2018 ARTSITS + ART + EXHIBITION
tā shān zhī shí kě yǐ gōng yù
The stone from another mountain can polish jade is a Chinese idiom (originally found in Shih-ching or Book of Songs) referring to the importance of outside critique: in the context of this exhibition, it operates in terms of the importance of the outside to the formation of the inside, or self.
Stones from Other Mountains values this material nature of exchange. The reciprocities that emerge from these ten artists travelling to Aotearoa New Zealand - the work they exhibit, the lessons taken and given - are positioned in a framework in which what is uplifted from one cultural landscape can shape the other.
Within the work of these exhibiting artists are themes and positions familiar to our own, yet with inevitable and valuable difference. Here is a tension between contemporary forces that organize life and private spaces where personal desire, familial structures, and inherited knowledges play out.
What can they count as a mountain
A mountain, a nation state, a citizen, a stone. If the mountain has traditionally.
YAF (Young Artist Foundation) has selected the work of ten young graduates from top Chinese art academies to exhibit at HUS gallery. Traveling to New Zealand, these emerging artists will participate in a workshop where they will meet local practitioners and visit art institutes. By showcasing young Chinese art and encouraging transcultural dialogue this programme intends to further encourage exchange between the two countries.
As China has a growing economic and political presence on the world stage so do its arts and artists--attracting the attention of contemporary art collectors world-wide. As recipients of the Graduates Art Fair Young Artist Award (China) these artists were selected by YAF to represent the best of a new generation of Chinese practitioners.
OPENING NIGHT OF YOUNG ARITST FOUNDATION EXHIBITION. STONES FROM OTHER MOUNTAINS. AUG, 2018
2018 ART + ARTISTS
Born in 1992
2013 Studied in the Image Print Department of Ecole Nationale des Arts Decoratif in Paris
2015 BA in Oil Painting, Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts
Currently Studies Oil Painting in Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts for a master’s degree
2018 Most Painting, Inner Mongolia Art Museum, Inner Mongolia
2017 Troposphere, 6-bgalley, Paris
2016 Youth Art 100, Beijing Agricultural Exhibition Center, Beijing
2016 Exhibition of the important fine art academy in China, Western Gallery, Xi’an
2016 THE PLAN BEYOND THE PLANS, Xi’an Contemporary Art Museum, Xi’an
2015 JOURNEY OF THOUSAND MILES, Excellent Works Exhibition of 2015 Graduates of Top Art Colleges and Universities in China, Luo Chuong Li Museum, Chongqing
2015Century Star - Inter-youth International College Art Exhibition, China Academy of Art, Hangzhou
2015 Shanghai Youth Art Fair, Shanghai MART, Shanghai
2015 SHIJIUWEIXIANG, Xi’an contemporary Art Museum, Xi’an
2014 Shanghai Youth Art Fair, Shanghai MART, Shanghai
2014 Jungle, Ecole Nationale des Arts Décoratif, Paris
2014 Onflow, Paris 8 Gallery, Paris
2014 “Ou Vas Tu?”, Gallery espace des arts sans frontières, Paris, France
2014 上海艺术博览会，上海世贸商城, 上海
2014 “ou vas tu？”，espace des arts sans frontières画廊，巴黎
Wu Nianqiu's works often use oil painting and installation media, using space deployment and on-site creation to reveal potential forms of energy around the body, life and death. Benefiting from the concept of energy, his work seems to reproduce calm scenes with mourning emotions by describing events or phenomena in a real angle. However, these calms are caused by unrestricted spread of human desires, conspiracy and confrontation, subversion or the irreversible fact after the destruction. The artist quietly establishes a connection between the individual concept and the audience's emotion through the narrative works, and draws the viewer's thinking into the unstable world behind the image with clear and intuitive clues, so that they generate the consciousness related to the memory segment. The association with social consciousness, in order to trace the source of energy, to find the driving force in human desire for survival.
——estran Sino-French Contemporary Art Association
Xiaoqiao Li is a visual artist from Guangdong province of China, and is based in Macao. His prints, photographs and mixed media works explore his upbringing and identity, as well as the physical, temporal, and psychological aspects of city life.
