Mirror in Dreams and Image in Reality: “Mirror: Matteo Basilé and Shi Liang Duo Exhibition”

TEXT:Sue Wang    DATE: 2019.7.29

“Mirror: Matteo Basilé and Shi Liang Duo Exhibition” is held by Hongkun Museum of Fine Art from July 6th, 2019 to September 2nd, 2019, which features art exploration in terms of the integration of traditions and revolutions by Italian artist Matteo Basilé and Chinese artist Shi Liang.

As cradles of two ancient civilizations with a long history and profound culture, China and Italy share obvious similarities. The two countries have always maintained a close relationship not only in history, politics or culture, art, literature, but also values, behavior, habits and even food. Some people say that Italy is the European version of China.

In the 16th century, with the arrival of the Jesuits in Italy, China and Italy began the first substantive contact and exchange in history, and it was they who created a supreme example of cultural exchange between two civilizations. The Jesuits who were profoundly influenced by the Renaissance not only spread Christianity humanely, but also brought Italian geography, astronomy, mathematics, art and other modern scientific culture to China, bringing to China a great cultural shock during the Ming and Qing dynasties. In order to win the support of the Vatican for Chinese missionaries, Italy also introduced ancient Chinese culture, history, systems and so on into Italy. China became the object for emulation in Italy in the 17th century. At the same time, due to the opening up of new routes, a large number of Chinese artefacts were shipped to the West, which set off the “China Craze” in Europe in the 18th century.

In the 21st century, with the continuous integration of the East and the West in various fields, the old Silk Road glows with new lustre. With the advent of the new era, the exchange of culture and art between the two countries is becoming increasingly frequent. From classicism to realism, from the integration of art and technology to the exploration of the transcendental world of art, artists from the two countries share similar experiences and ideas but different ways of expression.

The Italian artist Matteo Basilé and the Chinese artist Shi Liang are not only new generation artists who combine tradition with innovation but also typical representatives of contemporary art in their own countries. As one of the most influential contemporary Italian artists in the 21 century and winner of the 2009 Venice Biennale Award, Matteo Basilé’s works present a beautiful world of surreal images combined with technology. A tour of the artist’s perception of image eventually leads us to internalisation, sensory and intellectual understanding, where we are suddenly aware of the realities that usually lurk within us. It brings us back to classical history, and conveys the spirit of the present at the same time. Shi Liang, one of the representative figures of contemporary Chinese painting, starting from the reality of China, creates enlightening works using a variety of new materials to set people thinking profoundly about human life. Behind his creation is a clear understanding of the absurdity and awkwardness of reality as well as an atmosphere full of metaphor and irony. Their works, like “mirrors”, reflect the relationship between dreams and reality, senses and the mind, moment and eternity, past and future. They embody a completely clear and infinite narrative process, which consists of coexistence and epiphany, and these “mirror” maps will exist forever, dazzling the thousand-year history of mankind and the earth.

Text and Photo Provided by the Organizer

Edit by Emily Weimeng Zhou/CAFA ART INFO