“Out of the Spotlight”: Contemporary Chinese Art Curated by Liu Jian

Mundane as her subject matter may sound, she swaddles you in an undulating world of kewpie doll faces.

poster for

"Out of the Spotlight: Contemporary Chinese Artists" Exhibition

at Causey Contemporary
in the Lower East Side area
This event has ended - (2008-03-13 - 2008-04-07)

In Reviews by Alyssa Tang 2008-04-23 print

Walking into this group show was like joining a lively dinner party full of eccentric personalities. Liu Jian has assembled a thoughtful cross section of the growing Chinese art scene. Widely varied works of abstract, figurative painting, inflatable sculpture, fantastical photos and Tibetan cow dung all somehow manage to amicably share one space. I find some works more magnetic than others, but there is a flavor to satisfy everyone’s palate.
MA Leonn's Nostalgia 24
Some artists choose to draw upon political reference points, as in Ma Leonn’s cinematic photography series. One work, Nostalgia 24, shows a youth casually discovering a small, almost comical, model of Tiananmen Square, complete with tiny portrait of Mao Zedong. Ma manages to balance sadness, humor and truth in one snapshot. To the youth of China today, the nation’s bloody Communist past has been metaphorically reduced to an unassuming dollhouse.
Zhang Ping's Make-up Series
Zhang Ping mixes traditional Chinese watercolor painting methods (gestured strokes) with a western style (oil on linen). Her artist statement says, “We explain our way through life.” Zhang’s Make-up series analyzes this thought by peeking into a woman’s private moment as she applies make-up. Mundane as her subject matter may sound, she swaddles you in an undulating world of kewpie doll faces. Soft, fleshy tones gently narrate the moment of self-transformation and identification.
A work on traditional Xuan paper by Liang Quan
Liang Quan, the oldest of this show’s artists, draws upon a more traditional Buddhist philosophy. Liang strives for a self-described “emptiness” throughout his current work. Soft diffusions of tea stain the textural landscape of traditional Xuan paper. Liang creates a perplexing statement of wholeness and nothingness at the same time.

As China’s rapid economic boom continues to gain global awareness, so do its modern artists. The show was edited to a nice pace that portrayed artists with strong statements all their own.

Alyssa Tang

Alyssa Tang. Her parents first met at a Chinese-American Halloween square dance. If you know Alyssa, this explains a lot. Born in 1979, this Boston-bred kid’s been drawing since the day she could crawl. She holds degrees in Studio Art & Psychology from Wellesley College, and Fashion Design from Parsons. Living by the "try anything once" mantra, she's worn multiple hats: muralist, community worker, event planner, graphic designer, textile designer, freelance stylist, and now fashion designer. With a penchant for discovering the unusual, she likes to wander, discover and create ways to put a smile on people’s faces. » See other writings

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