WILL - Mao Xuhui Solo Exhibition
Curator: Dai Zhuoqun
1.8 - 2.10, 2020
Tang Contemporary Art is proud to announce the opening of Mao Xuhui’s solo exhibition “WILL”, curated by Dai Zhuoqun, featuring fifteen of his oil paintings of ‘Scissors’ and ‘Chairs’ series on January 8, 2020, at the gallery’s Hong Kong space in H Queen’s.
Like many of his contemporaries, Mao Xuhui has developed a kind of branding identity for his work through the repeated use of figurative daily objects. After evolvement of 3 decades from the motives of ‘Scissors’, ‘Paternalism’ to ‘Daily Epic’, the meaning of scissors and chairs have grown from home and country, feudalism and authority to the metaphor of life, death and family bonding. His ’Guishan‘ series since 1980s is a tribute to humanity and homeland.
I love them, and will has the greatest meaning
Before passion turns to ashes, it dissipates, and your soul dies before your body does.
You don’t want literature, narrative, lyricism, expression, or superficial formalism; it is only meaninglessness that generates meaning - will has the greatest meaning.
Seek truth, seek truth, seek truth, even if it is brutal, tearing, and destructive.
What makes for truly great art? The interrogation and close examination of the soul, far from everyday ordinariness, absolutes, loftiness, and essence. Only immense loneliness can produce eternal works of art.
For the vast majority of people on earth, life exists in a superficial world. Only the extremely special children of art can reach or touch the world of will. The world of will is the contemplation of existence, the questioning of the ultimate end, and the gate to the mysteries.
Will is persistence, and it is spiritual pride and suffering. Will is an adventure full of twists and turns, and it is dying nine times without regret; it is endless depletion, and it is interminable delay. It is passion, resistance, solemnity, pain, piety, waiting, hesitation, grief, and decline.
Will is following your heart; it is not mixed with any impurities. True freedom is the massacre of the self.
Will is humanity’s absolute truth.
I love them. I am faithful to the earth, and I push art to the precipice.
The desire to create is the desire to reproduce. Reproduction is an endless love for life. A life of creativity rejects the mediocre and the dull, and will lingers in a metaphysical haze. Worry is creative desire, and life is only meaningful in an invisible, internal world. A restless, fragmented creative life is not a happy one; “happiness” is an absurd word. The world of creation is endless pain, and pain is spiritual succor. Pain and meaning are two sides of the same coin. Pain produces pain, but pain also cures pain.
I love them. I am faithful to life and nature. I am not restricted to a particular form; I simply maintain a spirit.
The highest art is neither artificial decoration nor the accumulation of ideas; it is not a tool of superficial reality. When you meet her, you dive into that deep secret with your pure heart and you reach the essence of truth.
I love them, a knife, a chair, and a report on the soul.
Absolute will can be given lofty form. Shape and color are the codes for heart and emotion. Works of art are tombs of the soul, and they are the silence that remains after your struggles and desires end. Silence is the epitaph carved by fate.
Only truth and love are eternal.
December 25, 2019
Upright Red-green Scissors Oil on canvas 130 x 100 cm 2008
Lying Chair, Bright Sky Acrylic on canvas 80 x 180 cm 2011
Scissors in Spring, Horizontal Oil on canvas 100 x 200 cm 2008
Outline, Black-grey Scissors, Open Oil on canvas 150 x 180 cm 2008
Outline, Half Scissors, Diagonal Oil on canvas 150 x 180 cm 2008
Outline, Black-grey Scissors, Upside-down Oil on canvas 180 x 150 cm 2008
Outline, Black-grey Scissors, Inclined Oil on canvas 180 x 150 cm 2008
Venue to Bury, Red Back-chair Acrylic on canvas 200 x 160 cm 2010
Toppled Black-chair, Far Away Oil and acrylic on canvas 200 x 250 cm 2012
Outline, Yellow-grey Scissors, Upright Oil on canvas 160 x 130 cm 2007
Red Half Scissors, Upright Oil on canvas 100 x 200 cm 2008
Black Back-chair with A Green Background Oil on canvas 250 x 180 cm 2008
Red Square Table, My Studio Oil on canvas 180 x 150 cm 2009 - 2010
Red Back-chair with A Green Background Oil on canvas 250 x 180 cm 2008
Guishan, Gum Tree Forest No.1 Oil on canvas 90 x 120 cm 2010
Sketch in Guishan, Valley of Buds in Autumn (To Nelson Mandela) Oil on canvas 40 x 90 cm 2013
Guishan, Song in Autumn No.2 Oil on canvas 120 x 70 cm 2010
Guishan, Song in Autumn No.1 Oil on canvas 120 x 70 cm 2010
Sketch in Guishan, Portrait of Li Jia Oil on canvas 70 x 100 cm 2015
Sketch in Guishan, Tree as Elderly No.1 Oil on canvas 80 x 100 cm 2015
B.1956, Chongqing, China
Graduated in 1982 from the Yunnan Art Academy, Mao Xuhui is an iconic artist in Chinese contemporary art history. He is one of the figures in China Art Power 100 and the leader of the avant-garde community in southwest China in the 1980s. He also formed the Southwest Art Research Group with several artists in 1986. These achievements have earned him a crucial position in Chinese contemporary art history.
Mao Xuhui has widely exhibited in Euro-pan-Asian cities, including Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, New York, San Francisco, Barcelona, Bologne, Paris, and London. His artworks are included in many influential exhibitions, for example, the milestone exhibition in Chinese contemporary art history, Inside Out: New Chinese Art (1998) co-organized by Asia Society New York, Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco and Hong Kong Museum of Art.
Currently lives and works in Beijing, China
Dai Zhuoqun is an independent curator and art critic. In 2007, he founded Contemporary Art magazine, where he served as chief editor and art director. He was also the executive director of White Box Museum of Art. In 2009, he launched and jointly curated the “Warm Winter” protest project in Beijing, one of the most important art events in recent years. He has since planned exhibitions and lectures with numerous art institutions, art academies, and museums.
He has also published articles in international art magazines and other publications. He has curated exhibitions such as “Games” and “The Awakening of Things” (White Box Museum of Art, Beijing, 2011), “Superfluous Things” (Hive Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, 2013), “Old Bloke” (Gallery Yang, Beijing, 2013), “Conscious: Twelve Views on Painting” (Tang Contemporary Art, Beijing, 2014), and “Civilization” (White Box Museum of Art, Beijing, 2013; OCAT, Xi’an, 2014; Hubei Institute of Fine Arts Museum, Wuhan, 2015).