The City Wanderer 2016.12.03 - 2017.01.15
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Matthew Liu Fine Arts is pleased to announce the solo exhibition dedicated to the latest work by Zheng Zaidong about Shanghai, a city he has been living for more than two decades. On view at Jewelvary, 842 Hengshan Road will be paintings, ink and colors on paper, sculptures and ink and pigments on antique Japanese screen. Opening on January 15, 2017, Zheng Zaidong: The City Wanderer runs through January 15, 2017. An opening reception for the artist will be held from 3-6 pm on December 3rd, 2016.
For more than thirty years, Zheng Zaidong has been creating exceptional oil and acrylic paintings with a nod to the motifs and styles in the literati painting in pre-modern China. A self-taught artist, Zheng’s practice freely navigates through the traditions of both Chinese and Western art by engaging with a series of divergent and sometimes even contradictory concepts and styles—including Modern and historical, imaginary and real, collective and personal, and sensual and innocent. His works are closely tied to notions of dislocation and periphery stemming from his cross-cultural ties to Shanghai, where he currently lives and works, New York City, where he spent a considerable amount of time in his youth, and Taipei, where he was born. Zheng is widely acclaimed for his free-style landscape paintings in vivid colors, exploring the artist’s inner quest for an ideal place to reside and ruminate, and ways in which all these conflicting ideas and beliefs could reconcile with each other. Elegant, ethereal and with a touch of playfulness, his works offer the contemporary viewers a spiritual home to dwell in, wander around, and to enjoy a temporary shelter from this boisterous and complicated modern world.
Remarkably intimate in nature, this exhibition emphasizes on the artist’s personal cultural experiences with a broader exploration of the social imaginaries and possibilities associated with specific locales in this increasingly global world. It takes its point of departure in his life and observation in Shanghai, allowing for an at once introspective and thorough understanding of his practice to date. The exhibition features a new group of works depicting recognizable scenes, architecture, streets, parks or public facilities on the Bund or in French concession where the Zheng resides, evoking series of theatrical mise-en-scene that are deeply imbricated with the cultural heritage of the city. With their murky and eerie backdrops, works including Around the corner (2016), and Eddington House (2016), and Green House (2016) depict a solitary figure wandering through these scenery spots. Zheng renders these places quiet and desolate as if they belong to a different time and space, allowing the protagonists to somehow unaffected by the life that circulates around them. Ttwo mineral pigment painted on Japanese antique gold leaves screen, Flower, stone and bird screen (2016) and Red stone screen (2016) splendidly present lofty landscapes and the bird and flower motif in Zheng’s signature style. Also on view are six sets of sculptures, Chinese sculpture study No. 1-6 (2016), of interesting sceneries, touching on issues of interrelation, intimacy and spectatorship.
Works in the exhibition also include Beneath the Sky (2016), a collection of new ink paintings on silver paper. The fine and matte quality of the silver paper accentuates various shades of ink, rendering the painted sceneries ethereal and meditative. While the compositions and imageries of his acrylic works Vanishing Landscape - Snowy Mountains 1-3 (2016) evoke the lofty landscape in pre modern literati painting, Yang Yongliang painted them in a spontaneous and expressive manner that leaves splashes of pigments and brush strokes that resemble those of Jackson Pollack. The exhibition also presents the premier of Endless Streams (2017), a seven-minute video installation that shows a panoramic view of nature overwhelmingly encroached by contemporary urban architectures and construction sites. The pouring cascade and flooding river allows the viewers to fully immerse in this artificial wonderland and experience its dynamics.
Born in 1953 in Taipei, Zheng Zaidong has had extensive international solo exhibitions and projects including The City Wanderer, Jewelvary, Shanghai, 2016; Mountains, Water, Moon, Matthew Liu Fine Arts, Shanghai, 2015; Refulgence of Solitude, Long Museum, Shanghai, 2014; My mind in unsullied languor: revisiting then and there, ARTMIA Foundation, Beijing, 2013; Ranging in France—Zheng Zaidong’s solo exhibition, Red Bridge Gallery, Shanghai, 2007; Moon and Shadow Cheer Me through, Shanghai Gallery of Art, Shanghai, 2006; Ink Paintings by Zheng Zaidong, Hanart Gallery, Hong Kong, 2005; Verdant Hill Semi-veiled, Lin and Keng Gallery, Taipei, 2003. His works have also been featured in notable group exhibitions including Interpretation Traditional—Contemporary Paintings Four Artists Exhibition, Xuhui Art Museum, Shanghai, 2012; Time Games: Contemporary Appropriations of the Past, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, 2012; Mountain and Running Water, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, 2004; Zheng Zaidong, Zhou Chunya, Liu Wei Group Show, Shanghai Gallery of Art, Shanghai, 2004; Paris/Peking, Pierre Cardin Art Center, Paris, 2002; Towards a New Image—Twenty years of Contemporary Chinese Painting, National Art Museum, Beijing, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, Sichuan Art Museum, Chengdu, Guangdong Art Museum, Guangzhou, 2001. The artist currently lives and works in Shanghai.
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Zheng Zaidong: The City Wanderer
Dimensions: 23 x 27 cm
Edition of 300