His current practice explores the physical process and methodology of surface, space and memory through the crossing of media: drawing, printmaking, photography, moving image and projection. He is particularly interested in creating a ‘visual noise’ in images, as a device to attain certain types of meaning such as: darkness, ambiguity, melancholy in perceptually and complicated landscapes.
2007-2011 BA in Visual Arts (Education) Macau Polytechnic Institute
2014-2016 MA in Visual Arts: Printmaking at Camberwell College of Arts, University of Arts London
Awards & Scholarship:
2017The Outstanding Youth Artist Award at the 6thGraduates Art Fair, Guangzhou
2016Clifford Chance Purchase Prize
2011Outstanding Graduate Student was awarded by Chief Executive of Macau Special Administrative of the People's Republic of China Mr. Chui Sai On
2010 The China Young Artist Prize in the 4th Beijing International Art Biennial Exhibition
2017 ‘The printed image: Ambiguous view’ Free. Space, Guangzhou
2016 ‘over time-the poetic image of the Urbanscape’ The Crypt gallery, London
2015 ‘Bent Over Backwards’, 10Fantasia-A Creative Industries Incubator, Macao
2017 ‘Under cover- The Sixth Shanghai Duolun Youth Art Exhibition’ Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai.
2017‘The masters monoprint exhibition’ Bankside gallery, London
2017 ‘The 4thChina Youth Prints Exhibition’ China printmaking Museum, Shenzhen.
2016‘Clifford Chance Purchase Prize’, Clifford Chance, London
2016 ‘IVY ART 2016-Chinese Young Artists Annual Exhibition’ Tian Jin Art Museum, Tian Jin
2015 ‘On the road. 2015’Nomination Exhibition of Chinese Young Artist Works &
2015 Forum of Young Art Critics’ Guan Sanyue Art Museum ,ShenZhen
2014 ‘11 Minutes of PRINT’，Sassoon gallery，London
2013‘Crossing Borders’, SOMARTS Bay Gallery, San Francisco，USA
2012‘From known to unknown/Turn of Chinese contemporary printmaking", 798, Beijing
2012 United arts center , Beijing
2011‘Reflection of the heart – Contemporary Printmaking ’, Guangdong Art Museum, China
2011 ‘The 5th Annual GuangDong province printmaking exhibition’, Zhanjiang Museum, China
2010‘The 4th Beijing International Art Biennial’, National Art Museum of China.
2018 ‘Open surface’ DunXun Art museum, Guangzhou.
2016 ‘Impression’ - Contemporary International Printmaking Exchange Exhibition’, The Mount Fortress Corridor Museum of Macao
Public Art project
2017 ‘Mens’ Map’ Co-create public Art Project, founded by Graduates Art Fair Guangzhou, China. Showed at Wanda plaza Guangzhou Jingshazhou , Guangzhou Urban Art week and Graduates Art Fair Guangzhou( Nan Fung International Convention & Exhibition Center).
