Seven sunsets, waiting dawns, all in one. How to kill a wondrous time … not wanting a thousand hours.
Shanghai Gallery of Art, Shanghai
JIANG Pengyi 蒋鹏奕
This exhibition aims to capture and slow down our senses. The starting point is the observation of time and its inner force. Duration, energies and transformational processes are generated to bring together artistic strategies as a reduction of speed in connecting with perception, orientation and on narrative that arises, as a process of deceleration sets in.
In a global era characterized by constant stream of frequent flyers, attitudes and communication at a breakneck tempo, our own consciousness is utterly fueled within a streamlined mapping of new anticipations, expectations and representations. Our understanding of what or how social factors - both public and private - are made distinctive for each of us has significantly shifted and transformed, increasingly threatened by the accelerated speed and glut of images and information in contemporary life.
The exhibition defies the causality with which we normally perceive our own space and time. Featuring art that creates its own time-span, the viewers will be confronted with works that accord time to an image as it is made, and as it shows itself. As if to make the world stand still in motion, if only for a moment, these seven artists seek to direct the viewers’ attention to an experience that cannot be perceived through hurried movements and gestures. Drawn to anything that by reference, association or description expands the time contained within their works, they invite the viewer into a degree of active reflection. Showing the manifestations of the incidental and the everyday to be occasions for insight and awareness versus more universal musings, the artworks strive to awaken our passing lives, register and retrieve memories and occurrences. To further explore fragments of place, situations, people, and actions that manage to recuperate a remembrance, secrecy, or intimacy.
The mixed-media contribution of Li Qing visualizes the experience of being in the public eye, which challenges our perspectives on the condition of watching and being watched, adding dimensions of vulnerability to the world under observation. With photography and a video installation, Jiang Pengyi depicts characters and landscapes of cinematic scenarios, combining dream-like elements for contemplation. Yang Yongliang presents a constructed installation, calling attention to memories and things we may overlook in our lives while Ni Youyu captures the standpoint of recollection and the passage of time, altering familiar materials and shaping it into new narratives. Chen Yujun reveals his imaginary power in the tension between absence and presence while Chen Yufan explores the banality of the incidental through constant re-working on the surfaces of his paintings. Zhao Xuebing presents meticulous renderings of nature, offering a look into subtly differentiated forested scenes.
The exhibition does not "create" a world, but rather point out an existing world, centering on quiet encounters between individual artwork and the viewer.
Here and under waiting dawns, the exhibition distances itself from sensational or seductive effect. It brings together quiet structures and relations between different elements that are not simply to be seen but to be experimented within an environment of drifting, inspiration or simply, to kill a wondrous time.
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