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Massimo De Carlo Hong Kong
2017.01.19 Thu - 2017.03.11 Sat
Opening Exhibition
301-302A Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central, Hong Kong
(852) 2915 1234
Opening Hours
Mon- Sat 10.30am-7pm.

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[Press Release]

(Hong Kong, 10 January 2017) To commemorate the beginning of an artful year, Massimo De Carlo gallery presents its first group show ‘Between Utopia and Dystopia’ at Hong Kong’s Pedder Building. It will be on display from19 January 2017 to 11 March 2017.

Curated by independent curator and critic Manuela Lietti, the exhibition brings together works by six Chinese contemporary artists that explore the notion of landscape. Featured artists have roots in Mainland China – Jia Aili, Liu Xinyi, Meng Huang, Qiu Shihua, Wang Sishun, and Wang Zhongjie.

“The unique element of this exhibition is that it offers a view on the conceptual and naturalistic interpretations of landscape in contemporary Chinese painting and sculpture by artists belonging to different generations and backgrounds. Viewers will see a mix of artworks touching upon its cultural, social and geo-political implications.” comments Lietti.

All of them approach the topic from their own unique perspectives; they created landscapes suspended between the real and the ideal dimensions. External sights and inner visions filled with intimacy and meditative tones co-exist with images of a collapsing world presented with less idyllic but nevertheless true qualities.

Jia Aili cleverly juxtaposes a contemporary approach with a traditional figurative style. His abstract, fragmented landscapes are often interrupted by subjects that appear to be searching or drifting. Every landscape is private, presenting the inner self rather than contemporary society in general, even though Jia’s paintings also reflect the increasing lack of communication between man and the world he inhabits. Therefore, Jia’s works are often melancholic in their contemplation of a world that is increasingly connected yet lonely, in which borders are not just physical entities but also self-imposed states of mind.

Liu Xinyi’s work often displays a rather unexpected double nature, undermining the viewer’s certainty about reality, its perception, and the mechanisms underlying the cognitive processes that regulate it. The landscapes in his work are often territories marked by their geo-political importance and strategic place within the global world, and presented with a certain amount of irony and, at times, cynicism.

Meng Huang has painted the local landscapes familiar to him since 2004. His landscape paintings are characterized by the use of a specific color palette based mainly on two tones, black and white, as well as the mixture of the two in a wide array of grays. This reminds us of the severity and monotony of a geological map, which transform landscape painting into a topographical survey. The choice of this austere color palette celebrates non-spaces that seem to be part of a world at its end, collapsing and imploding under its own weight.

At first glance, Qiu Shihua’s works appear to be monochrome: an almost completely white canvas. However, on closer inspection, expansive landscapes emerge from the painterly surfaces, which, depending on the viewer’s taste and disposition, thrive with detail or recede again from view. The artist creates broad landscapes in neutral colors applied in an apparently minimalist style that is a process of meditation rather than mimesis. The mysterious depth of Qiu’s painting plays with the eye of the beholder, blurring the balance between medium and gaze.

In his artistic practice, Wang Sishun decontextualizes and deconstructs objects by turning them into something aesthetically and conceptually new and unexpected. In his site-specific, immersive installations, he enhances the transformation of materials by ensuring that the objects interact and engage with one another in a subtle narrative. He creates a landscape where the natural engages with the conceptual and the artificial in an unexpected yet visually compelling game involving sight, perception, and preconception.

Since 2009, images and narratives have appeared less often in Wang Zhongjie’s paintings. Over the course of two years, he gradually removed layer after layer of excess information. After pain and doubt, his paintings have become more abstract and he has turned them into the meeting point of pure substance and elusive visions. Light plays a key role in these abstractions; it dominates the canvases by becoming and embodying the landscape itself.

‘Between Utopia and Dystopia’ is a group show curated by Manuela Lietti. The exhibition with run from19 January 2017 to 11 March 2017 at Massimo De Carlo gallery in Hong Kong.
301-302A Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central, Hong Kong
Opening Hours: Mon- Sat 10.30am-7pm.

