Artist(s): Francis Bacon, Adrian Ghenie, Zeng Fanzhi, George Condo, Yukimasa Ida
Opening / Event Date: 2 Jun, 2022
Closing / End Date: 30 Nov, 2022
Affinity for ART is proud to present CHI Chien’s first solo show in Hong Kong, Passing Through The Gardens.
“Passing Through The Gardens” is a progression from Chi’s previous series “Theatre of the Century” in which he explores the interaction of light and shadow at a moment in time.
In this series, Chi replaces the traditional canvas with printed fabrics of repeat patterns – often flowers – that extend throughout the whole piece of cloth. After extensive research on the subject, he explains:“When a motif is repeated on a large surface, it becomes visually flattened and merges with the background… However when the same motif is isolated, it takes on a three dimensional form, with the background set to the back, and the motif floating at the front…”
To illustrate this concept, Chi paints over large areas of the patterned cloth, carefully leaving selected parts unpainted allowing the remaining flowers or motifs to assume a spatial dimension on the fabric. This transforms the visual appearance of the flower pattern from being flat to spatial and the overall work to resemble a landscape. Painting over the printed fabric also has the interesting effect of interchanging the roles of the supporting canvas and the painted parts. The painted parts become the background while the unpainted parts paradoxically become the subject of the painting .
Chi plays further on this visual effect by the inclusion of realistically rendered airplanes in the composition. This adds yet another dimension to the work as the contrast of the three dimensional airplane and printed flowers
accentuate the original flatness of the latter.“Passing Through the Gardens” explore the spatial relationship of the
subjects through the separations of different dimensional planes on the same surface. What is perceived as the foreground, i.e. flowers, is actually the background. What is perceived as the background, i.e. painted areas, is
technically the foreground.
“What is the subject? Which is the foreground… or the background?…” Chi invites viewers to analyse and dissect the works.
Questioned about the use of flowers as potential feminist, cultural or spiritual symbols, Chi prefers to leave to it to the interpretation of the viewers. He says “Without clear suggestions from the artist, viewers are free to interpret
directly from the canvas and expanding what they see with their feelings and emotions from their own life experience.”
Chien was born in Taipei, Taiwan in 1974. He graduated in Fine Arts from the Chinese Culture University in 2002 and obtained a Masters of Fine Arts in Plastic Arts from the National Taiwan University of Arts in 2008. His works have won numerous awards including the National First Prize in Mixed Media (2012). He is considered as one of the most innovative artist in his generation. His artistic concepts, styles and expressions cover painting, installation and mixed media. His works are collected widely including by the Ministry of Culture. Chi explores one central theme in all his works, seeking the “Truth of Painting”, questioning “What is a painting?”, “What makes a painting, a painting?”, “What makes the subject and the background perceived as such?”.