Recollection Pierces The Heart
Curator: Kuang Wei
08.20 - 09.27, 2020
Tang Contemporary Art is pleased to present “Recollection Pierces the Heart”, the solo exhibition by young Chinese artist Chen Tianzhuo, at our Hong Kong gallery space. The exhibition includes Chen’s installations, videos, paintings, digital sculptures and lightbox design work. Mixing media such as dance, ritual ceremonies, fashion, literature, painting, drawing, installation, video and performance, his works incorporate religious symbols into iconographic elements, all borrowed from various urban subcultures that are shared by a global youth culture. Chen’s works surpass the realm of visual art, bringing a multi-faceted, multi-sensual experience, achieving what the artist calls “spiritual activism”.
Once acclaimed as “one of the most promising artists of his generation” by the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, Chen Tianzhuo was part of the generation born in the 1980s, so he grew up in a very different context from the previous generation of Chinese artists. His life and creative growth differ greatly from the previous generation of Chinese artists. Living in an era imbued with boundless information, rapid cultural exchanges, and constant self-expression, Chen conceives art not to dismantle past creations but to reflect the current state of our rapidly changing world.
Using references and imagery from traditional mythology and contemporary culture, Chen Tianzhuo constructs a pseudo-synesthetic world with his creations. While referencing enlightenment concepts brought about by religion in the old world, the artist highlights digital technology’s effect in providing us with novel, digital, and avant-garde experiences. The relationship between body and soul as well as dream and reality explored by the artist is just as mysterious and kitsch as his parties and animistic works.
b. 1985, Beijing, China
After receiving his Master’s in Fine Arts degree from the Chelsea College of Art and Design in London, Chen Tianzhuo began synthesizing the artistic disciplines of installation, performance, video, drawing, and photography. He adopts an eclectic and multidisciplinary practice that blurs the boundaries between visual and performative art. Many of his exhibitions consequently require audience participation and collaboration, taking the form of underground parties, choreographed performances, and constructed ritual sites. Chen also mixes religious iconography, dance, subculture, and popular culture within his artworks, giving the audience an experience that transcends both superficial states of the body and spirit; ultimately arriving at what the artist himself refers to as a “state of madness”.
Chen Tianzhou’s strong artistic purpose has allowed his artworks to be exhibited internationally. His notable solo exhibitions include “TRANCE”, M Woods Museum 798, Beijing, China (2019); “GHOST”, Kunsthalle Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland (2017); “Tianzhuo Chen”, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2015). He has also participated in group exhibitions, such as “Co-constructing” Suzhou Jinji Lake Art Museum, Suzhou, China (2020); “Anti—” Athens Biennale, Athens, Greece (2018); “FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art”, Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA), Cleveland, USA (2018).
His works have been collected by K11 Art Foundation, Hong Kong; MAB Society, Shanghai China; Palais De Tokyo, Paris, France; M Woods Museum 798, Beijing, China; Suzhou Jinji Lake Art Museum, Suzhou, China; Kunsthalle Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland, among others. Chen has been awarded the Huayu Youth Award at the 4th Art Sanya Biennale.
Graduated with the master’s degree of Visual Art from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Kuang Wei lived in Denmark for 15 years before he moved to Beijing in 2007. He founded the Faurschou Foundation in Beijing and since then he has held the position of Art Director for Faurschou Foundation, Executive Director at Red Brick Art Museum, Art Director of Star Foundation (Hong Kong) and Red Brick Art Foundation (Hong Kong), bringing numerous programs to the academic institutions.