Landscape art through an alternative lens
Contemporary artist and photographer Ni Weihua’s solo exhibition “Graphic Society: Landscape Walls” takes the lens cap off tomorrow at Image Group Art Gallery on Anfu Road and runs through the end of February.
As the gallery’s first show of the year, “Graphic Society” features Ni’s photo works of posters, commercial advertisements and official propaganda slogans on walls, signboards and in urban public spaces during the 1990s, casting his witty comment on the industrialized modern society that China was developing into at the time.
Born in 1962, the Shanghai-native artist, with an experimental spirit and critical consciousness, first rose to fame in the early 1990s with his large-scale performance art series “Continuously Spreading Event: Red Boxes and Posters.”
His work entitled “Fine Arts: A Legal Existence of the Term and its Object” explored the boundaries of art in social life. It injected innovative elements and experimented with new ways of art making.
After 1998 the photographer focused his lens on the “keywords” and “landscape walls” in the public areas in the form of videos, documenting the city’s urbanization and transformation.
Since 2018, Ni has launched an outdoor performance art project “Traces,” which recorded the artist writing graffiti on the walls of dilapidated, dismantled houses or ruins.
Using black and white lines, he turned the cracked walls of an illegal clinic advertisement, anonymous confessions and messy doodles, into art, highlighting objects or items we’ve always ignored.
The project has attracted more than 300 artists, designers and architects over the past two years, and the activity has been carried out in 106 abandoned buildings or places in Shanghai, Beijing and the provinces of Zhejiang and Hebei — as well as in Italy.
On the opening ceremony of the exhibition, Ni will hold a lecture (starting at 1:45pm), and share his experiences with the audience.
Date: January 11-February 29, 11am-8pm
Venue: Image Group Art Gallery
Address: 300 Anfu Rd