Gallery: Art Supermarket
Opening / Event Date: 8 May, 2019
Closing / End Date: 24 Aug, 2019
Dance performance & guided tour start at 1:30pm and 4pm (two sessions)
Free shuttle bus from Wong Chuk Hang (Ovolo Hotel) to Alisan Fine Arts 12 – 7:30pm, www.sicd.com.hk for more info
Exhibition continues from 24 September – 15 December (By appointment only)
Under the influence of globalization, Chinese diaspora artists look nostalgically back upon their homeland, infusing their artworks with emotions and philosophies related to their multi-cultural experiences. Yi Kai and Wu Shaoxiang both endured the Cultural Revolution as young men and moved abroad in 1989 to develop their artistic careers. In his abstract, often chaotic landscapes Chinese-American artist Yi Kai expresses his examination of East-West interaction as well as the relationship between individuals and crowds, and civilization with technology. Meanwhile, Chinese-Austrian sculptor Wu Shaoxiang uses forms and symbols to convey social messages through forms imbued with humour and social commentary, particularly on the trend toward mass consumerism. Both of these artists are grappling to synthesize the more rustic, provincial China of their youth with the industrialized and globalized world in which they live now, and correlate it to the astounding transformations of commercialization and innovation that inspire the current generation’s “China Dream” of advancement and prosperity.
Born in 1955 Changsha, China, Yi Kai showed an affinity for art and drawing at an early age. During the 1970’s he created art propaganda for the People’s Republic of China and in 1979 was chosen as one of thirty-five from four thousand applicants to attend the Art Institute of the Army of China in Beijing earning a Bachelors of Fine Arts in traditional Chinese painting. He attained his Masters of Fine Arts from the Central University for Nationalities in Beijing in 1985, then emigrated to the United States in 1985. During the last twenty years Yi Kai’s art has transitioned from his artistic education in China to abstract and colourful works that reflect the influence of American culture and expression that inform his current direction. The body of work displayed in China Dream represents a way in which to scrutinize the relationship between individuals and crowds, and especially how these connections are informed by modern telecommunication. On display are works from his travelling exhibition, which were first displayed at Claremont Graduate University in the United States and then at the 53 Art Museum in Guangzhou. The ambiguity between figures, the landscape and thoughts are portrayed in the circuit world, highlighting the connection between people and technological networks.
A forerunner in the modern abstract sculpture movement in China, Wu Shaoxiang was born in Jiangxi, China in 1957 and graduated from Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute in 1982. In 1986, he obtained an MA of Sculpture from Central Academy of Arts and Design in Beijing and was awarded the first Beijing Art and Design Scholarship. His earlier works were influenced by both Western and Chinese elements. This made him an artistic pioneer at the time and set him apart from his more conservative counterparts in China. He emigrated to Austria in 1989, where he continued to blend East and West in his works while attempting to convey social messages by examining consumerism and globalization. Since the 1990’s Wu has relied mainly on the use of forms and symbols to convey his message. It is his experimentation with banknotes and coins that represents his artistic breakthrough into mainstream recognition. He used coins to reconstruct Eastern and Western monumental sculpture, such as Venus and the Buddha, and banknotes to make up the bodies of Giacometti-like human figures. Both our public monuments and the currency we exchange in a capital system are accredited value by the consumer (be it the “viewer” or the “buyer”), and are thus bestowed with a conflicting sense of simple aesthetic pleasure versus concrete buying-power. The porcelain shapes shown here are covered with United States 100 dollar banknotes and displayed like inviting candies, demonstrating the universal and attractive powers exercised by symbols of wealth.