Fou Gallery presents "Take A Break" celebrating its 10-Year anniversary in New York

TEXT:CAFA ART INFO    DATE: 2023.12.11

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Nestled in the bustling art hub of New York, Fou Gallery hits a milestone - ten years of diving deep into the art world and letting creativity run wild, starting way back in December 2013. Known for its wholehearted commitment to the meaningful and beautiful world of art, Fou Gallery has grown into a place where skill, fresh ideas, and community vibes blend together in a dazzling display of visual and performing narratives.

Over these ten transformative years, Fou Gallery has blossomed into an artistic haven, hosting 47 spellbinding exhibitions and 71 evocative creative events. These gatherings have become a melting pot for art lovers and creators from across the globe, fostering a tapestry of cultural and creative exchange.

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Helia Chitsazan, Still 7 O’clock?, 2023. Oil on canvas, 20 x 20 Inches ©Helia Chitsazan, courtesy of Fou Gallery

At this pivotal moment of reflection and celebration, Fou Gallery unveils "TAKE A BREAK," an exhibition that gently diverges from its energetic roots to embrace the serene whispers of repose. This exhibition is not just a showcase but a poetic dialogue, reimagining 'Art' not as a distant deity but as a tender companion in the dance of daily life, offering solace and enlightenment in every brushstroke and hue.


Meng Du, Singing, Twinkling, and Walking Down the Gravel No.01 (detail), 2023. Glass, wood, 14 x 5.1 x 18 inches ©Meng Du, courtesy of Fou Gallery. Photograph by Jingxin Hu, courtesy Fou Gallery 

"TAKE A BREAK" is an invitation to a journey through the unspoken realms of the soul, encouraging a pause in our relentless pursuit of the next. It features twelve works from nine artists, each weaving their unique tapestry of tranquility. From the idle contemplation in Helia Chitsazan's 'Still 7 O’clock?', to the whimsical daydreams in Saba Farhoudnia's 'The Morning After', to the tranquil solitude of Suyi Xu's 'The Staircase', and the light-hearted spirits in Meng Du's 'Singing, Twinkling, and Walking Down the Gravel'... the exhibition is an ode to the moments of quiet that anchor our being.

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Suyi Xu, The Staircase II, 2023. Oil on linen, 18 x 22 inches ©Suyi Xu, courtesy of Fou Gallery

In tandem with the visual feast, Fou Gallery intertwines art with experiential interactive events, creating a multisensory journey. The series includes "Cyanotype Workshop - Body Motion Scroll" on December 17th, led by Han Qin, where participants will collectively create a cyanotype artwork; the "Contact Improvisation Jam" on January 27th with dancer Ching-I Chang and musician Laraaji Harlem, a dance of physical interactions and rhythms; and "Tea Alchemy: an experimental tea ceremony" on February 17th and 24th, where artist Ruth Borgenicht and tea ceremony practitioner Mengyan Gong blend the ancient art of tea with contemporary ceramic craftsmanship to create a communal tea experience.


Saba Farhoudnia, The Morning After, 2022. Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 62 inches ©Saba Farhoudnia, courtesy of Fou Gallery

Echoing its name, FOU (meaning 'denial' in Chinese), the gallery continues to challenge and redefine the paradigms of art, reminding us that taking a break is important in an unceasing life. Fou Gallery is more than just a space – it is a living, breathing entity that intertwines with the essence of life. It stands as a testament to the significance of pauses in our relentless journey, inviting both artists and audiences to embrace art as an intimate and restorative part of their daily journey.

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Wangying Liang, Transplant 02&03, 2022. Porcelain, both 12 x 12 x 16 inches ©Wanying Liang, courtesy of Fou Gallery. 

About the Artists

Helia Chitsazan (b. 1995, Tehran, Iran) Having earned her B.F.A. in Painting from the Art University of Tehran  in 2018, Helia Chitsazan relocated to New York City and obtained an M.F.A. in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in 2023. She received an award from Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation (Montreal, Canada). Chitsazan’s solo show at Fou Gallery (2023) signifies the debut of her artistic career.  Chitsazan's artwork captures the intricate themes of memories, identity and ephemerality, offering a nostalgic sense of home and revealing the secret double lives of Iranians, presenting an authentic expression of her personal memory while representing the deeply ingrained values of her community.

