Beyond Words—Artists and Translation.
A Touring International Exhibition of Artists’ Books & Art on Paper


Amelie Gallery, Beijing, China

International Artists : Lynne Avadenka (US), Nancy Campbell (UK), Maung Day (Myanmar/Thailand), Stephen Eastaugh (Australia/Argentina), Bess Frimodig (Sweden), Jacqueline Gribbin (UK/Australia), Ralph Kiggell (UK/Thailand), Likay Bindery (Thailand), Karen Helga Maurstig (Norway), Ema Shin (Japan/Australia), Cayla Skillin-Brauchle (US/India),Sarita Sundar (India)
Artists from China: Chen Qi, Tang Kaizhi, Wu Wei

Organized by Ralph Kiggell
Guest Curator in China: Tony Chang

In 1940, shortly before she died, Amrita Sher-Gil, the Anglo-Indian artist wrote: ‘This search for a singular or true identity in the context of hyphenated backgrounds and multiple locations is one of the foremost concerns in global art today.’

This exhibition about art and translation features mainly artists’ books and works on paper, and explores text and ideas of interpretation.

Art is premised on translation and communication: from sense to concept and from thought to action and expression. These artists’ works grapple with the very idea of translation: how language, meanings and beliefs mutate as they move from one form to another. In a globalizing world, we are more aware than ever of the pressing but often fraught terms of exchange between different linguistic histories and contexts.

The artists in this touring exhibition are bilingual, multilingual or Chinese. They have been influenced by cultures much different from their own. Through text and image, this exhibition explores and celebrates the slippages, distortions, misunderstandings and humorous oddness that can emerge from the process of translation. At the heart of the change that occurs, we will inevitably find new ways of thinking about the world as we experience it.

While the adventurous international artists express passion and romanticism in exotic cultures, the Chinese artists meditate in silence in their homeland of traditional rice paper, ink and calligraphy. A calligrapher, Chinese artist Tang Kaizhi transverses centuries, philosophically and aesthetically through his discovery of an intimate connection between calligraphy and tai chi. Multiple layering of various mineral pigments, obfuscates and deconstructs the calligraphy that was initially laid down to create abstract compositions containing properties in brushwork, color, concept that recombine traditional Chinese painting in non-figurative, contemplative and fresh ways. When creating the water ripples in his famous Water series, Chinese artist Chen Qi relied entirely on his own inner memories and perceptions, laying out the undulations and movement relationships of each wave from nothing. The depiction of waves is a confrontation between spiritual truth and objective truth, lending Chen Qi an opportunity to describe the subtle undulations of his inner world. His water is silent beyond words, while painting the ripples becomes for him a private internal prayer. Wu Wei, Award Winner of the prestigious New Star Arts Festival, uses paper as medium to create abstract and sculpture-like experimental artwork, which reveals the rich and delicate expressiveness of paper.

The Works include Arabic, Burmese, Chinese, English, Greenlandic, Hebrew, Japanese, Marathi, Spanish etc., by which these artists are contemplating individual identity in their own unique way.