ShanghART Shanghai is honoured to present the 2019 winter group exhibition ‘Side Lanes’ from January 18 to February 24. This exhibition brings together works from thirty artists who explore a variety of mediums, and triggers a conversation focusing on the ways they discover. The participating artists include Chen Xiaoyun, Geng Jianyi, Han Feng, Hu Jieming, Hu Liu, Huang Kui, Ji Wenyu, Li Ran, Li Shan, Liang Yue, Liu Weijian, Liu Yi, Liu Yue, Lu Lei, Pu Jie, Shen Fan, Shi Yong, Shi Qing, Sun Xun, Tang Maohong, Wang Youshen, Wei Guangqing, Xue Song, Yang Zhenzhong, Yu Youhan, Zhang Ding, Zhang Qing, Zhou Tiehai, Zhou Zixi, and Zhu Jia.
Literally, ‘side lanes’ not only suggests the responsibility of diversing and relieving the pressure, but also functions as direction indicator, as well as a space to discover potential multi-directional adavances. Meanwhile, ‘side lanes’ also indicates the possibility of all roads leading to the same course: from distinctive starting points, their technically rich works made from diverse materials meet each other in one integrated space to create resonances. Following the thread of the common clue – painting as the medium, the exhibition ‘Side Lanes’ juxtaposes the various visual languages in one space. Facing different topics questioned by different generations, their answers collide and integrate together.
Artists are not limited by a single type of traditional medium. For instance, Shen Fan drills holes and paints on stainless steel boards; while paintings by Wang Youshen, Hu Jieming embody the artists’ intergration of multiple mediums: photos, printing, and digital media. Beyond two dimensional paintings on canvas or paper, artists combine ash, light and three-dimensional structures to create an interaction between installation and painting as its dynamic part. Artists such as Geng Jianyi, Shi Qing, Xue Song, and Yang Zhenzhong practice in this manner. In Hu Liu, Liu Yue, and Zhang Qing’s paintings, artists make use of visual tricks by smearing or overlaying one single colour that induces the viewers to unintentionally change their distance and viewing angles, so that the appearances of paintings change according to the refraction of light. Ji Wenyu, Pu Jie and Wei Guangqing, using hints of propaganda symbols from political pop art in their early works, reach social issues and form obvious narrative characteristics about the times they lived in. For emerging artists such as Sun Xun, Zhang Ding, Liang Yue, and Liu Yi, their preferences of combining traditional ink, oil paintings and new media technologies such as digital printing, video and animation, prompt conversations between traditional elements and contemporary concepts by utilising the outcome of the Digital Age.
The time span of these thirty participating artists’ careers ranges considerably from 1970s to the present. Despite of the apparent distinctions among their works, affected by personal experiences within different social contexts, their attempts hold the same continuity. As the buffer zone on their paths, the ‘side lanes’ offer more possibilities and alternatives for their creative endeavours.