The Museum of Zhanjiang city / Guan San Yue Art Museum , / Fujian province Art Museum /China Printmaking Museum /USA Emergency Art Space /Clifford Chance, London / Private Collection
2016 英国Clifford Chance 收藏奖
2017 《The printed image: Ambiguous view 被印制的图像：暧昧的风景》Free.空间 广州
2016 《over time-the poetic image of the Urbanscape》，The Crypt 画廊 伦敦
2015 《追本溯源》版画艺术作品展，澳门疯堂十号创意园 澳门
2017《The Masters monoprint exhibition》Bankside Gallery 伦敦
2016 《Clifford Chance 收藏奖》艺术空间，伦敦
2014 《11 Minutes of PRINT”》，伦敦Sassoon画廊，伦敦
2013 《Crossing Borders》展，美国SOMARTS Bay画廊，旧金山。
2018 作为策展人，策划当代艺术展《Open surface 显象》于广州敦行美术馆
2017 受广州大艺博组委会邀请创作作品两点一线Mens’Map 城市公共艺术项目并获邀请展出于广州金沙洲万达广场，首届广州城市艺术周-三乐文创书屋，广州琶洲南丰会展中心
美国emergency art space，英国Clifford Chance，新西兰雅父艺术基金会，私人收藏等。
2015 参与由英国伦敦巴比肯艺术中心主办的“station to station”艺术项目，与著名丹麦艺术家Tal R 完成版画艺术项目“Rose Pagoda”
Born in 1988 Leizhou, Guangdong
2010 BA in Chinese Tradational Landscape Painting, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts
2015 MA in Chinese Tradational Landscape Painting, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts
2015-2017 Teaching in Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts
Awards and Exhibitions:
2010 Guangzhou Environmental Cup Painting Excellence Award
2016 69th Star River Exhibition, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, University City Art Museum, Guangzhou
2016 The 3rd Lingnan Art Exhibition, the work "Dongdao" won the gold medal, Lingnan Painting Party Memorial Hall, Guangzhou
2017 “Hidden Change——Southern Youth Ink Painting Exhibition”, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts Art Museum/Guyuan Art Museum, Guangzhou/Zhuhai
2017 “Celebrate the 19th National Congress – Guangdong Fine Art Exhibition”, the work “Heart Follow” was selected, Guangdong Federation of Art and Art Museum, Guangzhou
2017-2018 Da Yibo "Shi Cheng - Li Jinyi Teacher and Student Works Exhibition", Pazhou Exhibition Center / Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center, Guangzhou, Shenzhen
2018 "The Great Tide of the Pearl River - Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Reform and Opening up" National Art Exhibition, invited team work "Pearl River Scenery Photographs", personal work "Qing·Touch", Chinese Art Museum, Beijing
2017-2018年 大艺博“师承——李劲堃师生作品展”， 琶洲会展中心/深圳会展中心，广州/深圳
Interview byBritish "Financial Times" China
1. Why do you want to be an artist?
In fact, I am used to it. I have experienced too much in these years. From being selected passively to pursuiting actively, "it" has become my daily routine.
2. Which city in China is the most ideal artistic city in your eyes? why?
"Lonely" city, where there is loneliness, where is my ideal artistic city. When a person is alone, he can hear and see the truth. There will be Plato's "Utopia", the freedome of the seven sages of the bamboo forest, and no need to argue with anyone about the truth of history. I only need to think and judge by collecting more information, then build.
3. If you are not an artist, what other careers would you choose? Why？
I really want to have the wisdom of philosophers and historians. Just
like the so-called "make it impossible, then know it, to see the hidden" in Chinese philosophy. Only a clear understanding of the rules of nature and social development can continue to stay open. If possible, I hope that one of the above occupations.
5. What is your understanding of "contemporary art"? What is the connection between art and life?
Laige said: "I believe that the role of my colleagues in social evolution is important..." Therefore, at the very least, we must not repeat the results of others. In any case, I don’t believe that if a person’s work is painted exactly as same as Zhu Xi’s and Van Gogh’s paintings, it will bring anything new to society. Art needs innovation. It should bear the wisdom of innovation and breakthrough, and even achieve a humanistic care that conforms to the world.
