Dai Guangyu, born in 1955 in Chengdu, was one of the leaders of the South-West China avant-garde movement during the 80’s and since then, he has been shown all over Asia, Europe and the USA. Dai Guangyu’s reworking of his materials, his technique of drawing and tearing, reconstructing and redrawing is a new approach to painting on rice paper. He recreates his self-portrait piece by piece in a decrypting manner. As he faces the public, he looks straight into the viewer’s face, approaching intimacy and a keen awareness of you – the viewer. This series is about destruction in the past and re-assemblage in the present time, altering a specific image of a distinct reality. Working with traditional painting models and traditional methods, Dai extends this reconstruction to portraiture and self-portraiture, coding the facial features and expressions.
Fan Jiupeng, born in 1981 in Tangshan, has been widely shown in China. His double-sided paintings recall the aesthetics of the more than four hundred year-old practice of double-sided embroidery. He observes the nuances of situational portraiture, often placing himself into the scene, even as his subjects remain utterly preoccupied with themselves. Oblivious to the viewer, they go on with their daily routines with a certain naivety, allowing the viewer to peep in at their ordinary mise-en-scène. Expressionism is portrayed on one side of huge transparency tracing papers, while the perspective becomes surrealist on the other side. The viewer travels from the reality of a scene to an imagination of the same scene by looking at one side and then the other of the same painting on a single sheet of paper.
The Gao Brothers, born in Jinan (GaoQiang was born in 1962 and Gao Zhen was born in 1956), as many other artists, they suffered from the Cultural Revolution: an imprisoned father murdered, and a reclusive life within a room with four other brothers and their mother. Their series ‘Sense of Space’ depicts the brothers and other models, naked and contorted, locked in boxes too small for them. Parables of the Chinese “social straitjacket”, their work can take on a universal significance. Any social organization forces the individual to comply with rules which, taken individually, become bothersome. In terms of this, the messages conveyed by the art of the Gao Brothers cross borders and can be understood to some degree in the Eastern and Western worlds as the partitioning and denouncement inflicted upon victims of the Cultural Revolution. Some pictures show the bodies of naked men of the same size, causing each model to appear even more anonymous. The final images give the impression that the same individual has been duplicated, finding himself throughout the entire composition.
Li Rui was born in 1985 in Hangzhou and graduated in summer 2011 from the Hangzhou Art Academy and the Universität der Künst of Berlin. Li Rui’s characters are painted inside glass using a mirror technic which refers to the naivety of Chinese realism of glass miniature paintings. Li Rui, with her young spirit, takes a social and anthropological approach by pulling the ‘masks’ off people, unveiling their social constraints, and revealing what lurks behind their superficial needs and ideals through the transparency of a glass.
Zane Mellupe (born in 1981) is a Latvian artist living in China. Her childhood and adolescence better assist her in understanding China and its values within a socialist environment. She has devoted these past years to achieve artworks of her own and different created fictive artists. Her works are researched based. Most often, she uses an environment, or, other persons, to represent her investigation upon herself. In many of her works, she depersonalizes herself so that this could be oneself. The moment which vanishes, you wish to have return, this moment whenever you are covered with water, whenever your chessboard is not dispersed, whenever you do not have a stain of wine upon your shirt. She has caught the sense of dislocation, discordance and insurgence, which are the living truths of Asia in a torrent of commercialization, individualism and re-identification. Her work is an affirmation of the evolution of documentary work as being constituent with the human experience, and perhaps, one inseparable from the advent of a rampant atrophy of the senses.Zane Mellupe considers herself a conceptual artist using photography. She states that the propaganda and dictatorship of the Soviet Union during her childhood led her to be sceptical about authority, which is reflected in her art. Her background in theatre direction brought her to contemplate the relationship between photography and new media.
Mao Tongyuan, alias Zane Mellupe, investigates two crimes entwined with projects belonging to real-estate developers. Families, whom do not wish to follow the expulsion order of the homes where they have always lived, were killed during intimidation attempt of appointed brutes. Since, the sites haveremained in their original state, yet struck by the omen of death. Mao Tongyuan has photographed upon these sites the enactment of an entertainment girl whom has been paid, as those police agents whom had been paid to modify the investigation. Her photographs were then printedover the wind blocks of the respective houses.
Yang Xun, born in 1981, comes from the mountainous city of Chongqing, in Sichuan Province. The melancholy reigns in this city which is sunlit for only 100 days of the year. He is conscious of the influence of this environment upon his mood and his work, where the colours exist as complements alone upon fields of black and white.In ‘The Prayer of the Young Girl’, he reinterprets history, childhood. He voyages across images and rediscovers them again by leaving ‘the heart of his eyes’ to end at a point. Sometimes, the choice of the images might appear entirely accidental. He came across upon a photo of this young girl while on internet and it seemed to him that he had already seen her beforehand, sometime in the past, possibly ten or twenty years ago, yet possibly never. His painting appears layer upon layer revealing his tentative of a reconstruction of the source, seeking somewhere a clear comprehension otherwise absorbed in the fog of Chongqing.