Out of China
December 2 - December 31, 2010
Odon Wagner Contemporary presents Out of China – a special collection of fine paintings by three Chinese contemporary masters: Wang Yihua, Zhao Kailin and Wang Weidong. These oil paintings are available for purchase. Please contact the gallery for information.
This introduction by Anja Karisik is published in the exhibition catalogue:
"In the pluralism of the post-modern art world, there is a revival in the appreciation of realism. A diverse community of Chinese artists is working in the classical style of Western academies. They have mastered Western methods of oil painting in order to execute an Eastern vision. We are fortunate to represent three of these leading Chinese realists in this joint exhibition. The artists' patience in contemplating their subject matter is motivated by a common humanity, a shared cultural identity. The paintings in this exhibition make reference to ancient Chinese culture and are infused with a Chinese moral spirit.
History, the meaning of home, and simple humanity are the fabric of Wang Yihua's scenes. He paints the winding canals of Zhouzhuang, a town in China's Jiangsu province known as the Venice of the East, preserved since the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Yihua emphasizes the collective sense of identity and coexistence in a place by focusing on many smaller moments within the grander composition of his paintings. The precise reflections of sunlight and shadows are transformed in the water, where the ripples reflect a vibrant symphony. Often his paintings depict figures absorbed in the tasks of daily life. Yihua's power of observation is the motivating force behind his work. His village scenes evoke nostalgic reminiscences of long ago times, yet these dreamlike places remain intact today, suspended in time.
Wang Weidong's still-life paintings are testimonials from China and are the products of deep rooting in the culture of this Eastern land. The artist's preferred subject is blue and white porcelain, meticulously executed, dating as far back as the Ming Dynasty. These precious vases and containers may be paired with objects of daily use, depicted chipped or cracked, but retaining the admiration and respect of collectables. The artist captures the innate force, energy and charm of every object, placing them in compositions where background and object have equal importance. Weidong's paintings achieve an equilibrium that radiates peace.
Zhao Kailin's portraiture reveals a personal and poetic vocabulary. He tries to communicate the inner beauty and unspoken narratives of the women depicted, as well as the inherent beauty of Chinese culture. Kailin's portraits are luminous, emanating an inner light. The faces of his subjects are delicate and sensitive. Kailin seeks in his portraits the reflection of his subject's inner spirit, which is mirrored in a glance, pose or gesture. The moment is forever preserved in the sitter's expression. While most of Kailin's subjects acknowledge the viewer, some are absorbed in their own actions unaware of anybody's presence.
All of these paintings communicate to us the continuity of an age-old, well-established history and culture. They are proof of the artists' own profound respect and nostalgia for times passed.