Imagination is also Part of Reality

Ni Jun, Qi Xing and Fan Jiupeng, all starting with painting, seem to be heading for different directions, but all respond to the most profound aspect of reality. “Yuyuantan” is directed at the accumulated history, as well as our present reality, so as an exhibition, it is one of the future possibilities that are worth our sustained efforts to observe, rather than a summary of paintings in contemporary China.

What binds the three artists is a distinct sense of reality in their paintings. What I mean by “sense of reality” refers neither to a realistic style or a technique nor subject or content pertaining to up-to-date issues, but to a kind of attitude toward the world that is based on deep awareness of their own reality. The point here is that their perspectives and positions are all based on their judgment as individuals rather than the so-called mainstream, therefore with no bearing on the East or the West, the sublime or the vulgar, the high or the low, or the objective. Subjectively it examines various aspects of reality in view and penetrates their essence in an aesthetic way. In other words, when ideas arise, things become identical.

Staying clear of the worship and admiration, along with the contempt for consumerism, which, as theme, is common in politically oriented art, Ni Jun, in a way that has nothing to do with reverence or despise, is concerned with those political figures who seem to be both close and remote in our daily life, giving direct and plain expression to the ambiguity between man and the world. Qi Xing’s paintings are distinctive for the sense of fragment, as if taken from a ready plot or story, becoming therefore a profile cut randomly from the continuity of time. He tries to reduce some redundant narrative qualities and turn them into a kind of symbol or metaphor, like the implications or symptoms that are ever-present in the real life. Fan Jiupeng, with the heavily applied paint, transforms the originally two-dimensional surface into overlaid miniature three-dimensional texture, which, differing from a relief in terms of the formal function, gives a new dimension to the pictorial quality of thin surface, blurring the boundary of painting, as well as challenging the definition of traditional oil painting.

The three artists, all based in Beijing now, express by virtue of painting by choice, not only taking an active part in getting their voice heard about the age but also devoting themselves to forming unique styles of their own.

玉淵潭:想像亦為現實之物 Imagination is also Part of Reality
孫曉彤 Hsiaotung Sun




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