Born in 1980, Jiangxi
2008 BA in Oil Painting, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts
2017 MA in Oil Painting, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts
2018 "亼", Sanyuhui, Guangzhou
2018 "The 3rd Poster Art Exhibition", Today Art Museum, Beijing
2017 "Fog is a cloud closer to the ground", the art of the shore, Shunde
2017 "Fantasy - The Community of Imagination", Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, Guangzhou
2016 13 artists in the flower-shaped multi-dimensional, Luohu Art Museum, Shenzhen
2016 "What to do", Guangdong Contemporary Art Center, Guangzhou
2015 Inter Youth International Youth Painting Exhibition, Hangzhou
2015 Youth Art 100, Beijing
2015 "Encounter Experiment", Hezi Art Space, Shenzhen
2015 “Institutional Production”, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou
2015 “Zhuang Zhuang – Young Artists' 2014 Annual Report Exhibition”, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, Guangzhou
2014 "Essence of Egypt", Tengyun Space, Guangzhou
2014 Space, September Art Space, Guangzhou
2014 Prism Project Opening Exhibition, Polar Space, Guangzhou
2014 "Empty, not different colors", Beijing
2014 “Seeing the Mountain, Not Seeing Water”, Guangdong Contemporary Art Center, Guangzhou
2014 "Nature is burning", excellent art space, Beijing
2013 Four Seasons Guangdong Contemporary Art Center, Guangzhou
2012 "Over there - Special Exhibition of Oil Painting New Forces", Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, Guangzhou
2012 "Excellent - Southern Art New Oil Painting Nomination Exhibition", Guangzhou
2012 “Real Reflection of Contemporary Spirit”, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, Guangzhou
2011 "Fans", Red Factory, Guangzhou
2017 《幻相—— 想象中的共同体》，广州美术学院，广州
2015 《茁壮—— 青苗画家2014年度汇报作品展》，广州美术学院美术馆，广州
Born in 1995, Guangdong
2017 BA in Public Space Art, China Academy of Art
2017 China Academy of Art graduation exhibition, Hangzhou
2017 Excellent Graduate Exhibition of China Academy of Art, Hangzhou
2017 National Excellent Graduate Sculpture Exhibition, Beijing
2017 Zeng Zhuyu Sculpture Art Scholarship Exhibition, Datong
2017 Luo Zhongli Scholarship Exhibition, Chongqing
2017 Finalist in Guangzhou University Art Fair, Guangzhou
2017 Invited to participate in Shanghai University Art Fair, Shanghai
2018 Genesis Michelangelo Global Tour Hangzhou Station, Hangzhou
2017 China Academy of Art graduation creation and Lin Fengmian Award, Silver Award
2017 Outstanding Young Artist Award of Graduates Art Fair, Guangzhou
1. Can you introduce your recent work? What is the inspiration? Any connection with the previous work?
The work I have done recently is based on the previous work "Shirt". The feeling of the previous work is not enough. I hope that I can express the feeling of the work in my heart through more details. In addition to going deeper into the previous work, I am still trying to use my " Shirt" form to be my family, which is much more difficult than the previous one. In addition to the details of each piece of the work itself, it is also difficult to make specific features of different clothes but it is full of fun.
2. How has the creation after graduation compared with the creation in the school period? How does studying at school affect your creation?
The creation of the school period is often lessons that lead me to think. After graduation, I start to think more about my own interests. One is passive and the other is spontaneous. It feels very different.
There are many types of courses in the school. Apart from the basic skills at hand, it also helps me to understand and analyze the works from different angles. The most important thing is to guide me slowly out of the conceptual thinking. Every work must be like an introductory apprentice. It doesn't matter if the work is clumsy, but it must not be conceptual.
3. What changes have happened in modern sculpture in terms of aesthetics, ideas, media and creative techniques? How did you reflect this transformation in your work?
I think the main change is conceptual, which directly leads to the transformation of media and creative techniques. The thinking of modern sculpture is more abstract thinking. It starts from a feeling of inner heart, which leads the aritist to constantly select the appropriate medium and creative methods, and the media and creative techniques will change. I haven't thought about the aesthetic aspect, but I feel that the core has not been changed. Everyone likes the work that can convey the feeling clearly.
4. What do you think of the emerging art expressions (such as VR, artificial intelligence, virtual technology) compared to traditional artistic expressions? Are you trying?
These new forms of artistic expression make me feel very excited, like the feeling that the words I have learned are a few more. But in the final analysis, they are the same as traditional expressions. They are a way of expressing inner feelings. Just as the most important thing you talk about is not the word, but what you want to say. I haven't tried it yet, but if one day I feel that it is better, I will definitely try it.
5. Can you talk about the current life and living conditions of a sculpture artist? What are the difficulties faced by young artists, especially female artists at this stage?
