Date: Sep 18th to Oct 20th
A traditional material, such as paper, evolves gradually over thousands of years. Only those who maintain a close contact with it can sense its delicate qualities – hardness, resilience, water-absorbency, elasticity, and artistic expressive power. Artists are among those who have an intimate relationship with paper. Using paper as a primary medium, they have created works of infinite character and a myriad of forms and images.
For many artists what they put “on paper” is their original creative thoughts and most intuitive feelings. Their works on paper are more open and diverse, random and experimental, even unpredictive or dramatic.
Following the All on Paper: A Group Show held in May 2019, AroundSpace Gallery is proud to present All on Paper II, a group show that showcases works on paper by 10 artists from different nationalities and backgrounds. These artists each have their own understanding and interpretation of art, as well as their own unique and dynamic ways to employ paper as their subject and object. With their imagination, they tirelessly reinvent the simplest material and the most conventional techniques, revitalizing them with zeitgeist.
Liang Quan’s works are developed from random marks left on paper by tea; coupled with layering and collages. He proactively adopts these marks left by chance as his own creation. Tang Hui and Marcel Gähler both use serene and precise lines to capture the most undetectable emotions and déjà vu images. Wang Yuping’s lustrous brushstrokes and spacious compositions, and Zhang Sen’s using of large areas of contrasting colors, give their works unusual volume that is beyond what can be achieved by other works on paper. The portrait of Thomas made in 2001 set Mao Yan off on a 20-year journey exploring works on paper. Having practiced Chinese calligraphy for decades, Huang Yuanqing inevitably employs his “way of writing” in his works. Zhang Meng’s pieces are full of experimentation, which adds depth to this cohort. Ding Xiaozhen is the only artist in this group who creates works on rice paper exclusively. Her creativity and imagination is not limited by traditional materials or techniques. On the contrary, she brings them to a contemporary context seamlessly. Ren Jie’s works expand to three dimensions, using paper to reshape and redefine the space.
Every artist in All on Paper II is an independent chapter, yet together they form a piece that reminds me of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, a song that conflates various music elements including pop, rock-n-roll and opera, so seamlessly that one can hardly notice the transitions. Their thin pieces of works on paper become visually enriched and culturally in-depth thanks to the dynamic contexts created by the juxtaposition and dialogues they bring together.
Embracing the legacy of paper, while adopting contemporary art techniques and theories, these 10 artists created a body of work on paper with unlimited freedom and exuberant creativity. Their art makes a manifesto: everything is possible, all on paper.