Tang Contemporary Art presents the first solo exhibition of Chinese artist Cai Lei in Hong Kong. The exhibition will feature all new works of acrylic on canvas and mixed media from the artist’s studio based on his ongoing series titled Unfinished and In Ambiguous Sight.
Cai Lei’s works explore the relationship between illusion and space. From his interest in planarity, he carves out an illusory conceptual space which oscillates between the second and third dimension for his creations. Working in both painting and mixed media sculptural relief, light plays an important factor in enhancing this illusion of depth. Painted spaces of interior hallways or corners simultaneously protrude and recede depending on the viewer’s experience of the work.
In Unfinished, as renowned art critic Bao Dong puts it – by choosing the interior of an empty, unfinished home, Cai Lei is able to discard all past notions of semiotics and utilize a space that has no meaning or emotional direction, to instead allow various linguistic and methodological possibilities to be at play. While the unfinished home is the most basic, unadorned existence, it is perfectly suited to Cai Lei’s use for presenting spatial issues. His treatment of spatial language becomes a form of content within itself. In In Ambiguous Sight, the oeuvre of his work is full of edges and molded forms, similar to the theories of the “vague” and “ambiguous” in New Criticism which address the significance of multiplicity and emotion in art. Striking with clarity, the works challenge viewer’s perception to enhance spatial cognition.
- Cai Lei, Corner No. 1, 2015. Courtesy of Tang Contemporary Art