My present life is confused, hesitant and excited. I am fortunate to have a family support me. The living pressure is not a big problem. But at the same time, because of the support of my family I feel that I am not independent enough. I think it is the reason why I am confused and hesitated. Fortunately, creation always makes me excited. I think that all young artists have their own problems. It is also a problem that has always been difficult to make money through art. Everyone needs to do something else to support their art career. As for women and men, I don't feel that there is much difference. The biggest difference between men and women in art is probably the way of thinking. Everyone is the same in the dilemma.
6. What are the plans for the future of creation and art?
No plan. I hope that I will keep loving it. If you don't have passion about it, there is no need to be bothered and trapped.
Born in 1991, Sichuan
2011 Studied in Art Education Department of Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts.
2013 Transferred to the Oil Painting Department
One year of school leave from September 2013 to September 2014 for artistic creation 2016 Graduated from the Oil Painting Department of Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts
2011 MA in Chinese Painting , Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts
2018 Member of Guangdong Artists Association, deputy secretary general of the Curatorial Committee, third-level artist.
2014 “One Mind” Guo Yuehua's solo exhibition, Chongqing Xinsheng Art Space, Chongqing
2018 "Mumble" artist's poem, art gallery
2018 "Temporary Relationship" Artists Exhibition, Chongqing HE Base
2018 “Nine Conferences”, Xi'an
2017 “Fantasy City Record” Young Artists Exhibition, Shanghai Baolong Art Museum, Shanghai
2017 "Time" and "Device" under the ruins of the unit exhibition, gray space 2017 “WHERE” group of young artists, conference room space
2016 “No Mind and Very Happy” art fair, wonderful space
2016 “Baked” , 2016 Art Graduate Exhibition, Hong Kong City Hall
2016 Opened June Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts Oil Painting Department Graduation Exhibition, Luo Zhongli Art Museum
2016 “Thank you for reviewing and coming back again” artist four-person exhibition, art gallery space
2016 "The beginning of the afternoon" artist three-person exhibition, gray art space
2016 Guangzhou Dayibo, Nanfeng International Convention and Exhibition Center
2015 Ivy League China Youth Annual Exhibition, Today Art Museum
2015 Shenzhen Art Fair, Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center
2015 5th Porsche Exhibition, Chongqing Museum of Contemporary Art
2015 Arles International Photography Season, Three Shadows Photography Art Center
2015 “Golden Award” World University Student Photography Exhibition, Shangrao, Jiangxi
Awards: 2016Graduates Art Fair, Outstanding Artist, Guangzhou
2015 Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts Annual Exhibition, Excellence Award
2015 Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts Scholarship, Second Prize
2014 Third Chongqing Art Festival, first prize
2014 Sixth China University Students Modern Photo Contest, Excellence Award
2013 Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts Scholarship, second prize
2012 Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts Scholarship, Third Prize
2014 “一念”郭跃华个人作品展, 重庆新声艺术空间，重庆
2018 “喃喃”艺术家的诗, 界外美术馆
The rhythm of man and nature is different, but the fate of the silence is the same. Nowadays, the rapid development of science and technology has changed people's living environment, and nature has lost its original tranquility. People's hearts have become more lonely. Therefore, they are more yearning for nature and eager to return to the true nature. "You don't need to depict the guns to capture the war. You should paint from the dead leaves of autumn." The art of painting is an intuitive art. It uses the language of painting to convey spiritual thoughts. Therefore, my works are all in a relaxed and comfortable life, and the records are also the most dull time around me. Sometimes we "see the world simply, really not for what."
Born in 1991, Suzhou, Anhui
2017 BA in Oil Painting, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts
2016 "The 5th College Art Fair", Pazhou Nanfeng Convention and Exhibition Center, Guangzhou
2017 " figurative language" double exhibition, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, Guangzhou
2017 "Poetic China: Poetic Narrative in Contemporary Women's Art", Shangshang International Art Museum, Beijing
2017 The 5th Asian Young Artists Nomination Exhibition, Beijing National Aquatics Center - Water Cube Art Museum, 798 Art District - Song Yang Art Museum, Beijing
"In Hu Hui's paintings, we can experience another kind of spiritual temperament. This temperament is unique to her, making her fragments in some scenes more sensitive and delicate. In the expression of creation, Hu Hui is more inclined to symbolism. The way to create, the picture creates factors with certain metaphors."
