Zhao Xuebing “Path in the Woods” @ TOMIO KOYAMA GALLERY Singapore

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Tomio Koyama Gallery Singapore is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of work from “Central Park” series by
Zhao Xuebing, his first exhibition with the gallery.The line is an important element through different series by Zhao. Zhao says, “Lines have characteristic of freedom and energy, and at the same time require thoughts and compositions. I like pure lines and the relationship they have with each other.”Every piece, landscape paintings or improvised drawings, shows powerful and spectacular intensity and Zhao’s stunning ability and perseverance on details.

In 2005, Zhao produced a piece titled “140 Warriors or More”. The piece discloses Zhao’s dexterity on lines, ability of observing and boundless imagination. Without sketching beforehand, he lets the mind go free and the lines naturally comprise numerous warriors which all differ in style of armors and postures. As if it were an unstoppable addiction, the lines and patterns ramble over the canvas.

“Central Park” is the series that Zhao presented in 2011 and he is still continuously producing new works in the series. At a glance, the contours in the paintings are blurry and the edges seem like ink spreading on paper. But with careful gaze, it could also be observed that the details are consisted of fine interwoven thin line strokes, which Zhao repetitively applied on the canvas. There is one single tone in each painting, and meanwhile exists great plenty in the depiction of light and shadow. Although the media is oil on canvas, there is subtle similarity to Chinese traditional ink painting.

Zhao draws the inspiration from his surrounding life and from what he shows great interest in. “140 Warriors or More” is from the imagination about Chinese classic novels and fascination toward the design of armor. On the other hand, “Central Park” series is his unforgettable recollection in New York City.

Concept

“Central Park” series comes from the inspiration Zhao acquired when he was in New York. Attracted to the landscapes of Central Park’s back wood area, he preserves the beautiful sceneries in his paintings.

This exhibition presents mainly the paintings with the motifs of trees and leaves. The perspectives are placed in various distances, and viewing the works one after another provides a feeling like wandering in the woods. Zhao’s extraordinary ability to represent light vividly made the trees and leaves expressive, and each tone individually depicts sunshine day or nightfall lively. Withering leaves and falling branches pave the ground and scatter the water. With cold colors, the landscapes are overwhelmed by deep solitariness and desolation and form a contrast to the bustle of urban life outside Central Park.

For the first time at the exhibition, a work titled “water” will be on view. Unlike the way he draws trees and leaves, Zhao adopts numerous minute circles to represent the image of water. Compared to other works, more colors are used. It is the first work in which Zhao employs color markers and depicts a landscape with elements such as circles on a large canvas. The fineness of every little circle stands out on an immense canvas. Moreover, the connections between different colors are composed of finer semicircles. Little circles amazingly represent the ripples and the movement of streaming. Leaves in the water seem trembling along with the water flow. This work is a breakthrough that Zhao challenges to pursue a new representation.

Artist Biography

Zhao Xuebing was born in 1967 in Beijing, China. He started to learn painting since childhood. Zhao has spent 5 years in Paris since 2002 and 2 years in New York since 2007. He currently lives and works in Shanghai, China.
His solo exhibitions include “Central Park” (Shanghai Gallery of Art Project Space, Shanghai, 2011), “parchemins” (Senlis Biennale of Contemporary Art, Senlis, France, 2007), “Dessins & Derive”(Espace Premier Regard, Paris, France, 2007) and “Landscapes”(Espace Lhomond, Paris, France, 2004). He was selected to participate in “View Program”(Drawing Center, New York, USA, 2009) and “Flat Files Program” (Pierogi Gallery, New York, USA 2008). The major group exhibitions include “Above the Horizon”(Shanghai Gallery of Art, Shanghai, China, 2012) and the group exhibition held in Salon de Montrouge (Montrough, France, 2006).

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