Two drunks, 50 moons: Young talent on the rise

Six young artists explore the boundaries between reality and illusion using various mediums.

The exhibition “50 Moons,” named after the title of a piece by one of the six artists whose works are on display, explores the boundary between reality and illusion through painting, installation art and video.

On show at the Van Art Space in Hangzhou, it features recent works from six young artists.

Zhou Ming focuses on common scenery around us. After graduating from the China Academy of Art in 2011, he has spent most of his time making oil paintings of subjects such as leaves, trees and mountains.

“My inspiration partly comes from my childhood memories of those white walls and black tiles while living in Shaoxing,” said Zhou.

He paints with different layers of red, yellow and blue on canvas by placing twigs underneath. He rubs sandpaper on the twigs, which adds an antique finish.

“I like to distance my paintings from the real landscapes,” Zhou stated. “In that case, the relationship between the two becomes vague.”

The same kind of vagueness is also found in Huang Jingjie’s use of paper-folding on two-dimensional canvas oil paintings.

At the first glance, his paintings appear abstract. But they are actually modelled from off-cuts from folding paper planes.

“Maple Leaves” by Huang Jingjie

“This is a (blown-up) detail of a landscape,” Huang said, pointing to a work entitled “Maple Leaves.”

“When I say so, it is concrete but it is intended to be something between concrete and abstract.”

Tapes are used to form the lines and curves of the leaves. In that way, the large color blocks have a more clear-cut edge.

And places where pigments have been applied on the tape are slightly raised while gaps between the tapes are presented as incised lines.

The painting therefore acquires the illusion of being three-dimensional.

“Sticking and removing the tape took about half the time of my production,” said Huang. “I have a rough idea of how they should be used when I start, but it will always change as I move on.

“You can never know what it will be like until you finish.”

While Huang and Zhou work in an orderly universe, Cui Shaohan questions the relationship between order and chaos, between rationality and madness with his two video works “50 Moons” and “If I am a Mirror.”

In “50 Moons,” a single moon is cleft into four and finally a matrix of 50 ones. At first they are kept still, but then the moons start falling down one after another. They are gathered in curves and waves, dancing and bouncing to the background music. The final effect is dizzying.

Cui told Shanghai Daily that the piece was inspired by a joke of an absurd conversation between two drunk people arguing about how many moons they could see.

The concept of dislocation and mis-alignment is what he wants to express, which may lead to the doubt of whether human beings can really communicate well with each other.


Date: Through March 4 (closed on Mondays)

Address: 3-108, 167 Fenghuang Shanjiao Rd

Admission: Free

A snapshot from the video work “50 Moons” by Cui Shaohan 

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