Works (Selection)
Liang Yuanwei: The Tension between a Bow and an Elephant

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.

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