Johann König, Berlin is delighted to be able to present the fourth solo exhibition of David Zink Yi’s work in the Gallery. The driving force behind Zink Yi’s artistic creations – be they in the form of sculpture, film or photographs – is the all-encompassing and multi-layered inquiry into the phenomenon of identity. When contemplating his works, we believe at first to be able to recognize familiar motifs, which, however, Zink Yi then de-stabilizes by means of shifts, or by the manner of display or portrayal, so creating a new image.
Standing – or rather, lying – in the spatial and conceptual centre of the exhibition in Johann König’s Southern Gallery is one of the major works in David Zink Yi's current sculptural oeuvre: Untitled (Architeuthis), 2013, a naturalistic representtation of the creature of that name. The work is part of a series of ceramic sculptures created over the past two years, each on average 19 ft long and weighing 440 lbs, each elaborately glazed and shimmering in a range of opalescent colours. According to the latest scientific research, a real-life architeuthis can grow to up to 46 ft long and lives in the sea at depths of up to 12,000 ft. It was only one year ago, in 2013, that an international research team managed to capture film footage of a giant deep-sea squid in its natural habitat – a world first, although the existence of giant squid had been scientifically established since the nineteenth century with the help of carcass parts washed up on beaches. Accordingly, David Zink Yi presents his architeuthis as an unmoving, lifeless form, pressed to the floor. It seems as if this deep-sea dweller too has been washed ashore and has perished, snatched away from its natural environment.
In 2012, during an exhibition at the Tate Modern, David Zink Yi himself emphasized the importance of the creature’s lifeless state: “... sure, these molluscs in general offer a fascinating motif for sculpture, but for me it’s not so much about a realistic reproduction of Nature, but more a reference to this strange moment when these creatures reveal themselves to us, as a kind of garbage of Nature. It is this moment that is for me a much more intriguing motif.” And so Untitled (Architeuthis), with its magnificently iridescent surface, seems like a piece of sepulchre sculpture highlighting the transition between two separate worlds. David Zink Yi places the ceramic work in a pool of Japanese ink and syrup. This is less a narrative element than a formal decision, since it gives the sculpture a pedestal or frame.
For the last two years in 2012 and 2013, David Zink Yi has been researching in various regions in Peru for his different projects. A great number of them deal with the Peruvian mining industry. The photographs of the Untitled series were taken as a visual research in preparation of the video The strangers in the area of the silver mine in the region of Ayacucho in central Peru. Specifically, these black and white images were taken in the adit of the mine during the mine's working hours. The photographs are lit only with the scarce and tenuous lights used by workers to mine and drill underground.
David Zink Yi, (b. 1973 in Lima/Peru) studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Munich and at the Universität der Künste, Berlin. The Stranger is currently on view at the 8th Berlin Biennale. His most recent solo exhibitions were at Hauser&Wirth, Zurich (2013), Kunstverein Braunschweig, Germany (2013), Museo de arte de Lima (2012), NBK Berlin (2012) as well as in the Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis (2011), MAK, Wien (2010) or at the Kunst Halle, Sankt Gallen (2009). He took part in group exhibitions in the Tate Modern, London (2012), Museo Sala de arte, Mexico (2012) and Ludwig Forum im Aachen, Germany (2012). In 2013 David Zink Yi participated in the Bienal de las Americas, Dallas and the 55.Biennale in Venice. Works by Zink Yi are represented in numerous collections such as those of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the MUDAM, Luxemburg and Museum Ludwig, Cologne.
We are pleased to announce an exhibition of new works by Gianluca Di Pasquale.
His best known works are landscape paintings composed almost only by figures, painted with precise brush strokes inside a large white space. Apart from some people, a few trees, some architectural details, there is almost nothing but white painted canvas. Yet in the imagination the immaculate space becomes mountains, sea, a square or a street. The scenarios are those of our leisure time: ski slopes, parks, trails, large urban squares, beaches - places of encounter and mediation between nature and civilization, where people aggregate, creating rhythms and constellations dictated by the forms of the landscape.
