Investigation No.2: Facing Distance
It is the second of a series of exhibitions organised by ifa gallery at ART PARIS. This second section requires certain proximity, an express physical distance from which to observe the artworks, and a key mental distance to identify the content.
The visual performances encourage a dialogue dealing with the “other side”; the side we do not see.
Wu Junyong, graduate artist of the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, is renowned for his video animations constructed using sculptures and cut outs. His focus is exploring public conscience, depicting the creation and destruction of virtues before, during, and after the foundation of the People’s Republic of China. Although the Cultural Revolution has long ago ended, many still live mentally within it, and Wu enters into the confused minds of the masses who act as though they were watching life through a kaleidoscope, searching to find a path and guided by blind people.
The Gao Brothers, born in Jinan, explore public news and public problems, utilizing subversive references which many artists dare not approach. Along with many others, they suffered during the Cultural Revolution: an imprisoned father murdered, and a subsequent reclusive life with four other brothers living with their mother in one room. Their irreverent art runs the gauntlet between taking responsibility and expressing puerile behavior.
Dai Guangyu, artist-autodidact born in 1955, since the end of the 80’s has become the mentor of the new wave of the avant-garde of Sichuan Province and Southwest China. Through performance art and ephemeral installations, he has often revisited traditional Chinese art, as in this new series of works which is a re-creation of the Chinese aesthetic of beauty as a virtue, an aesthetic diminished over the course of years.
Zane Mellupe, a Latvian artist living and working in Shanghai, has an extensive background in photography. Her works have undergone diverse development from documentary photography, found images, self-observation, photo and video integration to gallery installations. Her childhood and adolescence experiences aid her well in understanding China and its values within a socialist environment. Her most recent mixed-media works are focused on merging abstract concepts with physical objects accompanied by surreal short stories.
According to Taoism, dualism is the nature of everything: the organism, the characteristic of objects, opinions, as well as abstract concepts. Every “element” includes the other. In order for “the real” to be recognised, “the real” should contain “the unreal”; in order for “the unreal” to exist, it should contain “the real”.
The physical and narrative nature of the artworks shown in this exhibition evokes connections to and between “the other side”, “the opposite side”, “the inside”, “the back side”, and “the non-functional side”.
Zane Mellupe, Marie Terrieux & Alexis Kouzmine-Karavaïeff
Shanghai, Beijing 2009-2012
Public Exhibition: 29th March to 1st April
Thursday to Sunday, 10am to 7pm
Art Paris Art Fair 12, ifa gallery booth