Meng Du (b.1986, Beijing, China), a graduate of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (2008) and Rochester Institute of Technology (2013), is a Beijing-based artist whose works have been exhibited in China, Europe, and the U,S.A. Meng’s solo show  'The Climb, The Fall' at Fou Gallery (2016) signifies the start of her artist career. Notable exhibitions include 'Meng Du: Room' in Shanghai Museum of Glass (2018); ‘Meng Du: Echo from the Highland II’ in Genesis Foundation, Beijing (2022); ‘Mind the Gap” in The Delaware Contemporary, U.S.A. (2020). A recipient of several awards, including the 2018 Saxe Emerging Artist Award (Venice, Italy), Honorable Mention for The International Exhibition of Glass Kanazawa (Kanazawa, Japan), Meng Du's art focuses on preserving memories and their gradual decay, using drawings and found objects fused with glass techniques to capture nostalgia and fading consciousness. She's the youngest artist to have a solo exhibition at the Shanghai Museum of Glass.

Michael Eade (b. 1957, Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.),  a graduate of Oregon State University with additional studies in Stuttgart and NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, focuses on ecological themes in his art. His work is included in collections at Harvard Business School, HERMÈS, and others. Eade has participated in various residencies and fellowships, including the Hermitage Artists’ Retreat and the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts. His "Wild Fruit Forest - Tree of Life" series reflects on the loss of ancient fruit forests in the Tian Shan mountains. His "Nurse Log" and "Pine Tree Sapling" series explore themes of ecological renewal and life's cycles. Eade has held three solo exhibitions at Fou Gallery, titled 'Realms of the Soil,' 'past is present is future,' and 'After the Burn'.

Renqian Yang (b.1987, Xiangtan, Hunan Province, China), a B.F.A. graduate from Sichuan Fine Arts Institute and M.F.A. graduate from Syracuse University, is an artist and Associate Professor at SUNY Oswego. Her work combines traditional and innovative methods across ceramics, installations, and mixed media and delve into relationships between the individual, nature, and society. Yang has been exhibited in the U.S.A., China, and Japan. Recently she has been shown at Korea National Assembly Proceeding Hall (Seoul, 2023), Prefectural Museum of Art and Design (Toyama, Japan, 2021), Cayuga Museum of History and Art (Auburn, New York, 2019). Yang served as a residency artist at Craigardan (2018), Jingdezhen International Studio (2018), and the Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts (2017/2023).

Saba Farhoudnia (b. 1987, Tehran, Iran) Born in Tehran amidst war in 1987, Saba Farhoudnia now lives and works in New York, creating large-scale paintings that delve into the human condition. Her work intertwines drawing, painting, and language, using geometric forms, calligraphy, and expressive marks to evoke emotions like pain and humor. Farhoudnia, who holds two Master's degrees in Fine Arts, explores themes of humanity's precarious existence. She has been recognized by the Bronx Museum of the Arts and the Queens Arts Fund, and has exhibited her paintings internationally. Her work, featured in various art publications, encapsulates the beauty and drama of human experience.

Shuling Guo (b. 1986, Chao’An, Guangdong Province, China), a 2010 B.F.A. graduate from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing. Guo now resides in Philadelphia and on the Sailing Vessel Selkie, creating art inspired by her sailing journeys. Her first solo show was in 2012 in Beijing, and since then, her work has been exhibited in various cities including Los Angeles and Philadelphia. Notable collections, such as the Central Academy of Fine Arts Art Museum in Beijing, house her works. Guo's series, "5–6 pm", created on Selkie, captures light and sensation, exploring a multitude of colors and gray scales to evoke multiple senses. Her recent exhibitions at Fou Gallery in New York include "5–6 pm" (2020) and "Sotto Voce" (2022).

Suyi Xu (b. 1996, Shanghai, China) earned her B.F.A. in Art History from Barnard College (New York) and her M.F.A. from School of Visual Arts (New York) in 2022. Xu’s paintings are meditations on space, interiors, and architecture that morphs into color fields. Xu’s work has been shown in the U.S. and Europe, including Gallery Func (Shanghai, 2023), Fortnight Institute (New York, 2023), Galerie Hussenot (Paris, 2022), Boomer Gallery (London, 2021) and A.I.R. Gallery (New York, 2021).  Her solo show at Fou Gallery (2022) signifies the debut of her artistic career.

