ENIGMA of EXISTENCE

Seven established English & Chinese artists working in photomedia, animation (interlacing), drawing painting, objects and site installation will be shown in Red Gate Gallery, Beijing.

 

Artists: China – Cindy Ng; Ren Han; Wang Zhiyuan UK – Wayne Warren; Andy Holden; Cornford & Cross

 

The artists have been selected as their work addresses the idea of ‘the mystery of life – what is reality?’. The curatorial concept focuses on the question of what constitutes the ‘real’ – ie the physical or tangible - as against the ‘unreal’ – ie the imagined. The Surrealists questioned the nature of reality in terms of it including the super-real – the metaphysical – or what is purely in the mind. Since then, we constantly address the notion of the virtual reality through the internet and social media, as well as movies such as The Matrix.

 

The Japanese author Haruki Murakami, often employs the co-existence of tangible and metaphysical reality in our illusions, mindscape or head-space which enable people to transcend the physical and exist in a‘fabricated space’ – sought by, or imposed upon, the subject.

 

These works to be exhibited have been selected for their reference to such existences – either consciously via the artists’ intention or seen as such by the viewer.

 

Wayne Warren’s Fall series addresses what it is that we aspire to achieve or to become - at whatever stage of our lives. The ‘Wing’ is a symbol of us moving to greater heights in searching for the goal that drives us onward.

 

Andy Holden’s Laws of Motion in a Cartoon Landscape questions the power of our mental attitude over physical ‘reality’. Holden uses gravity as the symbol of the force to be overcome - if the mind is unaware of its existence, then (in cartoons) we are not subject to the force.

 

Wang Zhiyuan’s ‘Loyalty’ triptych questions our rationale & being vis a vis the ‘power of government’ and the human psyche.

 

Ren Han’s shapes imply a form in silhouette or a void as seen through an opening - but it is a mystery as to which it is or what it might represent. The sense of presence or infinite space is open to conjecture or the imagination.

 

Cindy Ng’s monochromatic works are also essentially non-figurative in form – but they nevertheless suggest spaces of a macro or micro dimension, in which we are immersed – similarly.。

 

Cornford & Cross, in their work, The End of History, draw from their first experience in China looking down on the Pearl River Delta after flying from London while reading Confessions of an English Opium Eater, 1821, by Thomas De Quincey, and The End of The Tether, 1902, by Joseph Conrad. Each narrative describes a journey across a physical, social and psychic landscape.

 

Reg Newitt

Curator

May 2017

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