Entr'acte

Dubravka Vidović, Leng Hong, Liu Zhenchen, Quentin Derouet, Wan Qiong, Zhai Xuanhong

Opening Reception:2022.01.08, 7 pm.

Exhibition Dates: 2022.01.08-31

ArtCN is pleased to present the exhibition "Entr’acte". An Entr’acte usually refers to a short sketch or musical interlude to entertain the audience between two acts of a theatrical performance. In our case it represents a group show featuring six well-known artists who have recently taken part in exhibitions in the gallery and whose work, through their various artistic expressions, shares a common link to nature. From oil painting on lightbox to photography, from imprints on cotton paper to ink and acrylic on rice paper, and from ceramic work with fabric, to roses and acrylic on canvas, nature is the core element. Some pieces reflect nature’s revival through the seasons, its healing effects, while other pieces depict its entanglement with the conflicting aspirations of human beings. This exhibit aims at celebrating our timeless connection with nature and the constant source of inspiration it provides in all aspects of our life.
Entr'acte

The walls photographed by Vidović are the result of destruction perpetrated by man sacrificed not in war but for the logical ends of modernity and global economic rules. The ubiquitous medium of photography makes them into witnesses accounting for loss and survival. It announces the inability of the image to tell a story: the story of ruin, for example. It is because of this silence in the face of loss and catastrophe - even when ruin remains undeclared - that the image is always at the same time an image of ruin, an image about the ruin of the image, about the ruin of the image's capacity to show, to represent, to address and to evoke the persons, events, things, truths, histories, lives and deaths to which it would refer. Through her artistic interventions, the displaying of flowers, cloths, garments, lace works and books either directly and intricately within the brick structure of the walls, or reclining on a window frame or bookshelf, Vidović's gaze conveys a homage to the previous inhabitants of the Shikumen and their lives; the births, the deaths, the joys and pains which took place between these very walls. 


The modeling created by Leng Hong is between realistic and abstract, the objects from his painting are not intended to represent reality. For the artist, all techniques and production processes transform the material world into poetry. Real space construction is replaced by an assortment of imagery. The purpose of repeated smearing is not to highlight skill, but to place the image properly. Even accidental strokes can be shown as an inevitable result. He uses symbolic semi-abstract scenes to block the impulse of the audience to recognize reality. Leng Hong does not try to shorten the distance with the audience. The rhythm of colors and strokes make up a musical sense of the picture, allowing the audience to listen to the sound of the painting. The work returns to poetry in a way that transcends the technique of expression from traditional Chinese painting. At the same time, the works are inspiring the audience by providing images beyond the common-sense experience and guiding them ultimately into the realm of the artist. --Shi Zhongping


Through his poetic artworks, that are at the same time dialectical and interdisciplinary, dynamic and risky, structured and minimalist, precise and imperceptible, Liu Zhenchen means to underline the importance of nature, of respecting and guaranteeing its balance that is now under threat from extreme instability. His work is instilled with ancient Chinese wisdom. Lao Tzu said: "Humans follow the laws of the earth, the earth follows the heavens, the heavens follow the Tao, and the Tao follows the nature." Zhenchen’s work is an invitation for people to follow the laws of nature and coexist in harmony with nature, rather than excessively plundering and destroying the environment for immediate economic benefits. Zhenchen is preoccupied by the global living environment, which is getting worse. Humans come from nature and foods that can be metabolized are naturally grown foods. Unnatural foods that cannot be metabolized will accumulate in the body and form various diseases. The artist wishes to emphasize the power of nature and the power of art in healing each of us.


Quentin Derouet adopted the red rose as a pictorial tool. Once crushed onto canvas or paper, the red rose produces a deep purple trace. The rose’s color with its strong symbolism, whether religious, erotic or even of grief, imposes itself onto the artist’s world. Quentin often says that he did not choose it; it was simply given to him. The artist lets himself be guided by the rose without interfering as if he was only a channel between the rose and the surface. He attempts to have less control over the traces because the rose has its own language. When the rose takes the lead, it is with an undeniable force that surpasses the artist’s own personality. The artist enjoys the constraint of using just the rose to paint, together with the fact that he is not totally in control of the result of the work: in the end, the final texture and shades depend upon natural factors, such as humidity and the overall environment where the work is created. Through oxidation, the natural pigment tones down and changes shade like blood, from red to purple then black. The organic life of the traces is a significant measure of the time frame and impermanence of each painting. To the artist, this is a magical effect, a reflection on time, life and death. Accepting that flowers fade is also acknowledging that they will come back, in the never-ending circle that is life itself. 


To Wan Qiong, we each carry our own "cocoon", as everyone lives in his or her own world in a logical chain. The values we believe in have presupposed our life. We measure the infinite time with finite life, and explore infinite possibilities with finite thoughts. Our cognition, desire and “ego” have weaved numerous bonds and restraints. All this is natural. Everything is just a link in a logical chain. Everything is connected. We are all part of it, and we are all trapped in it. The secret of life is that we are trapped in it. Our attitudes and opinions are an emotional release, a justification for our unconscious actions, and also a prejudice. They are not necessarily the truth, but they are real. "Cocoon” is a bond, and the stripped skin is the most intuitive medium. Just like the vein of blood vessels, the life-force texture spreads on the cold and hard material of ceramics, and contains a kind of unconscious symbiosis. They are pulled, staggered, mottled, attached and entangled in an endless manner. 


Zhai Xuanhong has chosen a "natural landscape" as the theme of his paintings on light boxes, which are made of luminescent materials. The pictorial elements take the viewer to a lush and overgrown wild area; a landscape the artist has developed after completing a first series showing bright colored flowers. Here Xuanhong feels more mature and has chosen to offer the viewer a landscape in more subtle tones and technical complexity, which include variations of light intensity.