“SIGNAL” is a contemporary art project started by artist XU ZHEN®️ in 2022. XU ZHEN gives as a gift one of his “Passion” paintings to the global audience, and each recipient is invited to display the painting they receive on their social media accounts. A long-term, unceasing “art exhibition” will thus take place on Internet media platforms. The project aims to send the signal of art to people around the world and share with them the future of art.
As a global project with both online and physical presence, the very first station of the project – “SIGNAL” at Jakarta, now lands at Art Jakarta, along with a presentation on Instagram by nearly 40 artists, collectors, and curators invited by both ShanghART Gallery and Art Jakarta with their received "Passion" paintings. Later this year, followed by Art Jakarta, the "SIGNAL" project will also land in ShanghART Singapore and ShanghART Shanghai successively, and audiences from both Singapore and China will be invited to share "Passion" on social media.
Xu Zhen started creating "Passion" in 2021, a series of oil paintings on canvas. The painting series is a derivative of mobile phone screenshots of chats on social media. Unlike before, "Passion" is the first time the artist has personally painted such a large number of series of works, where the smears and brushstrokes are the visualizations of the artist's inner emotions.
The size of the paintings for the "SIGNAL" project is similar to the size of a mobile phone screen, which is the immediate echo of the chatting screenshots. The number of the paintings will grow as the project develops, each of which is unique and created independently by the artist. Meanwhile, the large-scale "Passion" paintings will be featured in future project spaces, continuing to inject passion into the world.
In this historical information age, mass culture driven by the near-universal technological triumph of the internet is undoubtedly one of the important themes in Xu Zhen's artistic career. The "SIGNAL" project is by no means a mere series of paintings, but a social media feast. The artist conveys the collective state of the era to the audience through oil paintings, a traditional medium but in a modern method of mass culture dissemination.