If the artistic deed is a seeking act in itself, then it is an expressive and yet exclusive attempt which discards the linguistic referent choosing the figurative means of it. What if an equation is drawn between representative object and displaying subject? This produces a kaleidoscopic effect where seeking becomes the subject matter of the work in itself, and where trueness and reliability are approximate segments of an abstract narration questioning the reason for existence of both the searcher and the real ultimate goal of his/her deed.
Through photographic and pictorial images, and video language, four young artists focus on their artistic gestures prorities in visualizing the intimate process that moves from Necessity and turns it into Realization, revealing under the surface a common restlessness.
These four artists come from different areas outside of Beijing (Guan Shi, Xia Xing and Xia Jianguo are from Xin Jiang, while Zhang Dongliang is from Henan province) but are now living in the Binhe artist village in Tongxian located just outside the capital.
Zhang Dongliang, inspired by Jimao xin (The Urgent Letter) - a traditional nursery tale very popular in China- paraphrases thorough the pictorial language the poetics of journey as research, by arranging an order to aims and purposes of existence. What You are Searching For is series of nine oil paintings illustrating a tiny-scale character in planes and single-coloured backgrounds apparently looking for something, where his strenuous endeavours catch curiosity and attention.
Guan Shi and Xia Xin make use of the photograophic medium in order to give expression to the misleading images of everyday life and the necessity of carving out of it a personal dominion of objects, of clear as well as consistent realities; 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 are part of a work in progress, a sort of performance piece ad libitum where Guan Shi records a diary of 365 snapshots, 365 proof of being.
Xia Xing’s Game, by means of spray painting, vexes upon the position of reality as a fading concept relocated in virtual scenarios taken from electronic frames.
Xia Jianguo, the only video artist in the show, is looking for a sorrowful memory of his early childhood, and for a psychological liberation by means of it; the violence of the projected images and the pressure they put on the viewer become vehicle not only of the personal cathartic process which the artist aims to while strolling in his allucinating gait (Illusive Dream), but also offers to the audience an instrument of muse for meditating on the virulence which the striving for individual desires fulfilment can exert on other people.
The works here presented challenge to introspective confrontation and innermost questioning, they arise an interaction between Self and personal truths, in drawing a neat yet authentic path, acknowledging objective reality as a source for exploration leading us to cognition and inner life.
Xia Jian Guo
Still Imge from
Wildering in the Dream Video
5minutes 49seconds 2002