Press release

I'm on the Road to...

Mizuma & One Gallery is proud to open its fourth show in 2010 - I'm on the Road to... - introducing the new works of six Chinese artists, namely, GAO Yingchun, Morgan Wong, LI Hongbo, LIU Fang, ZHAI Liang, and ZHAO Na.

All are young artists who have more than 10 years of academic training in fine arts and have just recently graduated. Nowadays it is a time of drastic transformation of the old and a time full of temptation and contradiction. As such, their works are multivocal, some showing their confusion and thought about the complex human relationship in a modern society, some showing their critique and reflection of consumerism, some showing their care about humanity and the whole world, some showing their deconstruction and contemplation of the 60-year-old history of new China, some presenting their study of artistic materials and experiment of new expressions, and some probing the identity of artists in the context of global communication. Instead of providing a historical account or definition of the "Post-80s Generation" or adding a footnote to "Anime artists," this show is meant to present the true art world of those born around the 1980s, allowing them to sing their unique solos as being here and now.

GAO Yingchun graduated from the Department of Traditional Chinese Painting at China Academy of Art (West Lake, Hangzhou). KANG Youwei, in his lecture on fine arts (Wan Mu Cao Tang Lun Hua, 1917), argued that Chinese artists should be aware of their zeitgeist and responsibility, and pioneer a new epoch of fine arts by blending the Chinese and western traditions. In GAO's works, the traditional brush strokes did not stay as her obstacles, but served as a vantage point where she could surpass. Against the background of golden powders, curvaceous dancers wearing masks were lined up here and there, their clothes and hairstyle indicating their youthful and busty femininity. The paintings rendered the texture of Yun Long paper visible, suggesting that its surface had been repeatedly polished. All these details indicate his meticulous description of the subject and insistence on texture and materials, and suggest the focus of his works on aesthetics and aim at decorativeness.

Morgan Wong graduated from the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong, and currently resides and works in Beijing. He created his works by blending interactive technologies, mental logics, visual illusions, and true innermost feelings. He attended to such themes as time, ethnicity, blood ties, interpersonal relationship, communication with foreign cultures, and social contradictions. As a Hong Kong artist, Morgan's growth and educational background urged him to search for his artistic identity through the international context of cultural communication. In his performance video on this show, he presented a work rooted in his personal experience and yet exalted above real life.

LI Hongbo got his artistic inspirations from his childhood toy "paper gourd" - it is amazing how a stack of thin paper could be made into various shapes of toys, such as lanterns and fruits. Inspired by the "paper gourd," LI discovered the visual impact of paper as a medium, and recognized an alternative possibility of using paper as a formal language: from the concrete to the abstract, from the shaped to the shapeless, from rules to freedom, or vice versa. Here, the continuity of paper became a crucial element of artistic language: with its clustering and spreading, bending up and down, folding and twisting, we are presented with a series of unpredictable images.

LIU Fang owed the inspirations of her recent works to feelings and thoughts resulting from her innermost wanting and disappointment. She deliberately isolated the human figures, flowers, and props, as described in her works, out of the context of reality and transplanted them into a virtual scene of drama, depicting a theatrical and absurd scenario. The themes of her works, no matter pretty flowers or imagined situation and individual costumes, are all caught in between illusory dreams and cruel reality.

ZHAI Liang's works broke the narrative structure of everyday life, as the subject matters were isolated and removed from their tempo-spatial grounding, therefore destructing the cause of unfolding events, even dissolving it from the original context. Due to narrative disorder, flattened events appeared awkward, and due to the loss of time, events from different ages appeared to resemble each other. Space provides a "field" and "stage" for the events to happen, as well as the milieu and atmosphere; as such, the keynote of the work was not determined by the subject matter depicted, but by the space, plane, or background of painting. ZHAI's work attempted to engage discussion of the complex relationship among these elements.

ZHAO Na, a young woman with the firm belief that "the devil is in the details" was obsessed with the depiction of details. In her sketches on paper, you may sense the free breathing and singing of every single fine line, positioned in order. The five works on show constitute a continuous story, narrating how the earth evolves from a place of destruction to one of purity. She believes that there is a paradise in every single detail and it is through myriads of all details that the whole universe forms. As ZHAO said, her works were meant to raise people's awareness of the environment for survival, as she believed all things are universally related.

This is a group of sincere young artists who set their own artistic agendas in earnest. They are attempting to continue the tradition and embarking on a future. They are endeavoring to define where they will be at the fleeting moment of sunrise when dreams are found to be lying by the side of reality. They aspire to search for a poetic dwelling as they stagger ahead, with the heat of dreams remaining - they are working quietly, hoping to save and protect the whole world, whereas they are a generation of innate defects after all, destined by history to be on the road to...

Mizuma & One Gallery