What A Form – A Reportage: Wu Shanzhuan & Inga Svala Thórsdóttir
Shenzhen OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT), Building F2, Enping Road, OCT, Nanshan District, Shenzhen
21 May – 21 July, 2013
How far do we pursue the artists’ conceptions in their work, following the lead they provide, making an assumption that the work wishes to communicate with its audience? If the work proves too difficult to relate to, or reticent in its engagement with the audience, where do we draw the line past which we are unwilling to go in our investigation of the work?
At OCAT in Shenzhen, Wu Shanzhuan and Inga Svala Thorsdottir present two rooms holding large-scale, but simple in form, installations. These are accompanied by a series of 9 drawings on A4 sheets of gridded paper showing the progressive development of the forms used in the installations. These works follow on from previous presentations of the artists’ personal theory of forms, in this case focusing on a composite form which they call “Little Fat Flesh,” which is a combination of multiple arcs of circles, forming a unique shape, somewhere between a circle and a square.
Interviewer: Edward Sanderson Interviewee: Liang Yuanwei
At first glance, “Pomegranate,” Liang Yuanwei’s solo show which opened recently at Beijing Commune, appears to be a rather radical departure from this artist’s previous solo show in the same space in 2010 (“Golden Notes”). “Golden Notes” amassed a group of paintings of a similar format – canvases with floral patterns picked out from an overall gradation of coloured paint. “Pomegranate,” however, seems to present a rather more experimental proposition, and rationalisation of Liang’s practice. In this new show she seems to be dealing directly with the mutable nature of colour: as it is affected by the nature of materials over time, the nature of individual perception, and the nature of mechanical (or otherwise) reproduction. However, both shows, “Pomegranate” and “Golden Notes,” have strong parallels, and can be seen to represent different aspects of a consistent line of research into the appearance and effect of colour, as it exists in painting and in the world.
Edward Sanderson (ES): Taking the show “Pomegranate” as a whole, am I right in thinking that you are trying to investigate the vagaries of the reception of colour, and specifically the reception of painted artworks understood as collections of colours?
Liang Yuanwei (LYW): I actually treat the exhibition “Pomegranate” as one singular work of art, and, yes, I consider these factors through it.
Magician Space, 798 East Road, 798 Art Zone, No.2 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District, 100015 Beijing
25 February – 25 March, 2012
There are plenty of art exhibitions that are obscure and difficult to fathom – this is usually a cover for a lack of thought and depth that becomes painfully apparent when they are placed under the least analysis. So I’m very happy when a show comes along which, while flirting with obscurity and confusion, manages to hold my attention with the possibilities for meaning that it urges the viewer to explore, and productively uses a certain level of obscurity to sustain the interest in delving further into the works. Li Ran’s new installation at Magician Space seems to be just such a show.