Amelie Gallery, Beijing

Curator: Tony Chang
Jan 3rd-Feb 28nd, 2007

*Note: Imagism, a literary movement launched by British and American poets early in the 20th century, which was profoundly influenced by oriental poetry, most notably the four-line Chinese lyric.

Back to Canvas, the Poetry Between Abstract and Imagism
Post-80s avant-garde artists series exhibitions Phrase II

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.
- Ezra Pound, imagist poet


This is the second part of post-80s artists series launched by Amelie Gallery, exploring new shifts of focus of Chinese avant-gardes.

Against the impact of globalization, subject matter of contemporary Chinese art is in a flustered manner responding to social and personal problems, while this show represents a group of Post-80s artists (Chen SongTao, Xie Yi, Wu YiCai, Xie Lei etc.) who realize that contemporary is only temporary. From chaotic and superficial realities, they decide to retreat back to canvas, their ambition as oil painters is more concerned with something of eternal quality, engaged in exploring Chinese way to abstract purity.

Influenced by the abstract heritage in Chinese freestyle brushworks, they pursue innovative breakthrough on abstract paintings, which can be summarized as integration of abstract and imagism*; the later represents a realistic and emotional complex in an instant of time, a sudden liberation, an oriental way of visualization in Chinese psychological system.

These artists are intellectually mature and critical, they elevate reality with poetry, uplift boredom to aesthetics excitement, leading us to a place that is more desirable and cozy than the hard reality.

Chen SongTao's award-winning works (Charles B.Wang Oil Painting Award at Central Academy of Fine Arts )
which are based on classic Chinese imageries like winter plum, summer lotus, snow pine, fisherman, aigrette and the lady, in which he distills and magnifies abstract beauty of Chinese freestyle brushworks tradition to amazing novelty and intensity.
Xie Yi(Silver Award, CAFA)'s works were inspired by visits to pubs where live rock bands played every evening. In the dimly lit bar, she saw faces, bodies, and expressions seemingly immersed in the darkness. She was moved by the sequins on dresses, collars, sleeves and braces that twinkled with light, creating the impression that they had left their owners and were floating in the air. Expressing it as "hope without purpose, remembrance without memories, and presence without existence", Xie Yi creates engaging abstract tension on rock, youth, dreams and illusions.

In female artist Wu YiCai (born in 1979)'s world, vulnerability and fragile female sensations, hidden in delicate shadows and lightings, demonstrate her elegant styles coherently responsive to a sensitive heart.
Xie Lei (who is researching western abstract in Paris) create dynamism of form and emotion in abstract style, Chinese philosophical vision to chaos and universe makes his work uniquely Chinese.

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