Gallery: Pékin Fine Arts
Artist(s): Phénix Varbanov
Opening / Event Date: 28 Jul, 2023
Closing / End Date: 30 Sep, 2023
Ora-Ora is pleased to announce a thrilling new solo show by Beijing-based artist Huang Dan at its Tai Kwun gallery in Hong Kong. The show runs from June 29 to August 7, 2022.
Titled When You Rise, Huang Dan presents her new Gold Series for the first time in a gallery exhibition (some of the series were recently shown at Art Basel Hong Kong in May 2022). The series is made of gold leaf on canvas, which represents a new approach for an artist previously known for her ink on paper.
The title is a reference to 1969 Beatles’ classic “Golden Slumbers”, a paeon to the carefree days of childhood and the peaceful night of sleep that only a child may know. The lyric “When You Rise” alludes to waking for a new day. In paintings Tranquillity and Composure, the artist portrays that empty midpoint between calm inaction and active agency, which is analogous to the moment of waking. We all leave the world of infancy behind to challenge and navigate the world on our own terms, and “Golden Slumbers” is a title of optimism and of possibility, befitting a new day, and fresh evidence of Huang Dan’s quest to frame her philosophy in bold new ways.
In When You Rise, Huang Dan references the use of gold in iconography, and its later contemporary manifestations by artists such as Gustav Klimt. Where gold was once used as a background, bathing the mortal in the shimmering light of heavenly rays, she instead places gold centre stage.
For an artist whose handling of ink on paper has been a lifelong commitment, the radical pivot to gold creates inherent opportunities. Visually, this is a surface which reflects, denies transparency and obviates scrutiny. Symbolically, this is a medium which projects power. Emerging from a dark background, gold looms from the twilight, both illuminating and dominating.