December 3rd 2011 through February 5th 2012
Artists: Cui Jie, Li Shurui, Zhang Jungang & Li Jie
“Cui Jie, Li Shurui, Zhang Jungang & Li Jie” features recent works by Beijing-based Cui Jie and Li Shurui and Harbin-based duo Zhang Jungang & Lijie, and gives a perceptive account of the relationship between their life and contemporary landscape.
Known for her early works that question the truth in reality through unlikely marriage of images on canvas (for instance, an astronaut walking in Forbidden City, or a group of beauty queens posing for photo shoot in the Moon), Cui Jie has steered her focus to the study of forms and figure-ground relationship by a body of new paintings that magnify architectural details. Inspired by the multiple exposures in Orson Welles’ films, Cui painted a world composed of fragments from urban landscape and, in a few cases, layers of grids, lines and other graphic patterns. Though set in Beijing, subjects in her landscape paintings look like elsewhere in any possible contemporary cities, representing a sense of déjà vu and alienation.
Landscape is reduced to the abstract, and the abstract to sheer light. And the light is the passion of the Op-artist Li Shurui. Stemming from her first a few abstract pieces that documented the mesmerizing illuminations in urban nightlife, Li Shurui’s paintings keep portraying the lights that she encounters and envisions. Phenomenal and fleeting, the polar light is the most spectacular of all kinds, Li comments. Her large-scale pixel painting “Polar Lights # 6” (2010) is the artist’s response to the natural phenomenon in our digital time, while her “Light of the Sky ” (#3 and #4, 2011) continues her exploration in the optical and psychedelic effects that have been central to her painting.
Active online for ten years or so, Zhang Jungang & Li Jie represent the new voice from the non-artists in China. Over the past decade, Internet has served as resource of information and platform of exhibition and communication for a young generation of Chinese whose works are informed by the practice of Western contemporaries. Spontaneous and earnest, Zhang & Li’s works blur the boundaries between the documentary and the staged, resulting in a volume of photographic essays and stories that celebrate the youth and love.
Cui Jie (b. 1983 in Shanghai) graduated from China Academy of Art. Her works have been included in many exhibitions, such as The 4th Prague Biennale (2009), “Poetic Realism: An Reinterpretation of Jiangnan—Contemporary Art from South China” (Centro de Arte Tomás y Valiente, Madrid, 2008), “Notes of Conception” (Iberia Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, 2008), etc.
Li Shurui (b. 1981 in Chongqing) graduated from Sichuan Fine Arts Institute. She has exhibited at various institutions and galleries, such as Today Art Museum Beijing, James Cohan Gallery Shanghai, PKM Gallery Beijing, etc. She is included in the new edition of “Vitamin P: New Perspectives in Painting” (Phaidon Press).
Zhang Jungang (b. 1980 in Harbin) and Li Jie (b. 1975 in Shanghai) are the recipients of Photographer of the Year Award at Lianzhou Foto 2010.