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Venue
1×3画廊
Date
2016.12.18 Sun - 2017.02.18 Sat
Opening Exhibitions
2016.12.18 3:00PM
Address
A02,yinxiang North Road,No.797 Middle Street,798 Art District,No.2 Jiuxianqiao Road,Chaoyang District,Beijing 北京市朝阳区酒仙桥路2号798艺术区797中街音响北路A02
Telephone
+86 10 57626101,+86 10 57620102
Opening Hours
Director
Du Xiyun
Email
info@1x3gallery.com

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BECOMING ONESELF

By Du Xiyun

The desire of becoming “oneself” is a reflection of an individual will, it reveals a latent aspiration for life; as part of a continuous, chaotic and unpredictable process. What does “oneself” mean? How do we become “oneself”? The answer will unfold slowly as we move ahead, make choices, make mistakes, correct them and continue on the journey. This is a path paved by the individual will, as one experiences gains and loses the meaning of becoming “oneself” will slowly be revealed.

Art is what life exudes; art is also a way for the artist to find “oneself”, it is the place where the artists finds a testimony of this quest. During the creative process, artists choose specific shapes and forms of expression according to their own particular living environment, their own individual will and their artistic medium.

Meng Huang, Li Xin and Li Linlin are three artists born in 1966, 1973 and 1992 respectively. Meng Huang has settled down in Berlin, Li Xin drifts between Beijing and Paris and Li Linlin has a cosmopolitan lifestyle that transcends borders. Judging their work within the context of a rapidly changing China, and the generational gap that separates them, their work seems to be quite different from each other. Their choice of artistic mediums, and the themes at the center of their art is all quite different. Of course, the three artists were all brought up in China; they share a common background as well an enduring connection to a language environment. They are trying to find their own original “self” or identity within this complex context.

Meng Huang pays constant attention to social issues on his daily life, he also has a strong comprehension of history, but when creating his work he paints uninhabited environments, or landscape sketches from nature. These environments seem uninhabited, but contained in them one finds silhouettes and people’s traces. The environment he chooses as an element in his work has a close connection to the human being, he choses places where important events have happened or are happening. These events are the motto of his creation, moving him to paint with vigorous spirit, creating strong shapes and color.

Meng Huang has found his own way of connecting the uninhabited landscapes to social and historical issues, both when he paints elements from nature or when he creates original work, a stubborn determination to pursue a life filled with dignity and freedom can always be felt.
The work of Li Xin creates frustration to a contemporary viewer accustomed to fast pace glancing at things. At first sight every painting seems similar, as if no work was done, as if paint was left to drift randomly. To an artist, defying a pattern of observation is a natural act; through this he is searching and expressing “nature”, and his own “oneself”. Careless viewers accustomed to fast-pasted signs and symbols can easily overlook these paintings that contain “no-data” and seem “effortless”, but a mindful observer might find in his work an invitation to slow down, to stop and gaze, and let the possibility of something new to grow again. In front of such relaxed paintings one can tone down the heartbeat and enter a blissful state of mind. One can abandon oneself, and let the ego go when there is calmness; it is at this moment that one can open up to reality. This also brings an opportunity to get rid of all prejudices, to refresh and anew “oneself”.

Li Xin’s experiences in life drive him to instinctively pursue and get close to such state of mind via his paintings. This state of mind is something that happens only naturally and randomly, a reason why his work is not easy to be accomplished.

Li Linlin is a very young artist who prefers to identify with an environment where individuals are immersed in globalization rather than into a country, a nation, or any such imagined communities. Her work is marked with strong contemporary flair; her themes are improvised and the artistic mediums she choses are rich and diverse, she has found in these a way of setting herself free. She is naturally conscious of the problems around her; she does no avoid confronting the cruel living environment, and does not suppress the intensity of her inner world.

Visually, Li Linlin does not have a fixed method of expression; nevertheless we can see that her work focuses on strong sensual impact, using various methods to combine the real and fictional world, creating a mix of psychological sensations and perceptions. In the process of playing with abundant fragments and elements she lets her “oneself” grow out from her enigmatic self.

In the context of contemporary civilization what defines the “individual identity” is a clear understanding of the individual’s rights and obligations. To attain this, a strong awareness of such individual identity is fundamental. The impulse of finding and becoming “oneself” prompts Meng Huang, Li Xin, and Li Linlin to find their own artistic expression, combining elements of history, and how they experience their inner and external world. In the work of these three people what stands out is a quest for freedom, a poised spirit and curiosity. The desire and readiness to face truth is a fundamental attitude when one seeks to transform reality with optimism at heart.

At last, I want to paraphrase Nietzche’s words, “Even if the future does not hold any hope, our bizarre existence should be the strongest motivation to live our lives according to our own criteria and principles.”

November 27th, 2016

Translation by Isolda Morillo

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