In the most recent works nature, trees and vegetation have become the main actors in the scene. They delicately invade the space with arabesques and patterns of leaves, branches, grass helms and flowers. Loosely referencing Henri Rousseau, Di Pasquale creates new images of paradise where wild animals and humans live together in peace. Di Pasquale’s nature is hypertrophic, but also suspended and silent, observing us from inside his paintings through archetypal animals that resemble guards or sentinels, protecting the landscape that, in turn, protects them. The animals become guides on a path the artist invites us to follow inside nature, getting lost and finding ourselves again, encouraging us to stop and think, triggering a moment of suspension from the frenzy of contemporary life.
Faithful to his poetics, once again Gianluca Di Pasquale attempts not so much to describe reality as to recreate, in painting, landscapes close to his idea of harmony.
Gianluca Di Pasquale was born in Rome in 1971; he lives and works in Milan.
WHITE SPACE BEIJING is pleased to announce the opening of the third solo exhibition of Jian Ce on June 14, titled Projection, where her latest paintings will be presented.
The exhibition theme addresses a basic idea in traditional optics. Projection refers to Leon Battista Alberti’s optical theory of the Renaissance, which describes the relationship between the natural world, the human eye and the picture plane, at the same time providing artists with a handbook and instructions on how to create a perspectival image. The paradox between perspective and our actual visual experience is the main problem Jian Ce discusses in her works.
By setting a vanishing point and a fixed standpoint for the viewer, as well as distorting objects within its system, the perspectival image transforms the natural human experience in order to achieve a more ‘truthful and accurate’ description of reality. The problem of this aim is something Jian Ce tries to reflect critically in her artworks. Drawing on pictorial techniques that were in use before the photographic era, such as compositional principles and grid structures – which are now applied in virtual computer images – Jian Ce creates an internal system within a picture. As images, the abstracted landscapes overcome their dependency on photography and disrupt our viewing habits shaped by photographs. In her figurative works, Jian Ce reduces all personal emotion in order to build up an abstract composition with the basic elements of painting, finding a form by systematically deducing it from the picture plane, thus evoking an ‘inherent expression’.
Jian Ce was born 1984 in Shandong, China, and moved to Germany in 1988. She graduated from the Berlin University of the Arts in the master class of Georg Baselitz, Daniel Richter and Robert Lucander in 2008. She graduated from the Humboldt-Universität and Freie Unversität Berlin with a Magister Artium degree in Art History in 2009. From 2006-2007 she studied at Goldsmiths College, London. Presently, she is a PhD candidate in Art and Visual History at the Humboldt-Universität, working and living in Berlin and Beijing.
Dust as Light is the third solo exhibition of Shi Zhiying, showcasing her oil paintings over the past one year.
Shi continues to strengthen her trajectory in practice, in a void of the real world dislocating agony and confusion. By applying brush strokes as a sensory tool, the artist approaches the most illusory outlines of all matters – light. The aura of the light appears as the outline of the parent body ever since the origin of the time. Everything is going back to the form of dust no matter what kind of symbolic significance it has ever been given.
Dust as Light includes three paintings from “White Stone Buddha” series, and Shi’s latest works “Pantheon”, “The Pyramid”, and “The Temple of Heaven”. Depicting Buddha is the artist’s daily practice. As time accumulates, the transformation through repetitive practice generates a profound power that balances with the loose and purified airy atmosphere created by the strokes, to enrich the weightless light, and to defend hollowness. There is equality in principle between the man-made statues as abstract pivots for spiritual minds and architectures of power as performing stage for classes and systems. No immortal lasts forever, neither does art. Shi Zhiying takes the body of light as a measure of power, explores and exposes the most fundamental unit of the existing substances, as well as the dialectical relationship between visualized objects and meaningful illusions.
Shi Zhiying was born in Shanghai, China in 1979. She graduated from oil painting department of Shanghai University Fine Arts College in 2005 and currently lives and works in Shanghai. Her recent major exhibitions include My Generation: Young Chinese Artists in Tampa Museum of Art and Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, USA.
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