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Art Central | ‘In the Moment’: new works by Annie Wan Lai-kuen and Zhu Jingyi

Exhibition details

Opening / Event Date:
21 March, 2016
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Closing / End Date:
26 March, 2016
Event Category:

Hong Kong-based ceramic artist Annie Wan Lai-kuen and Shanghai-based “ink” artist Zhu Jingyi both began their artistic journeys under the spell of artistic tradition. Today, both artists challenge the very nature and intention of their respective mediums by breaking with tradition.

Zhu Jingyi, born in China and based in Shanghai, dismisses the brush in order to reimagine his traditional medium as “Standing Ink.” He provocatively refers to his works as “ink,” even as gravity-defining resin is really at play. In so doing, the artist is deliberately challenging preconceived notions of ink painting (in the traditional sense) by questioning the very methods and materials that make up its DNA. Zhu takes as his subject matter all that is familiar in the genre—forests, mountains, trees, and rocks—and lends fortification with the application of three-dimensional structure using nothing more than rudimentary tools and handwork. The resulting effect is akin to space trusses or lattice shells reminiscent of Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic designs, but in free form. Spiritually connected to ink traditions, but materially allied with contemporary art making, Zhu has added yet another layer to contemplate in the great tradition of ink painting appreciation.

Annie Lai-kuen Wan, born in Hong Kong, developed an early interest in traditional ceramics. Today, Wan’s signature works include an ancient poem captured in the dead of night by “borrowing” characters from common Hong Kong commercial signs, with the assistance of plaster casts. She later transformed these traditional Chinese characters into beautiful wall objects that form an ancient poem. The artist has also captured an entire library of vintage texts by preserving their forms in plaster cast.

In this exhibition, Wan moves beyond the recreation of ancient poems and texts and into the preservation of contemporary magazines and popular novels. In the new digital age, Wan evokes the notion that traditional media may soon be objects of the past. In her view, these are artefacts worthy of salvation.


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