurring themes in Ouyang Chun’s works. When detritus of different properties mix together, like items that were once dazzling becoming used, consumed, and released, they would eventually fade away. This beautiful process resembles the fate of human beings.


Works Exhibited :


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