Contemporary by Angela Li presents “An Inner Journey”, an art exhibition featuring works by four established contemporary Chinese artists: Cang Xin, Chen Wenling, Wu Didi and Zhang Qikai. Comprised of paintings, sculpture and video installation, the exhibition investigates and questions existential ambiguities in life.
As humanity evolves and our society becomes more mature and sophisticated, both the urgency of the continuous search for true inner self and inner peace, and the investigation into our existence in nature and our role within the society seems to escalate. Studied in conceptual ways, the exhibition presents various aspects and observations of life from different angles, with the intention of redefining and reinterpreting life and existence.
Multimedia and performance artist Cang Xin’s artistic inspirations are often influenced by his religious belief. To him, the art-creating process is a spiritual way for him to review his inner self as well as the world around him. In his Hidden Consciousness series, the subject matter is imaginary, filled with mysterious objects and beings. The use of traditional Chinese painting materials of silk and pigment further creates a state of contradiction against such made-up objects and beings. Acting as a visual extension to his belief in animism, these works are the continued exploration of his spirituality and investigation in the meanings of existence.
Renowned Chinese sculptor Chen Wenling’s Memory Tree is lively yet complex, expressing his attitude towards life and society. As a continuation of the legacy of his Red Memory series, the work at first glance shows his sense of humour, while at the same time inspires his audience to look for the much deeper meanings embedded within. With a little man hanging upside down on a tree in a carefree state, the sculpture conveys the artist’s new phase of life in which he has overcome a major illness and reflects the malleability and strength in humanity.
Wu Didi draws the subject matter of her paintings from the simplest elements of nature, such as bamboo, stones, insects and weed. She gives each of her subjects a new life and unique identity. In her Bambooseries, she “bends” the bamboos into different shapes; the unnatural look conveys the bamboo’s quality of resilience and toughness, while the closed shapes with split parts depict life’s perfections and imperfections. The paintings serve as the artist’s poetic study to examine spirituality in humanity as well as her own meditative process during the long creative process.
Zhang Qikai creates his art with references to philosophical tensions and focuses on reflections of the deepest meanings of life and ways of being. He encodes his observations and contextualises his creativity into a unique and peculiar visual experience. His multimedia work, Breathing, is simple yet mystical. Overlayering sound and video projection onto an imaginary space dimension, the work awakens new emotions within the viewers to rediscover the phenomenon in life.