• Fleeing Minds

    Date posted: January 5, 2009 Author: jolanta
    As an artist, I have created a series of work that manipulates various media. I want to produce a visual representation of global concerns. Using both Asian and European traditions, I explore the essence of landscape and nature. My work reflects the impossibility of a truly detached, objective perspective on the world. It suggested a perpetual meditation on the experience through a constant recourse to logical abstractions, and the relentless action of an impassioned imagination. The works are, as a consequence, inherently ambivalent, settling for a tentative balance between distortions of perception, never claiming to approach anything more concrete than this uneasy relationship.
    Truth, for my work, is not a fixed entity but rather an evolving product of the dialectic between these polarities. My installations explore paradoxes of representation and reality.
    Image

     Xuhong Shang

    Image
    Xuhong Shang, Pond, 2005. Installation evening view, pea gravel, rocks, painted canvas, 400 x 400 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

    As an artist, I have created a series of work that manipulates various media. I want to produce a visual representation of global concerns. Using both Asian and European traditions, I explore the essence of landscape and nature. My work reflects the impossibility of a truly detached, objective perspective on the world. It suggested a perpetual meditation on the experience through a constant recourse to logical abstractions, and the relentless action of an impassioned imagination. The works are, as a consequence, inherently ambivalent, settling for a tentative balance between distortions of perception, never claiming to approach anything more concrete than this uneasy relationship. Truth, for my work, is not a fixed entity but rather an evolving product of the dialectic between these polarities.

    My installations explore paradoxes of representation and reality. The representation of landscape installation is meditative. It relies on viewers’ acceptance of the “natural” state of nature and viewers’ interaction with the visual landscape, without interference from their desire. By placing a landscape on the ground or floor and putting the viewer above the landscape, I mean to challenge the ordinary way of viewing landscapes, to change the traditional role of the “viewer.” The landscape paintings or architectural models appear on a shelf, on the ground or along the room’s baseboard. Wherever they may appear, they depict the natural world meticulously. Yet the landscape seems to be telling us, “This is not a landscape.” Is it an illusion or a different kind of reality? It is viewers’ minds that give names, make distinctions, and create the world they live in. What we call “significance” is based on which convincing structure of reality is established in mind, by culture or by imagination.

    My paintings in the Momentary series seek to achieve depth and primitive simplicity, which must be able to portray hard-to-catch scenes as if they leap up before the eyes and imply meaning between the tones. As the name implies, my new body of work holds a minimalist aesthetic, based on eliminating a great many things from the surface. The result is a visual experience that resides between an overwhelming epic and an atmosphere that draws the viewer in.

    The Airport photography series portrays the fine line between reality and what viewers actually see, and between metaphors and meanings. The uncertainty brings forth a sense of duality. Just like the Momentary painting series, the photography series is created based on the same aesthetic of presentation, modest and simple. A frame that is wiped clean asserts a heightened awareness of materials and a new consciousness of the relationship between viewers and art forms.

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