Courtesy Lin & Lin Gallery, Taipei.
Lin & Lin Gallery announces Xu Hualing's solo exhibition What You See opening in May. The title of this exhibition comes from the well-known 'Zen Buddhism Koan', the term 'What You See' is the expression of Zen that metaphorically describes the three realms of life that one needs to experience. 'A mountain seen is a mountain being, a water seen is a water being; a mountain seen is no mountain being, a water seen is no water being: a mountain seen remains a mountain being, a water seen remains a water being', that explains we all have different epiphanies about the illusion and reality what we see. Through the combination of painting and photography, Xu Hualing draws from the youthful images of contemporary women and the elements of her daily surroundings to show the world like a daydream in her eyes.
Xu Hualing, What You See (2021). Courtesy Lin & Lin Gallery, Taipei.
All the time, intricate line and pale colours have always been the distinctive features of Xu's works. In her paintings, the delicate portrayal of the woman's long hair in detail fully shows her virtuoso technique. In the use of colour, she consciously avoids delineating the outlines in traditional Gongbi painting, eliminating the edge lines Instead, she uses light and shade and purposefully weakens the contrast. The pale colours render the blurring of a faint and misty figure to create an illusionary and hazy feeling. These details meticulously rendered in line to create the objects, such as the weave of a silk or the patterns on lace. The intricate line and the plain areas of abstract simplicity emphasise the contrast between the dense and the virtual and the real that forms the unique sense of beauty.
The landscape shadowy, slightly swaying flexibly emerges from the deep layers of the silk paper, overlapping with Gongbi figures. The visual overlap of the two texturally different images brings about a blurred visual experience, and the unclear direction of the work brings the audience to consider the multiple readings of the painting's meaning. Xu places the realism of traditional brushwork and the reality of photographic printing on the same surface enriches the hierarchy of the picture.
The imitation and substitution of real scenes in the work, between the interplay of illusion and reality, attempts to break the solidified visual meaning of images into a brand-new, open-ended visual form, leading the audience via complex reading activity to have different interpretations based on their own life experiences.
Under the change of living space, Xu thinks and feels different experiences in life in a new way. She keenly captures the sensory impressions brought by daily life, with flowers and plants becoming the material for her paintings. In the light, calm, and restrained atmosphere, the juxtaposition of yellowing leaves, decaying flowers and skeletal branches with the reality of the human skeleton is a beautiful expression of a useless object that resonates with the works of the ancients. The reality and the illusion, the viewed and the examined, the experience and the experiment, are the artist's way of seeing the world through. 'What You See', exactly how she sees the world.
About the Artist
Xu Hualing, born in Heilongjiang, China in 1975, currently teaches in the Department of Chinese Painting, Chinese Painting at Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA). She graduated from the Department of Chinese Painting at CAFA in 2000, graduated with a master's degree in 2016, and receives a doctorate in 2020 by CAFA. In 2003, her work Scent No.5 won the Academic Innovation Award of the first Light of the Academy exhibition of the Central Academy of Fine Arts: in 2004, the work Dragonfly was selected for the 10th National Art Exhibition and was collected by Zhejiang Art Museum, and the work Scent No. 8 won the Li Chang Cup first National Youth Chinese Painting Exhibition Gold Award and was collected. Since 2001, she has had exhibitions in Beijing, New York, San Francisco, London, Amsterdam, Nanjing, Shanghai, Oldenburg, Tokyo and Sydney. Her selected exhibitions including Eternal Beauty, F2 Gallery, Beijing, Los Angeles: Xu Hualing – Chivalrous Women, Kohler Muller Gallery, Amsterdam, 2008; Guan Ju, Tang Contemporary Art Center, Hong Kong, 2015: Feather Light – Solo Exhibition for Xu Hualing, Today Art Museum, Beijing, 2016; Scent – Xu Hualing's recent works, NanHai Art, San Francisco, 2019. Her works have been published in New Fine Line Paintings Literature Books: Xu Hualing Volume, Contemporary Chinese Meticulous Painting – Xu Hualing, and Chinese Contemporary Artists Case Study: Xu Hualing's Figures.
About the Exhibition
Dates: 05.06 - 06.17, 2023
Reception: 05.06 4pm, 2023
Location: Lin & Lin Gallery No.16
Courtesy Lin & Lin Gallery.