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Foreword // Joint Exhibition: Hou Yong- ArchiScapes, Shen Liang - Martial Arts

Today, works of paintings are still signifying cultural identities and memory fragments. Implications that lied within could always surprise and delight the beholders. In the visual age, pictorial messages are widely and quickly produced. This has, at the same time, deteriorated our imagination and blurred our perception of the past. Hence, in terms of its functions and meanings, the room of gazing at the pictures is getting more precious.

Hou Yong’s series of “ArchiScapes” is a reflection of his infatuation and discoveries of pictorial expressions, inspired by his real life that is filled with contradictions and thoughts that are in-tranquil but real. This vivacious confrontation embodies plasticity, from which Hou Yong breaks the original spatial relation of real scene, rectifies order on the canvas, and reconstructs a weightless, directionless three-dimensional structure on the plane. He draws a series of architectures and surface profiles of objects, stressing on how “light” and “colours” could remold the regular forms. As coordinates, these two elements cut apart and penetrate through the spatial structures, so as to portray and hide the contradictions and in-tranquility with different means of artistic expression. In such, light and space, reality and ideality coexist and accurately establish a room on the canvas. The contrary visual cues are used to put rich visual logic into practice, and intertwine the softness and firmness on the same painting.

Shen Liang’s series of “Martial Arts” was created in 2007. His affecting touch recreates banter and a childlike curiosity, and a reminiscence of past times in adulthood. The magazine “Wu Lin” was launched in 1981. With its suspense of publication in 2006, the generation that was set neither on Common Era nor Anno Domini fades. It hints that the youthful time of the generation of reform and open up in China is nearly over, forming a generational Synaesthesia. Shen Liang’s works demonstrate his painting technique and self-control on his state of mind. On the magazine cover, his expressional brushwork has pervaded pictures and words, put emphasis on the tension between characters, and let the exquisite composition creep into the tension visually and psychologically.

Both of the artists were born in 1976 and graduated from the Department of Painting in the China Central Academy of Fine Arts. After years of artistic practices, they have now marched into a mature stage of creation. Their fine grasp of painting technique, as well as the desire for exploring the artistic language, has encouraged their productions of artworks, which reflect the dynamic everyday world. As for the beholders, through gazing at these concise and delicate paintings, they could be fully absorbed into understanding how visual representations pass on and expand the cultural and time significance.

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