Solo Exhibition: SLN – Space
Place: Shangyuan Museum of contemporary art, Beijing, China
Portal to a world behind the art works
SLN · Space
Exhibition review by Irina Ideas
The battlefield between the illusions and the *Genuinity (this word doesnt exist, please see a note underneath, but the world needs more of it)
A search, seeking, trying to grasp the core so intensely that the reality gets stretched, confused, conditional to the external manipulation. Liujian Wang’s collection of artworks captures this problematic so vividly, defining the reality often invisible, but yet deeply present in our emotional pool, both collective and individual. Something universal is happening here, we are witnessing The Death Spiral that starts as an amorous relationship locking the talons and it ends up a battle for a territory, a territory being the mind.
It is only the mind that can or cannot be conquered, now that we have conquered the entire Earth, the final frontier, and the tools used are often times the emotional constructs. Under the pretense of better and greater future we tend to consume, the original basic instinct that commands: “survive” is transcended into – if you don’t own (by buying) this particular item, your survival will depend on it even if you don’t die – the sense of purpose would somehow evaporate. Hence the stretching, the soul seeks so hard that it becomes stretched represented by those very same materials that sometimes try to form it. The clothes that we wear, the shell over our skin, the masks representing so many faces get gradually stretched, deformed and lonely. Finally the consumer is being consumed by the self, the snake is eating it’s own tale and the realization of eternity appears in the white innocence of the colour used.
Stretching of the soul continues into the domain of the chemical world interacting with the body, a Bacchus gets awaken, but only internally, the portals to the soul through wine, liberation and truth is cloaked in the color of transformation, a whiteness of being, giving us incredible distance from the actual landscape that these shapes compose. Just like a Bacchus has a divine mission as a role of a liberator, so does this composition, inviting the viewers to freely explore, liberate the inner world but only under the impermanence of time. The composition with bottles is making everything empty, while the space petrifies, solidifies the experience of drinking towards the truth, the build up of materials that is covering the bottles, communicate to us the build up of past layers of impermanent liberation. Bacchus is a Roman God who is using wine and different aspects of music, grapes, partying and emotional charge to liberate the senses, celebrate spontaneity and find the freedom. “In vino veritas” (a latin famous saying: In wine is truth) solemnly resonates through this collection but is contained and burdened by the layers of life, sometimes illusions, sometimes truths, sometimes illusions so convincing,….
In this body of artworks Liujian Wang almost completely merges the feeling of intoxication, vision and a passionate almost self destructive struggle of life with the distance, calculation, rationality of our times. He is letting the time put the layers upon layers of daily debris onto the things and in such a way he petrifies the essence towards which he gravitates. The flux of life where all the shades of emotions are visible, a place so remote and yet powerfully burning from within, which leads us to the next piece, an art piece dealing with the wires.
Metal may be considered the most alive of all the non animate objects, because it has a life circle finishing the stage of shine with the rusting processes, but still or maybe just because of this among other reasons, we consider it so cold and smooth and futuristic, almost a non human entity. Soaked in the color of red, the passion empowering the coldness, the emotional state so chaotic and yet containing the order of coldness, fear, desperation of the build up of negativity.
Just like the evoking Bacchus through bottles that are preserved with the layers upon layers of the petrifying life events, so are the wires, entangled representing similar trajectory on the quest for truth but from an entirely different angle. This time we are peaking into something personal, a machinery within our emotional system where the engine of will, free will and the power to will is ignited. Hence the pulsating feeling of the red that encompasses everything, yet again interacting with the dualistic nature of material and Liujian Wang’s perspective towards these two aspects, the human warms and passion within at one end and a restrictive shell at the other, preserved bottles and wire as a material infiltrated deeply into the emotional state.
