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Indepth Arts News:

"Look at Me/Touch Me: New Works by Aniwar"
2001-10-28 until 2001-12-05
Courtyard Gallery
Beijing, , CN China

Abstract painter Aniwar has titled his second one-man show at Courtyard Gallery, Look at Me/Touch Me.  It's a pun on the fact that viewers are forever admonished not to touch the artwork. This time, Aniwar disagrees, and urges us to, Go ahead and touch my paintings, and then  affixes raised relief Braille, among other items, on to their surface to better make his point. 

Opening on Sunday, October 28th in Beijing, Aniwar continues to explore pure color sensation in  this  series of compelling new abstract paintings. A professor in the Fashion Design Department at Beijing's School of Arts and Design and originally from Urumqi, Xinjiang, Aniwar has  lately expanded his Abstract Expressionist sensibility onto plastic as well as canvas surfaces.  This series of large-scale, boldly colored works now have a n obvious sensory aspect which is more visually heightened and accentuated than in earlier works. 

Aniwar remains one of the most consistent - and obsessive - abstract painters in China today; a China where abstract western-style painting is still not widely accepted among local viewers. Most Chinese contemporary artists, Aniwar included, began their art education following a strict Russian realist painting tradition .  And many of China's  members of the avant-garde still betray their roots in Soviet-inspired training via obsessively meticulous painting styles and overly restrained color palettes. Aniwar's bold brush strokes and use of hot garish colors embrace a different, more Modernist abstract tradition.

Owing either to his minority/outsider status in Han-Chinese culture, his early experience in a carpet design center in Xinjiang, or his own sense of color theory and design, (he teaches creative theoretical fashion at the academy), his works reflect a more daring and sensual approach to color theory, relying on an evocative use of tactile images abstracted from nature and everyday life.

In his latest works, in addition to  the recurring Braille lettering subtlety raised along  the painting surface, Aniwar also applies gold leaf and lacquered gold foil, adding sculptural materiality to pure color sensation. In one of the series of new works exhibited at Courtyard, Aniwar experiments with recycled sheets of plastic bearing old advertising logo's. His signature short thick strokes of multi-layer color shading are dragged across the plastic surface. The paint  however sits atop the plastic surface with little to no absorption, highlighting the painter's more fulsome and animated brush strokes as they sweep across the plastic advertisements for portable telephones, and other consumer icons, in a mischievous redecoration of coldly formal advertising graphics. 

Aniwar's new paintings, with their wry focus on the symbiotic relationship between color sensibility and tactile sensuality, will invite the viewer to quite literally feel the painting's surface. The aim is to perceive the alluring colors of his abstract paintings using all one's senses, without self-restraint. To this end, we extend this heartfelt invitation to all of our exhibition goers: Do Touch The Paintings!

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