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2017.12.26 Tue - 2018.01.04 Thu
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Between Heaven and Man: Cai Zhisong 2017 Solo Exhibition
Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum
[Press Release]

On November 26th, 2017, Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum hosted the grand opening of Between Heaven and Man: CAI Zhisong 2017 Solo Exhibition. The exhibition honorably invites Mr. FAN Di’an, President of the Central Academy of Fine Arts as the Academic Advisor, and Mr. PENG Feng, Vice President of the School of Arts at Peking University as the Curator. Guided by a macroscopic view of traditional Chinese cosmologic values, the exhibition takes contemporary life as a sample of history, and pays attention to the ongoing movements in modern culture and society. By focusing on the concepts of “time” and “space”, the exhibition explores the ways of expressions of contemporary art, and establishes a brand new artistic world.


The exhibition showcases nine sets, in total eighteen pieces of artist CAI Zhisong’s work, with related documentations and archives. Four sections of the artist’s most significant work series in recent years, including “Ode to Motherland”, “Rose”, “Cloud”, as well as his newest pieces during 2016-2017 “Homeland” series are all included in this exhibition. These works reflect CAI Zhisong’s artistic mind wandering along heaven and man, as well as past and present. With the title “Between Heaven and Man”, the exhibition reveals the profound meanings behind CAI’s work, which reminds the audience of issues related with culture, nature, history as well as reality.


The exhibition “creates a field of tremendous visual appeal which triggers cultural reflections, while ‘Between Heaven and Man’ becomes CAI Zhisong’s large-scale visual interpretation on the themes of ecology and environment”, said Mr. FAN Di’an, President of the Central Academy of Fine Arts.

Combining with the theme of the exhibition, Curator PENG Feng adopts a macro-narrative approach to showcase history, nature and life throughout the exhibition. Beginning with a giant impending installation, the exhibition reaches its climax with a huge human figure of open arms, and ends with a human-scale kneeling portrait, between which lie the roses of coldness, cranes of fleetingness, deer of loneliness, as well as a tiger head of subtle ironies. Layers upon layers, the statically solidified sculptures are endowed with dynamic life with the significance of the times through visual narration. Clear in sequence, rich in content and profound in meaning, just as the critic Mr. JIA Fangzhou commented at the seminar, “The whole exhibition is like a symphony.”


With a realistic approach, CAI Zhisong solidifies the thinking of life, the pursuit of humanity and the inquiry of the times into each and every pieces of this exhibition. CAI’s practice of art is to explore the relationship between the language of sculpture and the re-engineering of ideas. He puts contemporary consciousness and human feelings into the modeling, and seeks the texture of the material elaborately in the production of massive metal works and large-scale sculptures. The exquisiteness of materials and manufacturing techniques brings about sensual charm, emanates a tension of splendor, and transforms the entire exhibition venue into a visual symphony. The art figures CAI created has gone beyond mere figurative cultural symbols, but reaches a conciseness of mental states.


Richard VINE, Editor in chief of Art in America Magazine, said, “Through this exhibition, we feel the romantic spirit of Western art theory from CAI Zhisong’s works”.