About Massimo De Carlo gallery:
Massimo De Carlo (MDC) gallery was founded in Milan in 1987 with its first exhibition by Olivier Mosset. Presently, the gallery is located at Via Ventura.

Massimo De Carlo gallery focuses on creating a dialogue between globally acknowledged contemporary artists, young and promising talents and more classical masters from the 50s and the 60s. The gallery actively promotes young European and American artists that play an important role in the international artistic scenery, and works on establishing a vital dialogue between the artists and international institutions, encouraging relationships between galleries, critics, curators, and collectors

The artists of the gallery have all gained international recognition and have been shown in galleries, museums, and biennials in most of Europe and the USA. All the artists are represented in important private and public collections.

Massimo De Carlo gallery works with diverse, internationally-respected artists active in different media, all represented in important private and public collections. The gallery deals in a distinctive combination of painting, drawing, installation, sculpture, photography, and video.

In 2009, Massimo De Carlo opened a new space in central London. As well as working with the historically represented artists, this venue focuses on emerging American artists. After many years of operating on the Asian territory, both in Mainland China and Hong Kong, Massimo De Carlo opens a new gallery in Hong Kong in 2016, located in the Pedder Building in Central.

Massimo De Carlo gallery Artists:
John Armleder, Massimo Bartolini, Gianfranco Baruchello, Sanford Biggers, Chris Burden, Maurizio Cattelan, Paul Chan, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Steven Claydon, Dan Colen, George Condo, Elmgreen & Dragset, Roland Flexner, Gelitin, Thomas Grünfeld, Carsten Höller, Christian Holstad, Rashid Johnson, Elad Lassry, Bertrand Lavier, Tony Lewis, Nate Lowman, Matthew Monahan, Olivier Mosset, Matt Mullican, Yan Pei-Ming, Diego Perrone, Paola Pivi, Rob Pruitt, Jim Shaw, Josh Smith, Rudolf Stingel, Piotr Uklański, Kaari Upson, Andra Ursuta, Kelley Walker, Liu Xiaodong, Aaron Young, Andrea Zittel.

About the curator:
Manuela Lietti is an independent Italian art critic and curator specialized in contemporary Asian art. In 2003, she graduated from the department of Oriental Languages and Civilizations at the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, having written her bachelors’ thesis on contemporary Chinese artist Yang Shaobin. After her graduation, she moved to Beijing where in 2007, she obtained her master’s degree in Chinese History of Art and Art Criticism from the Academy of Art and Design of Tsinghua University. Since 2003, Manuela has been active as a curator, critic, and coordinator in the field of gallery and museum exhibitions as well as public art projects, in China and abroad. She has cooperated with CAFA Art Museum (Beijing), Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), Venice Biennale (Venice), Israel Museum (Jerusalem), DSL Collection (Paris), Galleria Continua (Beijing), Associazione Arte Continua (San Gimignano, Beijing), The Chinese Ministry of Culture, The Italian Ministry of Culture. She is a correspondent for the art magazine Arte e Critica-Art and Criticism and regularly contributes to a number of other art publications included Frieze, Flash Art, artforum.com.cn and Artron.net.

About the artists featured in ‘Between Utopia and Dystopia’:
Jia Aili was born in 1979 in Liaoning Province, China. Lives and works in Beijing, China. Solo exhibitions include The Nothing of Pure Emptiness, Platform China Contemporary Art Institute, Beijing, CN (2010); The Dharma Bums, Hartell Gallery, Cornell University, Ithaca, US (2010); JAL Jia Aili Solo Exhibition, Michael Ku Gallery, Taipei, TW (2009); The Wasteland, Platform China Contemporary Art Institute, Beijing, CN (2007). Group exhibitions include Shedding–New Art from China, Zhong Gallery, Berlin, DE (2012); Fly Through the Troposphere: Memo of the New Generation Painting, Iberia Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, CN (2011); Lu Chunsheng and Jia Aili: Counterpoints, iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts), London, GB (2010).

