F2 Gallery is delighted to present Crouching Paper, Hidden Dragon, a group show of unique works on paper by over 30 established and emerging Chinese contemporary artists, which will open at 3pm on Sunday April 6th The exhibition ends on May 19th, 2008.
Crouching Paper, Hidden Dragon includes work by:
Ai Weiwei, Cang Xin, Cao Yingbin, Chen Ke, Chen Shaoxiong，Da Xiang, Feng Zhengjie， Ji Dachun, Jiao Xingta, Ju Ming, Li songsong, Ling Jian, Liu Hong, Liu Ye, Lu Hao, Qiu Xiaofei, Shen Liang, Sheng Qi, Shi Xinning, Sui Jianguo, Sun Xun, Tang Zhigang, Tu Hongtao, Wang Nengtao, Xu Hualing, Xu Wentao, Yang Shaobin, Yin Zhaoyang, Zhang Xiaogang, Yuan Shun, Zeng Fanzhi, Zheng Guogu, Zhong Biao, Zhu Fadong.
Against the backdrop of the Olympics, continual economic expansion and an explosive cultural industry, China is all about speed. Artists and viewers alike are living in a moment saturated not only by the anticipation of the Summer Games. In the art world, viewers are also pummeled by high-speed reproductions of original works – some genuine, some fake. Crouching Paper, Hidden Dragon offers viewers a chance to slow down and take in one of Chinese contemporary art’s most neglected art forms: works on paper. The exhibition provides us with no quick fixes here – no prints, for instance, or photography – but each piece is as individual as the hand that made it.
Here at F2, both established and up-and-coming artists return to form with a variety of materials: including oils, pencil and ink. We visit portrait sketches from Zeng Fangzhi executed in the signature style so familiar to fans of his painterly works. Delicate, bright-colored drawings from Liu Ye are also immediately recognizable as the artist’s own. Viewers might also see a few surprises here from artists who are either just emerging or just establishing their names in international circles. One of the most appealing, yet finely executed series from a newer artist is Cao Yingbin’s watercolor series. With rare simplicity, Cao records through images the content of his daily meals.
Ultimately, it is the tactile that you get with paper. There is nothing theoretical about the naked relationship with paper that an artist often feels – by naked we mean to suggest the blankness of the paper, which is either rapturous or horrifying. Paper also provides a different form of intimacy than the canvass. Since artists often begin with paper when they want to put down an original idea – the first moment of the idea – paper is their medium of choice. It is in this ability to express the spontaneity of the initial image, which in classical Chinese aesthetics serves as the most natural and best image, that lends paper its incomparable potency.