This emotional state, sometimes so mysterious and enigmatic, leads us back to the stretching, but this time through the language of food. The initial sense of consumerism reflected as a spiritual problem of our society is now transcended to the entirely different level, the food, the most fundamental of the consuming elements. “To consume or be consumed” in this aspect of the presented collection takes a completely different twist, it becomes a matter of statistics. A struggle between what should have been done, what is forced upon from the external influences and a rebellious response to either. A test of endurance, this is a testimony of our times, to consume and observe what seems like a forbidden fruit and then rebel against the feelings that are out of tune by not consuming, stretching the time between the nutrients, until it becomes clear what is truly nutritious and what just seems like it. The theme of this collection is to break through the illusions of the daylight and go into the honesty of night, where only the genuine thread thrives and goes forward into the light.
*(note about the word “genuinity” there is no such word in the dictionary but in this case and at this point in history that the artist is depicting I felt that “genuine” needs more versions of this word, so I used to emphasize on the essence of it and considered it apt for this collection)
About Liujian Wang
Now living in Beijing
September 2014 Qingdao International Art Biennale
April 2017 Opening Exhibition of Bridge court Art Museum
May 2017 – Invitation exhibition of contemporary paintings Beijing Agricultural Exhibition Hall
June 2017 No Direction Suds Exhibition
July 2017 03:00oo Wang Liujian Solo Solo Exhibition Beijing Shangyuan Art Museum
April 10, 2018 2018 John F. Moore Painting Award (China) Finalist Exhibition Shanghai Minsheng Museum of Modern Art
July 2018 Ideal Temperature Exhibition Beijing Shangyuan Art Museum
September 2018 Xue Chang, Yan Wei, Wang Liujian Three-person Exhibition
October 2018 Net Line Exhibition Beijing Songzhuang Shangeng Art Equivalent Art Museum
July 2019 739.9042 N 116.4074 degrees exhibition
About the museum
Shangyuan Art Museum is a modern art museum in Beijing, China. A private museum, it was established in 2007. It hosts an International Residency
It has been a great honor to meet Liujian and realize the silent contemplation that was going on behind all the conflicts of this world absorbed by this artist. It is as if the he observes and takes the blow that doesn’t belong to his own destiny and continues proudly in the steps of what his ancestors resonated with. To nurture, the sanctity of hospitality, something so deeply rooted in Chinese culture, something that the whole of humanity will again seek, because the highest form of self is in nurturing other, seeing self in the other as the most mysterious of the ancient books tell us.
Liujian’s artwork is a resonance, a very deep voice that talks to the world silently, accepts the world as it is and questions the ghostly emptiness of the white against the fervent passion of the red. The two extremes the auspicious and inauspicious colors, connected into one, a human ready to starve for the benefits of convictions, for the benefits of time, eating away itself.
Exploring the work of artist Hilma af Klint, with all the mystical, occult, metaphysical that she has been tapping into, indirectly going deep into the art that would have later be defined as abstract art. She innovated without even being aware of it and was was the world, unaware.
Exploring the world of Petar Lubarda, seeing through all the way to building block that the stone is
This is a story, a personal impression rather, of a great artist Petar Lubarda with his roots in Montenegro, with trunk in former Yugoslavia’s Belgrade and Paris and branches, leaves, fruits and flowers in the World. He reaches deep into the history and yet gives us something completely new, a way to look through the prism of the stone that becomes a bone that becomes a structure that becomes an architecture. An architecture of the cosmic journey that we all take on this planet becoming one with the stone that made us and at the same time we become appalled from time to time when we notice the glimpses of the core. We live in the world so dominated by the ruthless ruler called beauty that often times we live in the superficial layer that the underlying truth frightens us. We have learnt to ignore the depth to such a degree that we follow the footpath of positive psychology, from one landmark to another, to avoid abyss at any price, the abyss of the unknown that the subconscious mind knows.
Louise Bourgeois is crossing the boundaries of any of the definitions and exploring and emphasizing on the prevailing forces of the subconsciousness of the 20th century
Louise Bourgeois graced this planet with her presence spanning almost a century, during which she created a wide range of artistic pieces in different languages of materials and expression. She is one of the artists of 20th century who always came back to the psychology, self observation, getting back to the core, finding essence in the childhood memories and events.