Date: Nov 3rd to Dec 30th
AroundSpace Gallery is honored to present two female artists, Fu Xiaotong and Chen Xiaowei's dual exhibition this fall: Endless Points. The two artists had several encounters in previous group shows at AroundSpace, yet this is the first time their works are presented next to each other in an exhibition. Black and white, empty and full, mobile and static, their works are like yin and yang, distinct from, but also complementing each other.
In geometry, a point is the smallest unit, and the basic element that forms lines, faces and even shapes in space. The Big Bang theory posits that the whole universe is originated from a point, the Initial Singularity. Whether an abstract point or a physical point, it can provide a base for artists' imagination and creativity to grow. Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama's art is composed of points of various shapes and colors, including her well acclaimed Infinite Mirror Rooms. For Fu and Chen, no matter how intricate and complex their completed works are, their fundamental visual vocabulary derives from simple points and lines. They not only pursue the final products, but also value the process of making art, by enduing it with a sense of ritual.
Fu Xiaotong's art-making process reminds viewers of the traditional female embroidery skills and features the characteristics of performance art. She pierced the paper with a needle for tens of thousands of times, creating luxurious volumes and layers by arranging the density and direction of numerous needle wholes, which successfully formed a relief-like surface and a tension that command the space. Although her recent works are abstract, they provide endless possibilities for viewers to interpret: mountains and rivers, marine creatures, and aliens from outer space. A work made of several individual pieces drew inspiration from Nommo, a gender-ambiguous African Creation God that alludes to matrix. Influenced by both Taoist and Zen Buddhist philosophies, American artist Agnes Martin once said, Artwork is the only work in the world that is unmaterialistic. These ethereal images that are not created by brushworks or paints precisely represent the unmaterialistic-ness.
Fu Xiaotong traces back to the nascent point of human history in myths and legends, while Chen Xiaowei explores the origin of the cosmos in science and the unknown. Her recent work pays close attention to natural spectacles and climate changes, sunset, storm, forests and stars are subject matters she uses frequently. Chen’s art seems to describe a microcosm that is parallel with the real life, and she leaves the judgment of authenticity to her audience. The Eclipse documented an astronomical spectacle the artist experienced in person, and extended her reflection on the dissemination of information and media technology in a contemporary society. Unlike the minimalist approach Fu employs to name her work with the number of needle holes, Chen chooses more descriptive, and even lyrical titles, such as Sunset Glow on the Sea and Look at the Sun. In Light Blue and Space, she abandoned her signature black and white style, and introduced colors into her drawing cautiously with fine lines made by color pencils. In addition to navigating freely in between black/white and colors, Chen also incorporates two-dimensional drawings into three-dimensional work. Her installation, shown in the exhibition, Feather IV-Freedom, blurred the border between drawings and sculptures and represented the artist's thoughts and motivations multi-dimensionally.
Fu and Chen depart from the basic visual elements, points and lines, and create rich and complex art with easy techniques and simple tools. Their way to explore art-creation has no end.