Shang Liang and Wang Yanyun are women in this lifetime.
I have always felt that women are more advanced beings than men. Women tend to have richer and more delicate sensory capabilities, stronger and more accurate intuition. All this is determined by the female body.
These new paintings by Shang Liang are crisp, the brushstrokes and colors are pure, leaving a lighthearted impression. The context of these new works are borrowed from “The Adventures of Pinocchio”, an Italian fairytale. A puppet must learn honesty, bravery, and kindness, in order to obtain real life. The moral exhortation of the story is developing children into “better” people through altering natural instincts. This tale shows the two faces of human nature, the bad side or animal instincts, self-serving natural survival instincts; and the good side or the positive will, the possibility of regulating human behavior through culture.
Shang Liang’s paintings are about the human body. The main figure in the painting has grown a long nose just like the lying Pinocchio. He also has large muscles disproportionate with his slender body frame. This is psychological projection onto the body and imagining of body transformations. People often use deception and illusion to obtain “happiness”. In Shang Liang’s paintings, the juxtaposition of deception and illusion displays a double negative, which ironically reveal a certain honesty.
Years ago, Wang Yanyun was known for a series of works created as “Su Zizi”. In recent years, she has done some exhibitions, published a few written works, and taken part in the TV shows. These are her ways of earning a living, and also ways of emotional release. This exhibition has selected photography from her “Su Zizi” period, edited videos of her on the TV show “I Am Speaker – Who Am I”, and a new piece of work. These are years of records of her life, her art, or her artistic life. Perhaps it is not necessary to distinguish the boundary between art and life, or the difference between entertainment and creating art, more important things are the values within all of these. Wang’s experiences or records reflect the values she has chosen. She continues to convey her values and beliefs, such as demands for fairness and justice as well as hopes of building a rational society, through artistic means.
I would want to see introspective works, about feelings and emotions. Humans as independent beings need to care for our inner selves and our own deepest emotions, and it is easy to be annoyed with too much talk about reason. I would also want to see works of extrospection, forms of rational communication or persuasion. We as social beings are self-serving, but also need to be altruistic, in order to create a better living environment for all of us. These works are the artists’ expressions of sense and sensibility based on the female body. This exhibition is both emotionally sensitive and rationally sensible.