Sun Daliang: Diary from a Lonely Island 31st May – 7th July 2012


Maddox Arts is pleased to present Sun Daliang: Diary From A Lonely Island.
This exhibition marks Sun’s first solo show outside China.
Thirteen years ago, when Sun Daliang decided to forego modern Chinese life to live
on Jiang Xin, part of a remote archipelago in the middle of Yangtze river, he was
unaware of the spiritual journey that awaited him there. An isolated life on this
mysterious island free of society’s pressures’ would come to reform his
philosophical thinking, his commitment to life as well as his painting style.
In ‘Red Shoes’ Daliang’s sensuous brush strokes serve as the mark of the deep
subconscious workings that underpin his work. The canvas becomes a map charting
the distance his mind wandered during the self-imposed exile on Jiang Xin, his
paintings act\ as a diary record of this time unearthing the concealed desires he
brought with him to the island. With his imagination unbound, the object of
Daliang’s attention return to his adolescent tropes, namely his obsession with a girl
that caught his eye during his years at art school. Her painted figure illuminates his
work as she returns offering her company and tantalizing his desires.
“Years of meditation in solitude on my dark island, where my favored companions
were books on alchemy, Buddhism and existentialism, have increased my spiritual
power,” claims Sun. Indeed, the still life paintings with their enigmatic, recondite
air are reflections of the visions induced by prolonged periods of meditation.
Comparable to the hallucinatory phenomenon of the ‘Prisoner’s Cinema’, Daliang
channels these waking dreams into his work allowing us a glimpse in to the nebulae
of his subconscious.
Although Sun’s inspiration primarily derives from the solipsism of isolation the
rapid changes currently occurring in Chinese cultural life have inevitably impacted
a number of his works, notably, ‘The Boy’. This transient era of shifting values is
viewed with some apprehension in the artist’s eye as he cannot help but see the
contradictions implicit in a peaceful mind and a fast growing economy.
Sun Daliang was born in Xuzhou, China, studied stage design at Shanghai Theatre
Academy from 1993 to 1997. He moved to Jiangxin Island, Nanjing, China in 1998
and has lived and worked there ever since. He had solo shows at Shuimu Art Space
Beijing 798, China (2009), and Daxiang Art Space, Shanghai (2005).


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