Echo among Geographies
Chen Danqing, Heri Dono, Sakarin Krue-On, Qin Qi,
Rodel Tapaya, Entang Wiharso, Zhao Zhao
03.19 - 04.18. 2020
Tang Contemporary Art is proud to present the blockbuster exhibition of the year, “Echo among Geographies”, including paintings and installations by seven celebrated contemporary artists highlighting the diversity of cultures, identities and inspirations in their artworks. The curation was originally made for Art Basel Hong Kong 2020. Due to the unfortunate cancellation, “Echo among Geographies” was re-adapted to our Hong Kong gallery space. While Heri Dono, Sakarin Krue-On, Rodel Tapaya and Entang Wiharso, represent Southeast Asian contemporary art in its pivotal attempt and in its most revolutionary and pioneering expressions, Chen Danqing, Qin Qi and Zhao Zhao belong to the counterpart from China whose works demonstrate a significant development of artistic language and reflection of art motives of today.
Southeast Asia has been experiencing numerous changes in the past decade, including its art system that is now a big part of the global art community. Encompassing paintings, reliefs and installations, the exhibition will highlight the forward-looking perspective on the region as a place that is defined by histories, languages, cultures and identities. With the rapid exchange and expansion in the art world of China, post-50s to 80s contemporary Chinese artists are addressing the critical issues undergoing the transformation of its socio-political environment.
Heri Dono (b.1960, Indonesia) is known for combining Indonesian folk art and myths with Western concepts of visual art. He incorporates the images of traditional Indonesian puppet, current affairs, political relation, as a form of his mystical expression and an ensemble of local culture and contemporary life.
The amalgamation of traditional folklore art with pop and surrealism has long been the key signature of Entang Wiharso’s (b.1967, Indonesia) oeurve. His reliefs, usually casted in aluminium, pigment, polyurethane and resin, are an acute personal examination of the predominant socio-political conditions of his home country. The intertwining and provoking composition with prudential versatility builds the allegories of psychic stress in a unique, comical hysteria, in the context of the increasing industrialization and globalization.
Sakarin Krue-On (b.1965, Thailand) brings traditional Thai motives and culture into the contemporary context, reflecting on the immense changes brought by the rapidly developing contemporary society. The Thai religious and mythological narratives have often been the trace to understand his idiosyncratic approach. His works trigger the contemplation over the capitalist forces, the existence of human and the material orientation of the Buddhist-influenced society.
One may find the pictorial language of Rodel Tapaya (b. 1980, Philippines) strongly related to the ideas of Claude Levi-Strauss. He explores the dichotomy between scientific truths and mythical stories and weaves into semi-surrealistic narratives. In his own words, he often finds himself “picturing in my mind the rich connections past stories can have to the present, which can even let us see a map of the future”, and feed into his contemporary practices.
Chen Danqing (b.1953, China) came into prominence after the Cultural Revolution and is famous for his Socialism Realist paintings portraying Tibetan minorities. His recent series of paintings inherit the realist painting techniques with a liberation of disparate motives. He is not only focusing on the emotion intuition but also extending to the revision of his own journey of aesthetic acquisition in the ‘Book’ series.
Qin Qi (b. 1975, China) is known for his use of exaggerated colours and portrayal of ethnic minorities. His paintings create the feeling of deja vu, mixing subjective emotions of romanticism and historical ambience of classicism.
Zhao Zhao (b.1982, China) is one of the acclaimed eminent Chinese artists known for his works challenging notions of authority. “Constellation” is his ongoing painting, glass installation and silk embroidery series representing an infinite cycle of destruction and reconstruction. The transient nature of bullet-shot holes are elongated in time-consuming approach of painting and embroidery.
Showcasing works by artists from Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and China and remarking the complexity of historical, religious and political background of these countries, the presentation seeks to provide an art experience that demonstrates the diversity of sociocultural evolution in the Asian region.
b.1953, Shanghai, China
Chen Danqing is a Chinese-American artist, writer, and art critic. He is known for his realist depictions of nudes and rugged landscapes. Influenced by the paintings of Jean-François Millet, Chen empathetically portrayed Tibetan farmers and herdsman in the 1970s. He graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing in 1980. In 1982, the artist emigrated to the United States, where he spent the next 18 years writing and painting in New York. Chen returned to China in 2000 as a professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing. He was awarded the prizes “50 Most Influential Chinese Intellectuals” (2004), “Top-10 Male Elites in China” (2005), “Elites of the Era” (2011), “Most Popular Author” (2011), Honorary Professorship of School of Humanities at Zhejiang University (2011), Lucie Foundation Award (2013) and others.