----BIN’AN XIE（Hui Hu’s professor）
Hu Hui’s work gives people a sense of quiet tranquility. The kind back in "Blue Clothes 1", lightly pulling its hair, let people have a familiar warm feeling, smashing water, forever flowing water. The "Old House" series, using classical colors, expresses yellowish nostalgia and mottled traces. All of these describe the deeds that happened at this place of this time. The memories are presented frame by frame, and the memories of the past are also remembered and preserved in the heart. Bringing peace of mind.
Even though sunshine is everywhere in the painting and should bring a cheerful atmosphere, the painting is filled with an inexplicable feeling of loneliness, which is slowly and gently, faintly, spreading in each of the paintings. In the corner, the viewer can't help trying to hold the breath for fear of destroying this quiet pattern.
---- Yunting Xie (318 Art Site)
My work begins with printmaking. I always try to find consistency in the entanglement between technology and observation. I also use it to watch in the form of prints. I use this kind of vision to interpret life and clarify ideas. This kind of "first thought and then thinking" Formed the basis of my formal exploration in art.
The series of "Black Light" was formed after "White Night". This series of works also shows the night view of the city, which is my visual feeling of instant time. I chose to use printmaking to restore the image language to the image language. In the process, I formed a painting language that was different from the photo. White and night, black and light are the carriers of contradiction, they bite and entangle each other. I am trying to turn real events into poetry, so that reality will become more cruel. A street corner, an instant, a feeling, these illusions are links to the fragments of my life, unintentionally fulfilling the individual will behind the dazzling and lonely.
Born in 1983 in Gansu, China.
“I always try to find a balance between the frustration and observation of technology. Over time, I get used to this way of viewing, using a vision of printmaking to interpret life and to clarify concepts. White and night are contradictions that entangle with each other. Just as we are accustomed to making up lies with truth, white nights are both deprived nights, but also granted days. It is hard to distinguish.”
2013 BA in Printmaking, Xi’an Academy of Fine Art
Now teaching in Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts Printmaking Department.
“Starry Sky- Pan Xu Print Exhibition” at OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, Xi’an in 2016
“Emotions- Pan Xu Print Exhibition” in Xi’an in 2016
The 22nd National Print Exhibition
The 21st National Print Exhibition and received the Excellence Award
The 12th National Art Exhibition
The 10th China Arts Festival · National Art Exhibition Excellence Works
The 19th National Printmaking Exhibition
The 18th National Print Exhibition
Interview by VIVA：
PAN XU, ink painter, printmaker
Another talented Chinese artist with work at the fair is ink painter and printmaker Pan Xu, 31, from northwest China. Pan studied printmaking at Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts and then worked as a tutor before going on to achieve a masters. He’s currently working as a printmaking teacher and an artist in his own right.
A master of both printed works and ink painting, Pan considers light and night and the beauty of the two in unison. His ink painting of a white chandelier light is marvellous in detail and striking in its subtle contrast, while his printed work is rich in painterly detail.
He fell into artmaking through a show of strength and defiance. “When I was 10, my classmate was showing off a portrait he drew, he said: ‘Pan, look at how good my sketch is!’ I only nodded, but felt his portrait was horrible and many shapes were inaccurate.
On the same night, I tried to sketch the same one, after it was complete, I found it was exactly the same as the original work. From then on, I realised I had more of a talent at this than others, so I took the initiative to tell my family and began to learn drawing.”
However he adds it’s tough to treat art as a profession in China. “On one hand I think creating art itself is difficult. On the other hand, there are art education and societal problems within the art industry in China. There are approximately 400 people graduating with a printmaking degree every year! Persistence in art is rarely seen in students, because they know how testing it is to become a professional artist in China.”
Currently Pan is an “academy artist” with a double identity.“I teach on one hand and create art with the other. I don’t know if this identity will affect my artistic creation, but my simplest desire is to maintain enough enthusiasm just to keep going.”
