HONG KONG. – Adrian Cheng, David Chau and MadeIn Company are pleased to present the first solo exhibition of Xu Zhen in Hong Kong, taking place at PMQ from 11 – 18 March, 2015. Organised by William Zhao, the exhibition of new media and paintings from the artist’s “TWENTY” series, presenting a cornucopia of visual delights, a spectacular exposition of colliding colours that seek to enthrall viewers in an irresistible feast of stimulation. Continuing to explore the concept of “art as commodity”, Xu Zhen exposes the layered issues within contemporary cultural production and consumption.
As the commissioned artist for the Armory Show (New York) 2014, Xu Zhen presented the “Under Heaven” series to critical acclaim. The temptingly delicious paintings are evocative of confectionary, constructed from thick and creamy pigments, applied using the implements of a pastry chef. The rich surfaces and decorative swirls of impasto mold together into a jungle of intricate Baroque carvings, offering up a dense and fiery feast for the eyes. Simultaneous pleasure and fanaticism are inherent properties of “sensationalism”, and in the artworks of Xu Zhen, together they produce a surprising and stimulating experience.
Following the “Under Heaven” series, the concept behind the “TWENTY” originates from a curious investigation into the notion of love formed when one is 20 years old. Xu Zhen’s methodology is to collect perceptions, colours that signify the love of a 20-year-old. Communicating vitality and love; bright pastels, lemon chiffon, violet and vermillion transform into flowing shadows on the canvas, forming fragile blossoms on the picture surface. The spirit of youth, passion, and energy resonates with the viewers, instigating a sea of memories that likely provokes an uninhibited exclamation “Oh yes, back when I was 20!”
Liberated from the ideology of the white cube, “TWENTY” introduces art works using the frameworks and visual language of the luxury commodity market. MadeIn Company has adopted the vernacular of contemporary advertising, developing a marketing campaign for the artworks. Xu Zhen’s quiet humour underlies this critique on the commodification of art, the art market and its consumers.
Love at 20 is a spirited blend of touching, exuberant, sweet and intimate. The nuances of madness and fantasy in between are exposed in Xu Zhen’s “TWENTY” series, debuting on March 11, 2015 to all who share in the journey of life.