2013.11.15 Fri, by Translated by: 顾灵
An Early Winter Walk through Caochangdi

Those seeking paintings in Caochangdi art district in November could look into Platform China, where a solo exhibition by Zhao Gang, “The Khitans, delivers very large and more modest-sized paintings of landscape, dwelling scenes and people. The paintings take on a different feel if one discovers that this nomadic Mongolian people in fact dispersed and disappeared in the 13th Century. Zhao Gang is also one of the original Stars group artists who hung their work on a park fence in 1979 after being refused an exhibition at the National Art Museum in Beijing. This is where he is now.

At Three Shadows across the road, there is a worthwhile show of photographs by the previous winners of the Annual Photo Award—including Xing Danwen, A Dou, the shocking Chen Zhe and the more meditative Zhang Jin. Take the time to look round and through these different perspectives.

Zhao Gang, “The Khitans”, exhibition view at Platform China

Photographs by Zhang Jin at Three Shadows

Zhang Xiao, “Shanxi”, exhibition view at Pekin Fine Arts

Pekin Fine Arts is also showing photography at the moment, with solo exhibitions by Zhang Xiao and Wang Chuan. Both benefit from the artist’s statement, recorded on the wall, about their practice. Zhang captures surreal visual moments during the Shehuo (Community Fire Festival) and Temple Fairs in Shanxi, whilst Wang questions his own decisions in recording images of contemporary China, asking what is really meaningful, and what one chooses to retain.

Wandering down to Chambers Fine Art, yet more photographically inflected works are grouped on the walls for Xia Xing’s “Four Years” of painting images from the front page of Xin Jing Bao newspaper. The “strong conceptual underpinning” asserted for Xia in the accompanying text is not necessarily forthcoming amid a barrage of uniformly sized paintings copying photographs.

Xia Xing, “Four Years”, exhibition view at Chambers Fine Art

“From Fuxingmen to Caochangdi”, exhibition view at Taikang Space

Over at Taikang Space is an unusual exhibition charting the development of the space since 2003. “From Fuxingmen to Caochangdi” even includes clothes, and old Macs and other props that furnished Taikang’s “progress”. This is not unengaging to look through, and perhaps results in a useful archival document.

Last but by no means least, Ink Studio on Saturday opened a striking show of work by Wang Dongling—“The Origins of Abstraction”. Works have been specially created for the exhibition, which goes further to impress one with the potential might of this medium in the contemporary moment.

Wang Dongling, “The Origins of Abstraction”, exhibition view at Ink Studio