Press release

故事未完,∣Telling Stories

MIZUMA & ONE GALLERY is pleased to hold its 2009 second show, "Telling Stories", displaying the latest works by four emerging Chinese artists DAI Chao, LI Zan, LUO Shenling and MENG Yangyang. All of them are loyal to their self-feelings, and they like to dream, enjoy finding the dream-like fun from the individual or collective's past and reality, weave them into stories and convey them to the audience. At the exhibition, the works are with their very personal experiences and the pieces of memories. They mutter in their respective dreams, however, it isn't the monologue or self-admiration, maybe in the bright lights, you can read their consent to the third party, participation requirements as well as the desire of sharing from their statements that seem like monologue.

The four young artists, who were all born in 1980s, have never suffered like their fathers' generation nor have the 1970s artists' heavy past and reflections on the cultural differences at home and abroad. They were born after the reform and opening up, just like the windows were open, foreign culture and Chinese culture are cross-integrated as inherent vein and artery, which are accompanying them to grow up. They enjoy fantasy, like talking to themselves, form the habit of enjoying solitude, yet eager to communicate; they are simple and sincerity in their nature but occasionally play a mischievous trick, further more their common features are solitarily, lonely, simple and nostalgic.

DAI Chao has been painting since his childhood. He takes drawing as a kind of his habit, as well as a certain stories telling. He likes to create poetic images, and the red rabbits, elusive sky and variable clouds with dimension sense are his interested topics to paint. He usually parks the painting subjects like the small rabbits, to non-realistic scenes and distorts them as alike as Dali's Melting Clock which changes the original form and floats in the air; or steps it up and dance likes the butterfly. In Dai Chao's paintings, you can feel a vague and elusive sense of air feeling and a touch of the poet. Furthermore, his installation project Freedom is composed by almost one hundred small-sized ceramic red rabbits which are either sitting or standing. These individuals line up and constitute the group recall with childhood memory and mark of the era. Art becomes his life support; makes him flee from the boiling city and his splendid growing; and lets him stop to be his own spectator and onlooker outside the space-time.

LI Zan was so obsessed by Chinese traditional culture, and for a long time he has devoted himself to exploring the transplanting of Chinese classic elements and cultural essence into contemporary youth culture. He firmly believed in what Feng Qiyong once said---'based on the real life, our forebears discovered and created traditions. Then just on those traditions, further creations should be made by us." If cool Pop graffiti is considered to be the style of LI's cynical works made in previous years, further progress in the exploring of skill transplants and heritage were then made in his recent works. Typical historical events and the ancient patterns of traditional cultural textures were transplanted with mechanical elements under the background of electronic game and industrial society which greatly interests him. Meanwhile, the layout and the details of the screen reflect he tried much harder than ever before. In his latest painting SEAL EVIL MONSTER I, he extends the"SEAL EVIL" spirit which used to be carved on Qing generals' cold steel as an encouragement during the war between the Qing Dynasty and the Eight Power Allied Force. He regarded his paintings as castigation to the contemporary to carry forward the traditional culture, and defend the cultural invasion of Western ideology. Outlined by a small brush, little by little, it took him a month to accomplish the painting. And to enrich the info elements of the picture, in the painting of MACHINE Taotie, Li Zan used integrated materials like thin gold or silver foil, which enriches its information elements and works more visual impact.

LUO Shenling likes fantasy and dream, but also prefers to make her thoughts freely like wild gallop. She said the attractive dreamland was her original force driving her to learn painting. She'd like to objectify her dream, retained them and made them eternal. In her painting, it seems that it depicts the familiar scenes all around us, but when you are carefully observed, it is disguised replacement of time and space and full of dreamlike feelings of unreality. Black cat, wilderness and ponds usually appear in her works, which were described as the spirits wandering between reality and dream, witnessing the interlacement between tradition and modern and being mixed with time brilliant rays of light & personal loss grief. It is filled with a sense of paints flow in Shenling's paintings, which may be related that she is fond of the ink and wash paintings and the flowing feeling in painting inside them.

MENG Yangyang's art is gradually away from the traditional aesthetic principle and presenting a very specific personal painting style. The majority of her works will be isolated the characters from background and environment, used the method of independent existence, reduced the narrative of the works and strengthened its interpretation. She said because of her happy childhood, it created her unconstrained nature, therefore we could see the recall of childhood and memory in her works. Even though clear and crisp colors appear in most of her paintings, but there are somewhat of sadness in her works, she prefers to explore the complex ever-changing human nature from the teenagers' images and memorial scene. "All kinds of human natures like lonely, insensitive, cruel and innocent etc." are not what we've seen and we've listened. Yangyang's works gives a total "unfinished" feeling, however on her own view, "Whether a painting is finished, it isn't based on the components of its contents or the numbers of brush touch and levels"; to determine whether it has been finished, she leans to perceptual elements. In addition, in her point of view, on the contrary, "the 'unfinished' paintings have a special rhythm and freshness."

These story tellers developed in the specific context of contemporary art development. Although they were born in the 1980s, we could not simply divide them by age, nor roughly classify them into "cartoon generation" or "animation generation" etc. They are the each individual who is telling stories, and at the same time they constitute the group of story tellers. They are the society expression of future art, and their stories are unfinished, to be continued.