Liu Xinyi was born in 1982 in Hanghzhou, China. Lives and works in Beijing, China. Solo exhibitions include Hundred Thousand Miles Away, White Space Beijing, Beijing, CN (2016); Goulash, White Space Beijing, Beijing, CN (2014);Agent L, White Space Beijing, Beijing, CN (2012),Group exhibitions include Hybirding Earth-Discussing Multitude, Busan Biennale 2016, F1963, Busan, South Korea (2016); Turning Point:Contemporary Art in China Since 2000, Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, CN (2016); Film, Art Basel HK, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong, CN (2015); The Invisible Hand: Curating as Gesture, 2nd CAFAM Biennale, CAFA Art Museum, Beijing, CN (2014); On|Off: China’s Young Artists in Concept and Practice, Ullens Center of Contemporary Art, Beijing, CN(2013); Contested Ground, Zabludowicz Collection, London, GB (2009).

Meng Huang was born in 1966 in Beijing, China. Lives and works in Beijing, China and Berlin, Germany. Solo exhibitions include Who Are You What Place Is This For Which Purpose Did You Come Here, Mao Space, Shanghai, CN (2016); Elbow Room, Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing, CN (2014); Five Faces of a Man, WiE Kultur, Berlin, DE (2010); Time and Place – Meng Huang’s Solo Exhibition, BizArt Art Center, Shanghai, CN (2009). Group exhibitions include Topo ing Rame, BMW Foundation, Berlin, DE (2016); Il Giardino Incantato, Palazzo Tè, Mantova, IT (2015); Hans van Dijk: 5000 Names, UCCA, Beijing, CN; Kunsthal Rotterdam, Rotterdam, NL (2014); FUCK OFF 2, Groninger Museum, Groningen, NL (2013); CAPITAL – Merchants in Venice and Amsterdam, Swiss National Museum, Zurich, CH (2012).

Qiu Shihua was born in 1940 in Sichuan Province, China. Lives and works in Beijing and Shenzhen, China. Solo exhibitions include Aura of Nature, Galerie Karsten Greve, Cologne, DE (2015); Qiu Shihua – New Works, Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne, CH (2013); Qiu Shihua. White Field, Hamburger Bahnhof Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, DE (2012); Qiu Shihua, Shanghai Gallery of Art, Shanghai, China, CN (2008); Qiu Shi-hua, Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, CH (1999). Group exhibitions include Ink and the Mind: Ink and Phenomenology Exhibition No. 2, Ink Studio, Beijing, CN (2016); Unscrolled: Reframing Tradition in Chinese Contemporary Art, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, CA (2014); Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, US (2013); Duchamp’ Inframince in Painting – First Zhuangzi International Conference Parallel Exhibition, Yuan Art Museum, Beijing, CN (2012).

Wang Sishun was born in 1979 in Hubei Province, China. Lives and works in Beijing, China. Solo exhibitions include Apocalypse, Long March Space, Beijing, CN (2016); Truth, New Galerie, Paris, FR (2015); The Indeterminate Boundless, Goethe Open Space, Shanghai, CN (2013). Group exhibitions include The New Sculpture Since the 21st Century of Exploration and Transformation, Big House Contemporary Art Center, Wuhan, CN (2016); A Beautiful Disorder, Cass Sculpture Foundation, Sussex, GB (2016); Inventing Ritual, Kunsthaus Graz, Graz, AT (2015); ON/OFF: China’s Young Artists in Concept & Practice, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, CN (2013); Moving Image in China 1988-2011, Luigi Pecci Centre for Contemporary Art, Prato, IT (2012).

Wang Zhongjie was born in 1972 in Henan Province, China. Lives and works in Henan Province, China. Solo exhibitions include In Need of Light, Moart Space, Zhengzhou, CN (2016); Dark Clouds Blue Sky, ANART and V ART CENTER, Shanghai, CN (2013); Stalker and His Shadow, Magician Space, Beijing, CN (2012). Group exhibitions include Oltre la materia – Gli artisti ricordano Maurizio Giuffredi, Bologna Academy of Fine Arts, Bologna, IT (2015); Sun Artists Group Exhibition, ANART, Shanghai, CN (2012); Endless Country: The North-South Oil Painting Exhibition, China National Gallery, Beijing, CN (2006); Henan Oil Painting Society Academic Exhibition, Zhengzhou Art Museum, Zhengzhou, CN (2002).