Friday, January 13, 2012
Singapore—Pearl Lam Galleries, formerly Contrasts Gallery, is pleased to announce its continued participation in Art Stage Singapore, now in its 2nd edition. The gallery returns with an extensive exhibition program at its stand in the main exhibition hall, as well as its Project Stage stand, which is part of the fair’s special curatorial program that is dedicated to emerging artists. The gallery will also display special installation projects on the fair grounds, including Zhang Huang’s new large-scale 3-panel ash painting Paintings of Sage’s Traces No. 1 (2011), and Zhu Jinshi’s innovative bamboo installation piece The Bicyclist (2008).
The gallery will showcase works by several prominent Chinese artists who create works that incorporate traditional and contemporary elements, a confluence of the East and West. The gallery will also present paintings by renowned British artist Jonathan Yeo, whose pornography and plastic surgery portraits reflect on human form and modern society.
First famous for his performance art where his body was the core of his controversial work, Zhang Huan now focuses on painting and sculpture. Zhang’s Paintings of Sage’s Traces No. 1 (2011), a special installation viewable on the fair grounds, explores the impact of China’s rapid economic, cultural, and environmental changes on art, society, and religion.
Taking Confucius as a cultural symbol, the artist provides a context for the questioning of spirituality in contemporary China while contrasting the Chinese spiritual leader’s beliefs with other religious doctrines. Pearl Lam Galleries’s main stand will also showcase Zhang’s Qinghai Lumberyard (2007) from his Memory Doors series, which combines silkscreen with woodcarving on an antique door.
Zhu Jinshi’s installation work, The Bicyclist (2008), reflects a paradoxical portrait of Chinese society, revealing the relationship between the two opposing extremities of the past and present, ordinary and extraordinary, common and luxury. The bikes made of bamboo embody lost memories and a forgotten cultural past. Zhu works with various media and was known primarily for his large-scale installation pieces using Chinese rice paper, however he became enthralled by Western abstraction while living in Germany. There, he realized that there are parallels between Western abstraction and traditional Chinese art theory and practice. The influence of Expressionism led to his distinctive style of thick and expressive paint application. His paintings refer to a specific time, place or mood where the explicit imagery dissolves into a pure material, color and gesture.
Paris-based artist Li Tianbing’s Battle and Forest (2011) continues the artist’s exploration of his memory, reality, and fiction. The painting evokes a child’s parallel imaginary world where memory becomes a conduit to perceive reality.
Sculptor Li Zhanyang combines modern kitsch with detailed Baroque expressionism to reveal the latent conflicts and power machinations hidden beneath the gloss of the art world. Mao’s Death (2008) presents a social reality in which Communist sobriety has made way for hedonism. Li’s sculpture focuses on the daily problems in contemporary China, shown with humor and irony.
Contemporary ink brush artists Lan Zhenghui, Qiu Zhenzhong and Wang Dongling reference 5,000 years of culture and use a time-honored media striving to break boundaries and reinvent traditions to create a new visual language for the twenty-first century.
In Ma Han’s work, traditional Chinese brushstrokes are replaced by barbed wire, rice and miniature figures. With a poet’s eye and a modernist’s touch, his Today’s Landscape Fan series comments on the pursuit of materialism in the New China, questioning the loss of humanism and spirituality in today's society of consumption.
Pearl Lam Galleries will present The Death Of Marat (2011), a new provocative installation piece by young artist He Xiangyu (b. 1986 in Dandong, China).
He Xiangyu’s installation takes inspiration from the classical painting by Jacques-Luis David, which depicts the philosopher and radical activist Jean-Paul Marat, one of the most recognized images of the French revolution. Inspired to create his own “Death of Marat,” Xiangyu’s installation reflects on the West’s perception of China, as well as the power of art and artists both historically and in the present.