Wanying Liang (b. 1989, Weinan, Shaanxi Province, China), a clay artist and B.F.A. graduate from China Central Academy of Fine Art, Beijing (2011), creates expressive sculptures and installations. Before moving to the U.S. to study ceramics at Alfred University in 2016, she established a studio in Jingdezhen. Now based in New York State, Liang's works have been exhibited in the U.S.A., U.K., and China, including at The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh (2020), and V&A Museum, London (2019-2020). Her art delves into emotions, miscommunication, and rituals, often evoking a contemplative space for viewers. Liang's work reflects her experiences of cultural isolation and the desire to forge connections through her sculptural forms.

Wei Jia (b. 1957, Beijing, China) , who studied traditional Chinese painting, poetry, and calligraphy and graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1984, later earned his M.F.A. in the USA. Living and working in New York and Beijing, Wei navigates between American and Chinese cultures, exploring the interplay of past and present, traditional and contemporary. Since 1990, he has focused on Chinese handcrafted paper, using collage and water-based paints in a process of creation and recreation. His work has evolved from complex figurative to minimalist and calligraphic, to using only direct collage. Wei has held numerous international solo and group exhibitions, with works in prestigious collections like The Wharton School and Brooklyn Museum. Recently he has been shown at Sifang Art Museum (Nanjing, 2021), Yuan Art Museum (Beijing, 2021), Hua Art Museum (Shenzhen, 2019).

Wendy Letven (b.1962, Philadelphia, U.S.)  a New York-based multidisciplinary artist, creates sculptures, installations, and paintings. A Tyler School of Art B.F.A. and Hunter College M.F.A. graduate, she teaches at New York University and Parsons School of Design. Her work, displayed at venues like Riverside Park Conservancy and PULSE Art Fair, explores natural patterns and abstraction, often inspired by landscapes and phenomena like motion and rhythm. Letven, a MacDowell Colony Fellow and Workspace Grant recipient, was recently commissioned by NYC's Percent for the Arts Fund for a public school sculpture (2022). Her art combines geometric and organic elements, inspired by music, poetry, science, and philosophy, to express the excitement and energy of the universe’s deeper order.

About the Curator

Lynn Hai is a partner and the Artistic Director at Fou Gallery. She initiates and curates art exhibitions for Fou Gallery artists and refines the artists' creations into academic form. Her selected curatorial and design experiences include: the group exhibition “Interest in Humanity—Portraits of Yesterday and Today”, spanning 80 years of modern and contemporary portrait art (Fou Gallery, New York, 2023); Highlights of November on PLATFORM, an online art platform by David Zwirner Gallery (New York, 2022); “Together In Distance”, an online benefit art auction for COVID-19 relief (New York, 2020); “Dwelling At the Present”, an Interior Design Exhibition and Forum (Harvard Club, New York, 2019); “Flow Fields - Confluence” in Urban Picnic (Matadero, Madrid, 2013); “Flow Fields - Dilution” at the 2013 Lisbon Triennale (Sinel de Cordes Palace, Lisbon, 2013); among others. She has also been invited to give lectures and participate in panel discussions at academic institutions, including University of London, and Columbia University. Her writings have been published in art periodicals such as ArtChina, CAFA ART INFO, Tussle Magazine, ArtPulse, and others. She graduated from the Architectural Association in London in 2014 and earned her Master's in Design Studies from Harvard University in 2017.

FOU GALLERY is an apartment gallery and creative lab based in New York. Fou is dedicated to promoting creative talents and projects of our time. As suggested by its name, Fou is both a denial of the mainstream commercial gallery model and an active contributor to a new, organic art community. With the belief that the enjoyment of art is an essential part of everyday life, Fou offers a vibrant, inspirational selection of original works in art and design, and hosts various events to create a diverse and accessible art space.

About the Exhibition

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Dates: December 9, 2023–February 24, 2024

Venue: 410 Jefferson Ave#1, Brooklyn

Courtesy of Fou Gallery.