Mahuangliang - Duan Zhengqu Solo Exhibition
Academic Director: Dai Zhuoqun
Curator: Edward Ai
10.06 - 11.21, 2020
Tang Contemporary Art is pleased to present “Mahuangliang”, the solo exhibition by Chinese artist Duan Zhengqu, at our Hong Kong gallery space. With a deep and lasting enthusiasm and devotion to the rich and raw humanistic features of the Loess Plateau, the exhibition features Duan’s signature paintings across 15 years as a tribute to the modest Northern Shaanxi peasants and secret rural villages.
Duan Zhengqu has long established with his distinguished, dark-toned paintings, using lavish gradients of black and brown. His artistic language is deeply influenced by the strong and heavy style by French expressionist Georges Rouault in his late period. Duan combines surrealism and elements of ancient Chinese murals to develop a unique pictorial style which is both raw and mysterious. Themed with “Mahuangliang”, the exhibition presents the daily scenes and suburb views of plateau villages in Northern Shaanxi, where the artist repeatedly visits, stays and dreams about.
The unique geography of northern Shaanxi and the isolation from the modernity have infused the hunting scenes, bonfires, coal miners, the legendary giant carp, and the great dangers of people facing the roaring waves of the Yellow River in Duan Zhengqu's works. They have made up the kaleidoscope of the simplistic life of farmers and the humble villages located at the intersection of the Mu Us Desert and the Loess Plateau. The deep, heavy and saturated tones in the works has given his paintings a unique sense of warmth and strength, thus making the energy and vicissitudes of life portrayed in his work relatable to all.
Duan Zhengqu’s vision is akin to the 17th Century Golden Age painters who devoted their paintings to the people and country, Duan Zhengqu never ceases to explore the relationship between man and nature, the liveliness of the rural communities with a great passion for the land. The vast desert and plateau have infused the roughness and unrestrained power of his works. The specific and lively cultural landscape that he outlines for the parts of China that remains unaffected by consumerism and modernized technology is a refresher for the city folks, allowing one a deeper understanding of humanity through “Mahuangliang”.
Edward Ai founded the private art museum "Big House Contemporary Art Center" as the director in 2015. From 2015 to 2017, he served as the Chief Planner and Director of the first art micro documentary “ONE DAY PROJECT” in China. He successively served as director of 33 Contemporary Art Center in Guangzhou; art consultant of The Greater Bay Area International Art Bonded Industry Center; researcher of Research Center of Architecture, Culture and Museum at the Central Academy of Fine Arts; Visiting Professor and master's instructor at School of Fine Arts, Chinese University of Geosciences; Visiting Professor at Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts; Distinguished Professor at Dong-A University, South Korea and Visiting Scholar at University of Bologna, Italy.
Edward has curated several important exhibitions at National Gallery of Italy, Today Art Museum, Times Art Museum, Big House Contemporary Art Center, Nanjing Institute of Art, Metropolitan Art Center, Guangzhou 33 Contemporary Art Center, National Foundation Art Museum of Germany, Shitang Art Museum of Korea, etc. He curated some major exhibitions including “The 3600 seconds of Chinese Contenporary Art” (2015), “The New Sculpture since the 21st Century of Exploration and Transformation”(2016). Exhibitions in 2017-2018 include “Fu Zhongwang Solo Exhibition”, “Traces of A Hand – Sui Jianguo Solo Exhibition”, “Foster + Partners: City Vision – A Sustainable Future”, “Tan Xun & Zhang Songtao Dual Solo Exhibition: Zhi”, “Yu Fan & Tan Xun Dual Solo Exhibition: New Store Plan ”, “Zhi Min & Lu Zhengyuan Dual Solo Exhibition: New Store Plan 2”, “ONE – The First Exhibition Artist: Wang Qingsong ”, “Wang Chuan Solo Exhibition: In Parallel - History and The Present”, etc.
In 2013, Edward was awarded the International Curator Award by the Italian Ministry of Culture and in 2014 he won the International Cultural Promoter Award by the Egyptian Department of Culture.
Dai Zhuoqun is an independent curator and art critic. He currently lives and works in Beijing. 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 “The Awakening of Things” (White Box Museum of Art, Beijing, 2011); “Superfluous Things” (Hive Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, 2013); “Civilization” (White Box Museum of Art, Beijing, 2013; OCAT, Xi’an, 2014; Hubei Institute of Fine Arts Museum, Wuhan, 2015); “DISSENSUS AGITATION – The Painting To Language” (Today Art Museum, Beijing, 2016), “Brushwork and True Feeling” (Tang Contemporary Art, Bangkok, 2018); “Approach Spirits” (N3 Contemporary Art, Beijing, 2018) ; “New Expression of Beijing” (N3 Contemporary Art, Beijing, 2018); “Free Prism Video Wave” (Boxes Art Museum, Foshan, 2019), etc.
b.1958, Yanshi, Henan Province
Duan Zhengqu graduated in the oil painting department of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 1983. He is currently a professor and PhD supervisor of the Faculty of Fine arts in Capital Normal University; researcher of the Oil Painting Institute of China National Painting Academy; a member of the Oil Painting Art Committee of China Artists Association; and director of China Oil Painting Society.