MadeIn Gallery is proud to present Spring Outing in Xiaogang a solo exhibition by Zhou Zixi opening on September 6th, 2015.
During the 80’s, Zhou Zixi (born in 1970 in Jiangxi, living and working in Shanghai) first studied literature before shifting to oil painting. Zhou Zixi’s works cover a vast array of topics and subjects: from his paintings realized at the end of the 90’s such as Net View, Legend-The Tower with Its Top in the Heavens to his series Happy Life in 2005.
In his exhibition China 1946-1949 held in 2008, the artist presented a selection of works developed around metaphorical symbols on history. The absurd overlapping between reality and history in The Days of Liberated Area or Street Battle in the City and the revisited “communism” visual language in his “photographic” series – paintings inspired from old pictures - all present this “dark, ugly” yet “grandiose and dramatic” aesthetics characteristic to his paintings.
The artist neither considers that the relation between history and reality is a causal one, nor does he believes that it constitutes a connection of fragments. For him, they exist in parallel within a certain context. Zhou Zixi’s sensitivity for “illusionary moments” results from a reflection on survival. In Spring Outing to Xiaogang, the artist depicts caves landscapes in Xiaogang. Past and present blend into uncertain boundaries, between fiction and reality, eroding into the desolate relief of the caves. Zhou Zixi exhibition presented in MadeIn Gallery attempts to explore the representation of political landscape in art. These fictionalized political sceneries will further draw viewers’ attention on the past.
About Xiaogang mountain: Xiaogang is located in the center of China, this quiet area dominated by the skies, mountains and dense forests, is barely accessible. A river flowing along the mountains is commonly called “clear water river” or “limpid river”. The river, in its remote and isolated environment, was fallen into oblivion. At the end of the 80’s, local farmers accidently penetrated the site and discovered numbers of cave sculptures and reliefs, bringing them into light. Years after years, various governmental administrative departments decided to protect and open the caves to the public, current leaders in particular gave special consideration to the site and largely promoted it. Since, the number of visitors to Xiaogang caves has regularly increased, it progressively became an important touristic destination. It isn’t clear when the caves were built exactly. In good weather, the grottoes spreading on a few kilometers from South to North, reflected on the surface of the river smooth as a mirror, create a spectacular scenery. The alcoves in intense density contain more than a thousand unique sculptures, reliefs and frescoes of Buddhist characters in various postures and attitudes. The richness of the art constitutes a remarkable treasure inescapable in the history of Chinese civilization.