“Recent works tend to be more generalized in the content of the screen, and some places are even flattened, so that they can focus more on the expression of the theme, such as "Night Swimming", in order to make the picture more heavy, the woman's head is completely hidden. In the black background, physical behavior is enough, making people feel that the relationship between the two is inexplicable and complicated. In short, the three works have brought about the transformation of my recent way of thinking, from the simple and simple, more direct to the spiritual world.“
Same as 2017 artist on website：
Shao Tong graduated from China Central Academy of Fine Arts Oil Painting Department in 2008. He engaged in art education after graduation, and have concentrated on independent art creation since 2015.
“In the beginning, a large number of manuscripts were drawn. The contents were from magazines and newspapers that I collected. I would often avoid characterization of the face, and emphasize on body language. Watercolour are utilised on manuscripts, they have a strong uncertainty. Sometimes I will repeat the same manuscript many times and choose the one I am satisfied with. Then I would use oil paint to present the image. This process is crucial for the completion of an artwork, it is even more important than the content itself. My creations in the future will persist on this process, and it should create many more possibilities.
Interview by VIVA：
SHAO TONG, oil painter
Swimming in a much larger art market, are talented Chinese emerging artists who also appear in Piki Mai with the Young Artists Foundation, a group set up to support young, talented artists in New Zealand and China, and to complement cultural exchange. Beijing-based artist Shao Tong paints exquisite figurative oils, usually without faces. His Art Fair works feature the napes and backs of Chinese women, their hair inter-twined in black, glossy plaits.
He says Michael Borremans has largely influenced his work. “I have always liked figurative surrealism. Absurdity and uneasiness always shock.”
He’s referring to Borremans’ pictures of strange figures; a girl with a scuffed face, a torso disappearing into a table or a sleeping child’s head that disappears under a sheet at the neck. His trick is to leave some of the canvas open, to emphasise that the work is an illusion.
Shao also likes the idea of illusion but is under no illusion about how hard it is to work as an artist. “In China, successful people are a minority, the pressure of competition is obvious. As an artist, everyone wants to be unique but originality is almost impossible to achieve. How to have your own label is the biggest dilemma faced by many artists. Then there is the issue of survival. Without economic support it’s very difficult, especially in a city like Beijing, as the cost of living is immense.”
He began drawing when he was just seven years old. “Both my parents are artists, I really fell in love with drawing.”
Shao was accepted to the national art academy and graduated in 2008, but in order to live in Beijing permanently he had to have a stable income, so he has worked as an art teacher ever since.
He says many of his peers are anxious, not only with making a living but with the idea of how to make the work resonate with your audience and have meaning.
Which city in China do you come from?
I currently reside in Beijing.
Can you talk about your artistic career?
I started engaging in drawing at the age of 7, because my parents are artists, I was influenced by the environment and gradually fell in love with drawing. My parents are my first mentors. I initially started learning traditional sketches, colours, until I was accepted to the national art academy. After graduating in 2008, in order to live in Beijing permanently and have a stable income, I did many years of art teaching. The pressure in Beijing is quite big and I prefer to have a stable family life and then do what I like. Strictly speaking, my actual artistic career began in 2015 until now.
What brought you into painting?
My major in university was oil painting, it is also the form that I am better at, and is related to my childhood learning experiences. What attracts me the most about easel painting is its uniqueness. A white canvas to begin with and until completion, every stroke is done by a single person, the whole process cannot be replaced by anyone else or a machine. The strength of the stroke and its direction, colour etc. will be reflected directly in the image. This is a unique feature of painting. Obviously, nowadays there are many forms of art, and I usually pay attention to them. Many ideological concepts are interchangeable and worth learning. At present, I am still focusing on graphic art. After all, it has not been long since I became a professional artist, I hope that I can reach a satisfactory level and explore more possibilities.
How difficult is it to take art as a profession in China?
