Gallery: Axel Vervoordt Gallery
Artist(s): Ryuji Tanaka
Opening / Event Date: 19 Oct, 2019
Closing / End Date: 1 Feb, 2020
Huang Rui, (b. 1952, Beijing), is one of China’s most highly regarded artists and is one of the main protagonists of the first non-conformist art groups in 1979 China. A leader of the Stars Group (Xing Xing 星星) and exhibition, he was a pivotal in the art movement that initiated some of the first free art expressions in the Post-Mao era bringing together like-minded artists such as, Wang Keping and Ma Desheng. As a seminal figure of the Dashanzi Factory 798 Art District, Huang Rui has sought to express art’s function as a reflection of society and its strength in addressing contemporary concerns, since co-organizing China’s first public art exhibition in Beijing in 1979.
A series of Huang Rui’s important early works dating from the era of 1983-1986 will be shown for the first time in Hong Kong. These early abstract works represent a new framing of reality for contemporary China, one that becomes free from the expressions of socialist realism, which controlled art under Maoist China. They are now being re-examined as significant examples of contemporary art deeply rooted in Chinese philosophies and structures setting Huang Rui apart from art of that era. Katie de Tilly, gallery director states, “Seeing Huang Rui’s early works shows how advanced as an artists he already was in the 1980’s exploring abstract form rooted in Chinese philosophy.” Thomas Berghuis, curator Guggenheim Museum states in his text for the book Space Structure by Huang Rui, “Huang Rui relates how he ‘wanted to find a spiritual presence through the environment,’ with this ‘spiritual presence’ becoming a ‘painting method.’ Each of the colors further represents a sentiment and a spiritual presence in the artist’s life and the life of people in China coming out of the Cultural Revolution. The red represents the Cultural Revolution and the grey represents the color of childhood and dealing with ‘the story of Beijing.’ Red becomes ‘more political, linking the red walls of the Forbidden City to the Mao Zedong era. For Huang the creative process becomes to render these colors in abstract form, something that would have an impact on other artists in China as well. These include the way in which Huang Rui started to paint the silhouettes of people in paintings such as in the painting Street Corner of 1980; or the Courtyard Story of 1983-2009.”
Berghuis continues, “Huang Rui’s Space-Structure series literally creates a new framing of reality for contemporary China, one that becomes free from the old expressions of socialist realism, which controlled the production art under Maoist China. Abstraction in China thus comes to lead an important aspect of the overall development of contemporary art in China, despite being less well studied in publications outside China. Together with the recent rise of artists in China starting to reconsider abstraction as an important form of artistic expression, this essay has sought to draw renewed attention to the work of Huang Rui as one of the important pioneers of new abstract forms in China, as can be seen through his Space-Structure series that consider the space of painting, and of urban (re)form in China.”
WHEN: Opening on 13th May (Tues), 18:30-22:30 Exhibition starts 9th May, ends 14th June (Sat), 2014. Artist Talk Brunch on 17th May (Sat) 10:00-12:00, Phil Tinari, Director of the Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art (UCCA) in conversation with Huang Rui.
WHERE: 10 Chancery Lane Gallery, SoHo, Central
Venue: G/F 10 Chancery Lane, SoHo, Central (Opening Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm)
For Press Enquiries and interviews with Huang Rui: Contact Bo Kim [email protected] telephone: 2810-0065.