A Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco Program 舊金山中華文化基金会項目
LIMN gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of San Francisco artist Ren Ming's newest work. Born in China and educated under the full impact of the Cultural Revolution, Ren Ming's artistic interests were not encouraged, but neither were they ignored. His talent was quickly recognized and on graduation, he was able to travel abroad. Though his formal training from Soviet inspired instruction fully embraced Social Realism, his travels to the West inspired a ferocious pursuit of contemporary art forms.
Ren Ming's landscapes defy traditions of Chinese art. Using mixed mediums - ink and pigments - he explores the realms of visual language. His work hovers between a traditional Zen art form and Western art of the twentieth Century. His art is a constant conversation between image and form, brushwork and calligraphy. By
rejecting particular academic styles, Ming Ren is free to contemplate the literal interpretation of nature and abstraction with its internal emotive interpretations.
This is Ren Ming's first solo exhibition with LIMN gallery, although he participated in the gallery's first group exhibition of contemporary Chinese art in 1998. His work since has been exhibited extensively in the US, Europe and China.
China Avant Garde - Landscape in Transit
Han Bing, Yang Yongliang, Zhang Wei
With the 2008 Olympics as a deadline, China achieved the unachievable. China raced against time to prove to the world that it too, is a modern country. But the transformation had its price. Three artists living in China - Han Bing, Yang Yongliang and Zhang Wei present work that hints at what has been left behind: a landscape, a city, and a society in turmoil.
Yang Yongliang is a young artist from Shanghai who studied traditional Chinese shui mo painting and calligraphy. Yang Yongliang cleverly recreated "Cun", the main representation of Chinese Shanshui paintings
using a camera, the contemporary visual device to reveal modern Shanghai city life and details of current urban culture. Scenes of construction sites, large cranes, traffic signs and fly-overs, have all become critical elements in his artworks. Arranged in the
traditional composition of Chinese painting, YY's photographic work appears as dreamlike Shanshui paintings. But looking at them closely, they become shockingly modern city views. Yang perfectly handles the contradictions between ephemeral and permanent, vigorous and gentle, sparse and bold, beautiful and ugly to make an entirely poetical and harmonious work, yet the details are 'blots on the landscape'. He achieves a perfect balance between fragility and danger, beauty and
cruelty, bringing the viewers not only visual enjoyment, but also the contemplation and self-examination of the various social and cultural concerns.
Han Bing's visual interventions in the "Urban Amber" series also raise questions about the paradoxes of desire as an irreducibly bifurcated modality with powerful manifestations and effects that can be both beautiful and poisonous. In his conceptual photography, this paradox takes on a different form. The spectre of glamorous high-rises, those icons of middle-class China's dreams of home and a better life, are juxtaposed to the rundown, temporary dwellings of the urban poor living in their shadows. These fantasy high-rises appear resplendent and dream-like but their inverted images reflected in Beijing's ubiquitous, industrial-waste and garbage-infested "stinky rivers" betray as through a mirror darkly, the underbelly of China's fantasy for modernity. On the other hand, Zhang Wei's bronze sculptures of mountains are a constant reminder that beauty is within. Majestic and detailed, Zhang Wei's sculptures have the same force and sensibility of vast summits, picks and lakes. They represent the human state versus the entirety of nature.