China is a big country with a large population. The number of employees in every industry is enormous but successful people are a minority, the pressure of competition is obvious. As an artist, everyone wish they would be unique. Currently, art originality is almost impossible to achieve. How to have your own label is the biggest dilemma faced by many artists. Then there is the issue of survival. Without economic support, it is very difficult to do art. Especially in a city like Beijing, the cost of living is immense. Under such a state, how should an artist choose, and whether their work is to cater to the market or to themselves. This contradiction is difficult to coordinate. Many classmates and friends around me, including myself, are also in such anxieties, so I think the most difficult part in art is not only material satisfaction, but also how to make the work reach your own level of satisfaction so that it creates resonance with the audience, in order to have a profound meaning.
Do you have artists that you really like and have influenced your creation?
答：当然，有很多，远一点的比较喜欢Delacroix，Goya，Munch。现代的有David Hockney，Luc Tuymans还有Michaal Borremans，尤其是Borremans对我平时创作有很大的影响。因为我一直很喜欢具象超现实主义，他作品中的荒诞感和不安给人巨大的震撼。
Yes of course, there are many, the older ones such as Delacroix, Goya, Munch. Contemporary ones such as David Hockney, Luc Tuymans and Michaal Borremans. Borremans has largely influenced my creations, because I have always liked figurative surrealism, the absurdity and uneasiness in his works have given people a great shock.
What is your vision for your artistic career in the future?
答：首先还是把作品本身做好吧，现阶段还是在寻找和确定自己的兴趣点，让它越来越清晰，越来越真实。这几年也尝试过很多形式，现在作品的整体面貌基本上有所稳定，感觉很适合表达我想要的观念，接下来就是让每个时期的作品都能有一个良好的延续性。职业生涯当然希望能有个好的平台机构合作，让自己得到更多人的关注和认可，使作品引起好的社会反响。First of all, I think making the work itself is important. At this stage, I am still looking for and determining my own interest, making it clearer and more authentic. I have explored many forms of art in the past few years, right now the overall appearance of my works are basically stable, I feel like it is very suitable to express the concepts I want. The next step is to make sure every work in each period have a good continuity. In terms of my artistic career I obviously hope to have a good platform for cooperation, so that I will receive more attention and recognition, and for the works to reflect a good social response.
How did the process of watercolour creations affect your oil painting works?
I initially used watercolour because it is convenient, any good idea can be recorded on a piece of paper instantly. I used it to draw drafts, I am used to doing a lot of drawings before painting a piece of work, sometimes a painting can have more than ten drafts, scrutinizing the compositions, confirming the colour tone, and it is very fast. In this way, I found that watercolour can produce many uncontrollable and unexpected effects. This is what I really like, gradually trying to use oil paint to represent it. The background of many of my works are completed using large amounts of toning oil paint with very few pigments, it looks similar to the texture of watercolour. Because making drafts is a relaxed and exciting process, so I try to let the audience feel that state on the final work.
Do you only create works related to local image and culture?
No, although the images in the works are quite localized, it is because I have always lived in China, and learnt to paint Chinese ever since I started to learn painting, so unconsciously such inertance exists. Personally, localization does not exist in me, this is one of the reasons whyfacial expressions of people are rarely found in my works.I think images sometimes give people a sense of distance, if a Westerner is drawn, Chinese audiences might feel the existence of cultural differences. Therefore, I am more concerned with the physical behavior of human beings, conveying the multiplicity of personality through some absurd plots. This is the commonality of human beings, no matter which country it is.
Do you see a similarity between New Zealand art and Chinese art?
Sorry, I am currently not very familiar with New Zealand art. I hope to have more opportunities in the future to communicate and learn about New Zealand art culture. I am looking forward to it.
Born in 1993, Fuqing, Fujian
2016 BA in Chinese Painting, China Academy of Art
Currently Studies Chinese Painting in China Academy of Art for a master’s degree
Awards and Exhibitions:
2016 "The Painting of the World - Klimt" won the Silver Prize of the Lin Fengmian Creation Award of theChina Academy of Art
2016 "The Painting of the World - Klimt" participated in the Gradutes Art Fair, Guangzhou and won the Outstanding Young Artist Award.
2017 Won the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts Scholarship of China Academy of Art.
2018 "The Sky" participated in Zhejiang Youth Art Exhibition, Zhejiang Art Museum, Hangzhou