Wangdu & An Xiaotong Dual-Solo Exhibition
07.14 - 08.23, 2018
Beijing 2nd Space
Tang Contemporary Art is proud to announce the two-person exhibition “Paysage” for Wang Du and An Xiaotong at Tang Contemporary Art Beijing Space II from July 14 to August 23, 2018. The exhibition centers on “paysage” (the French word for “landscape”), showing how Wang Du and An Xiaotong understand and reference the contemporary qualities of ancient images of landscape within the context of our current globalized society.
Wang Du’s landscapes once again employ the technique he has used in his past work to translate 2D images into 3D images. Wang selected three classic ancient Chinese landscapes: Wang Ximeng’s One Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains and Yan Wengui’s Pavilions Along Mountains and Rivers from the Northern Song period, and Wu Yuanzhi’s Red Cliffs from the Jin dynasty, translating them into 3D images using glass. While these transparent, fragile, sharp, and somewhat dangerous glass landscapes create a formal contrast with landscapes painted on ancient scrolls, they also suggest an intrinsic cultural reciprocity.
An Xiaotong’s landscapes are genetically-modified products of familiar ancient scroll standards and the present glut of images. Using the traditional painting materials of water, ink, and rice paper, she creates a landscape scroll nearly sixty meters long that was certainly not painted. It has the translucency of a latent image on a photographic negative, presenting—in creative form—the multi-layered spectacle of a seemingly idealized utopia, but also a ruin that has just barely survived disaster, or a mirage that is about to disappear.
This presentation of landscape avoids strong conceptual references, and there is no flattery to delight the senses, no feigned cynicism, no lamentations, and no self-consoling metaphysics; there is only simple landscape. The works are presented in the exhibition with an introverted tranquility, using space to guide the viewer’s interventions and meditations. This also provides another possible identification for the dimensional changes in the work: multiple relationships between the viewers and the works is more interesting than the artists directly presenting their ideas.
b.1956 Wuhan, China
Wang Du was born in Wuhan in December 1956. He has lived and worked in Paris since 1990. He has taught in the art department at the University of Paris VIII and the École supérieure d'art de Brest. Wang Du works in a range of media, including installation, sculpture, photography, and multi-media. His statement, “I am media, I am reality, I am image,” could be seen as an interpretation of the concepts behind his work. He believes that “the completely digital third reality is constructing a contemporary society and culture that needs to be constantly redefined.” Thus, his work redefines a series of concepts within reality from different perspectives, which is also the statement he has made since he declared, “I am the spokesperson for reality and the masses.”
Wang’s art has been disseminated widely in art criticism, documentaries, contemporary artist dictionaries, and art books. His work has also been covered by many international magazines, newspapers, and TV and radio stations. In 2008 and 2012, Wang Du held solo exhibitions at Tang Contemporary Art in Beijing, titled “International Kebab” and “Musée d’Art Contemporain de la Chine” respectively. His works have been exhibited throughout international museums and contemporary art institutions including the 1999 Venice Biennale, Centre Pompidou, Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris, Vancouver Art Gallery, Rodin Gallery in South Korea, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Deitch Projects in New York, Kestnergesellschaft in Hanover, Germany.
b.1971 Xi'an, China
An Xiaotong was born in Xian in 1971 and has been working as an independent artist and curator since the early 1990's, participating in collective exhibitions abroad, especially with gallery Anne de Villepoix (Pulse, New York) in 2006 and in 2005 (FIAC, Paris; Art Basel Miami 2006) and in China, noticeably with Floating city, The first Biennial of Moca Shanghai in 2006. An Xiaotong has also had a series of solo shows including Spreading at the Biennal of Busan and Virus 2006 with Miss China in Paris in 2006. Where and When at UCCA is the first solo show of the artist in Beijing since Limits of Visions at the Galerie Passage in 2000. An Xiaotong has lived in France since 2002.
The work of An Xiaotong builds on a symptomatic phenomenon of our time: people's connections on the internet. New communicating mechanisms and concepts are replacing traditional means of communication; Simplicity of communication has on the one hand brought people closer together while simultaneously creating new distances. Life evolves between the virtual and the real worlds, with the former gradually replacing the latter and the concept of communication redefined by space and time.
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