EX: 1/30/2012
  >> Search exhibitions
>> Confirm subscribe
OCAT Xi'an
2014.03.22 Sat - 2014.07.21 Mon
Opening Exhibition
03/21/2014 16:00
Beichitou Yi Lu, Yanta District, Xi'an 陕西省西安市雁塔区北池头一路南段 OCAT西安馆
+86 (29)8552-9445
Opening Hours
Tues-Sun: 10:00-17:00
Karen Smith

>> Go to website

>> See map

About Painting
[Press Release]

[Press Release]

March 22 to July 21, 2014

VIP Preview (by invitation only): March 21, 16:00-20:00

The opening of the exhibition: March 22, 14:00

Is painting an outmoded medium? Are today’s painters simply reinventing the wheel? Through the work of six established, mid-career painters About Painting examines the force and life of a medium that remains a fundamental form of human expression.

What is painting today? It comes in many guises. It can be photographic in realism, graphic in simplicity. The content can be surreal, dreamlike, abstract, still, frenetic, measured, controlled, dripped, splattered, washed, impasto, precise, loose. A painting itself, however, is none of these things alone: it is the result of an arrangement of elements, essential components of the world the painter seeks to represent. This world forms a reality that belongs to the individual painter alone.

Each of the six artists, Jia Aili, Wang Yin, Zhao Gang, Duan Jianyu, Li Shurui and Qiu Ruixiang, work with a style and language that is recognizably their own. In their various ways, they present narratives and stories, personal experience and a broader worldview. Their paintings reveal a precise set of emotions, be that sober, psychological, ethereal or humorous, as well as a distinctive application of the material of oil paint, by means that accurately reflect their expression.

History demonstrates that as long as there are new circumstances and social experiences in the world, there will be subjects for painters to grapple with on canvas. This is ultimately seen to best effect in what these six artists do as painting.

The Artist’s Words

“It never occurred to me to think of painting as powerful, or to think of it as powerless. I do not think of painting in such terms.”

——Wang Yin

“Imagination is creativity: that’s biggest practical challenge we face. We are not thinking creatively about our spiritual nature, our historic reality, the socio-political situation, or the environment within which we exist. That is a great lacuna in contemporary art practice today.”

——Jia Aili

“Perhaps painting is not only about what kind of technique you prefer. It should have something deeper about imagination, or some deeper individual exploration about painting itself.”

——Duan Jianyu

“I think painting is something essential, almost primeval. It is the most direct way of expression we have. It begins with imagination and reveals the artist’s creativity. It is a form of expression in which people can find consolation.”

——Zhao Gang

“My style of painting could not be more simple or more mechanical. I aim to make it entirely standarised, to minimise any potential for flexibility, to erase all but the smallest margin for change. To achieve this, I use light and space as formal experience. After all, the best way to understand any civilisation, throughout history, whether as art or as architecture, is to see how they handled light and space.”

——Li Shurui

“What I want from a painting is hard to describe; rather, it’s the essence of a work that lies behind the surface. It transcends words. More than that just don’t know.”

——Qiu Ruixiang