Mar 21, 2014 – Apr 26, 2014
Pace London is pleased to present Liang Yuanwei’s first solo exhibition with the
gallery at 6-10 Lexington Street from 21 March to 26 April 2014. The Tension
between a Bow and an Elephant includes eleven of Liang Yuanwei’s recent oil
paintings that deepen both her formal and conceptual investigations of process and
The title of the exhibition The Tension between a Bow and an Elephant elicits Liang
Yuanwei’s profound preoccupation with the constants and variables of creative
production and the pressures that these exert on the artist. Like a hunter armed with a
bow and arrow ready to target his or her prey, Liang views the process of painting as
intensely pressure-fueled, highly contingent on both governable and ungovernable
forces, conscious decisions and natural phenomena.
Cézanne has manifestly been a vivid source of inspiration in Liang’s work, sharing
his concerns for the shifting nature of perception, and the painterly ways in which to
evoke this. Liang also draws on her Chinese heritage and, in particular, the supremely
poetic images of the Song Dynasty that capture transience of beauty and evanescent
pleasures. But the direct sources from which the artist works from are often the floral
designs of domestic table cloths, curtains and found fabrics, marrying her art to
questions of high art and commercial design, and moreover, those pertaining to
gender roles and femininity.
“In my own creative practice I imitate the world, thereby understanding the world, in
order to create the world. In the process of creating this body of work, the end product
remains unrealized, only when the painting is finished can one comprehend its final
state.”Liang Yuanwei, March 2014.
Making a departure from her early floral paintings, the series presented in The
Tension between a Bow and an Elephant are a step away from the feminine hues and
silky textures Liang once sought. The colours are earthier, and particularly in Untitled
2013.15, the brushwork is significantly more vigorous. All the while, Liang retains
the distinctively refined, tender and delicate quality for which she is known.