He participated in numerous exhibitions worldwide, including Museum Europe D’Art Modern (Barcelona, Spain), Venice Biennale (Venice, Italy), Guggenheim Museum (New York, USA), Aros Museum (Aarhus, Denmark), Louis Blouin Foundation (London, UK), Asia Society Art Museum (New York, USA), Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art (Shanghai, China), Minsheng Art Museum (Shanghai, China) etc. His work has been acquired by various museums and institutions, such as Harvard University, Chinese Academy of Fine Arts, National Art Museum of China, Jiangsu Provincial Museum, Military Museum of Chinese People’s Revolution and private collections.
His recent solo exhibitions include “Chen Danqing: Disguise and Paintings from Life”, Tang Contemporary Art Hong Kong, 2019, and his biggest solo exhibition “Step Back 1968 - 2019” in Tang Contemporary Art, Beijing, 2019.
b. 1960, Jakarta, Indonesia
He studied at the Indonesian Art Institute in Yogyakarta, where he is based until now.
For almost forty years, Heri Dono has developed a fantastical world of dichotomies in his paintings. Humorously juxtaposing reality with imagination, folk with contemporary art, politics with fiction, the tension between these opposing forces create narratives that cut across a complex, multi-layered system of ideologies. Having lived through the struggle against oppression by the Indonesian regime in the 1980s, and later the ‘reformasi’ in 1998 that spawned from the end of Suharto’s regime and developed into the neo-liberal globalization of Indonesia as it is today, Heri Dono’s artistic methodology re-examines power structures through satirical illustrations of humans versus the Other, man versus machine, offering a kind of passage for others to survive real life transitions during challenging times.
He is known for his uniquely contemporary, Javanese style inspired by traditional Wayang Kulit (puppet theatre). Through his construction of thoughtful layers in his work, he is able to emphasize the more serious, underlying reflections on and criticisms of social and political issues such as military intervention, political corruption, and environmental destruction, allowing easier engagement with often difficult concepts.
His works have been widely exhibited, including at the Venice Biennale in 2003 and 2015, the Gwangju Biennale in 1995 and 2006, the Singapore Art Museum, the National Gallery of Indonesia in Jakarta, Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon, France, and Asia Society New York, among others.
b.1965, Mae Hong Sorn, Thailand
Sakarin Krue-On is a contemporary Thai visual artist. His works are often site-specific installations with traditional Thai cultural influences.
The art of Sakarin Krue-On involves a variety of approaches, from highly planned terraces based on traditional farming techniques to digital media installations. A key figure in establishing the media department at Silpakorn University, Thailand's premier training ground for artists and art historians, Krue-On was one of the seven representatives selected for the first-ever Thai Pavilion at the 50th Venice Biennale (2003), and he was the first Thai artist to participate in Documenta (2007). His Terraced Rice Field and Nang Fa (Angel), both site-specific installations at the 2007 Kassel exhibition, exemplify his interests in process art as well as traditional Thai painting. Similarly, Circle of Hope (2003), a single-screen video projection that depicts multiple images of a traditional Thai goddess in a rotating, pulsating circle of blue, pink, green, and purple concentric circles against a black background, is a compelling mix of technological imagery, somatic effect, and traditional Thai motifs.
b. 1975, Shaanxi, China
Qin Qi graduated from the Department of Oil Painting at the Lu Xun Academy in Shenyang in 1999. He received his Master Degree from Lu Xun Academy in 2002 and teaches at Lu Xun Academy since 2002.Now He works and lives in Shenyang.
His works are characterized by a surreal dimension, through which he strives to depict things taken from a familiar context and represented with a reconfiguration of their concepts. His compositions are characterized by still life, real landscapes, dream-like situations and sketches from nature, all different elements that he has rationally chosen to assemble together in order to prove the coexistence of many different worlds. Qin Qi is a visual thinker and his compositions, no matter often permeated by a sense of ambiguity; appear as subtle representations of a consciousness that goes beyond forms to reach their more remote meanings.
