KWM artcenter is honoured to present “Huan Zhong – Nature follows Abstraction”, a group exhibition of 14 artists running from 3 August to 22 September 2017.
Our exhibition title derives from the 4th century B.C. philosopher Zhuang Zi’s concept of ‘Huan Zhong’ in his essay ‘On levelling all things”. ‘Huang Zhong’ refers to the space within a circle. The circle represents the realistic world, while the space refers to the abstract and intangible. Zhuang Zi believed that the “essential” can be attained only when one investigates “Huan Zhong”. If one understands ‘Huang Zhong’ then one can understand nature better. Through committing to abstraction, can an artist have a better understanding of nature? In Showtime’s 2017 television series Billions, Asia Kate Dillon’s gender non – binary character Taylor Mason logically concludes ‘nature follows abstraction’ while explaining the predictability of a stock market transaction. This statement seemed to be a perfect co-title encapsulating how we contemplate the nature of abstract image making in the early 21st century.
KWM artcenter has invited both intergenerational and international artists to participate within our own little ‘abstract’ space surrounded by the ‘reality’ of the World Financial Centre and ask if traditionally 20th century questions concerning abstract art such as: “Transcendental or Experiential?” “Abstraction or Nature?” are still relevant in today’s de-centralised art making environments. Does the homogeneity, universality and rationality associated with abstraction still hold? or has a more ‘social’ or ‘economic’ abstraction taken its place reflecting the present world rather than being an extension of the individual.
These fundamental musings are put to the test by positioning the works against an exaggerated ‘modernist’ exhibition design which encourages a comparative reading of the works. The exhibition, which includes paintings, sculpture, photography, textiles and ceramics, demonstrates how the look of abstraction easily crosses mediums. It asks one to acknowledge how, on the one hand, visually, abstraction has been so readily absorbed into daily life and yet, on the other hand, still has the ability to surprise and shock people’s preconceptions of what can be considered art.
The participating artists are Ge Ziyu, Ju Anqi, Li Xiangyang, Liu Gang, Liu Shuang, Meng Luding, Tim Crowley, Wang Guangxu, Xie Guixiang, Xu Qu, Yu Youhan, Zhao Yao, Zhang Huairu and Studio HVN