Qin Qi ’s recent solo exhibitions include: ”Fragrance of the Night“, Tang Contemporary Art, Hong Kong (2019); “Qin Qi”, Tang Contemporary Art, Beijing (2017); “Qin Qi”, Platform China, Beijing(2014); “Chairs Can Save Lives”, Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai(2011)。Qin Qi has participated to exhibitions worldwide, in 2009, his works have been presented at Prague Biennale; he was part of Guangzhou Triennale and Nanjing Triennale.
b. 1980, Montalban, Philippines
At the heart of Rodel Tapaya’s work is his ongoing amalgamation of folk narrative and contemporary reality within the framework of memory and history. Utilizing a range of media — from large acrylic on canvasses to an exploration of under-glass painting, traditional crafts, diorama, and drawing — Tapaya filters his observations of the world through folktales and pre-colonial historical research, creating whimsical montages of his characters. Each work has its origin in Tapaya’s reflections on a particular time or place that possesses an enduring resonance, from its correspondence with the formalistic and psychological implication of the grid in his earlier works to protracted ventures which excavate and interpret myth and folk aesthetics. Inherent in the work is a tension between objective investigations of art and the subjectivity of perception and experience.
Rodel Tapaya is one of the most active artists in Southeast Asia today. His breakthrough came when he was awarded the coveted Top Prize in the Nokia Art Awards, which allowed him to pursue intensive drawing and painting courses at Parsons School of Design in New York and the University of Helsinki in Finland. He completed his studies at the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts.
b. 1967, Tegal, Indonesia
Entang Wiharso has a multi-disciplinary practice and is known for his dramatic visual language and unique images of contemporary life. He confronts the universal issues of power, loss and love through investigations of ideology, philosophy and identity. Particularly known for his large scale paintings, wall sculptures and installations, his work heightens our ability to perceive, feel and understand human problems like love, hate, fanaticism, religion, and ideology. Entang Wiharso’s work is layered with social, political and sexual critique, revealing a complex picture of the human condition by integrating narrative tools and placing unconventional materials together. Images from Javanese myth appear in his work in combination with contemporary elements to engage with ideas that continue to resonate and inform our daily life.
His work has been exhibited extensively including the 55th Venice Biennale, Singapore Art Museum, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, (New York), Musée d’artcontemporain (Lyon, France), Mori Art Museum (Tokyo) and Prague Biennale 6, among others.
b.1982, Xinjiang, China
Zhao Zhao graduated from the Xinjiang Institute of the Arts in 2003 and later attended the Beijing Film Academy. Now he is regarded a significant figure among the young Post-80s generation of contemporary Chinese artists – Zhao Zhao’s work is often associated with anti-authoritarian or non-conformist tendencies, renowned for confronting existing ideological structures and exercising the power of individual free will in his work.
His recent solo exhibitions includes: Green (Song Art Museum, Beijing, 2019); In Extremis (Tang Contemporary Art, Beijing, 2018); One Second·One Year (Tang Contemporary Art, Hong Kong, 2018); Desert Camel- Zhao Zhao solo exhibition (Tang Contemporary Art, Beijing, 2017); Desert Below A Constellation In The Sky - Zhao Zhao solo exhibition (Tang Contemporary Art, Beijing, 2017) , Project Taklamakan in Xinjiang (Tang Contemporary Art, Hong Kong, 2017) , Zhao Zhao (Tang Contemporary Art, Beijing, 2016), A sense of Security (Tang Contemporary Art-Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2016).
His recent group exhibitions include: A Fairy Tale in Red Times: Works from the White Rabbit Collection, NGV, Melbourne, Australia, 2019; In Extremis – Art Basel Hong Kong Encounters Project, Tang Contemporary Art, Hong Kong, 2019; Islands, Constellations and Galapagos (The Sixth Edition of the Yokohama Triennale, Yokohama, 2017), The Exhibition of Annual of Contemporary Art of China 2016 (Beijing Minsheng Art Museum, Beijing, 2017), Post-sense Sensibility: Trepidation and Will (Shanghai Ming Contemporary Art Museum, Shanghai, 2017), Post-sense Sensibility: Trepidation and Will (Beijing Minsheng Art Museum, Beijing, 2016), Everyday Legend (Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, 2016); Spirit (PAC PADIGLIONE D‘ARTE CONTEMPORANEA, Milan, 2015); ZERO TOLERANCE (MoMA-The Museum of Modern Art PS1, New York, 2014).
His provocative, multidisciplinary artistic practice has garnered him international attention in recent years with critically-acclaimed exhibitions across China, North America and Europe as an ‘artist to watch’. In 2017, Artist won “Young Artist of the Year” of AAC (Award of Art China).