11.21.2015 - 2. 28. 2016
The title of Liang Yuanwei’sexhibition refers to the process of creating the works it presents; a suite of 16 paintings of various dimensions, each completed in the year prior to the exhibition. The paintings relate to each other in sequential form one to the next, such that from the first to the last, the artist’s concept comes full circle, having arrived at a new, elevated level of clarity.
We might also understand the reference to oval as a circular path through the exhibition; one that
the artist has designed for us, for there is one specific route through the painting, which she asks us
to follow. Thus, in pre-ordained fashion, visitors are instructed to move through the exhibition in accordance with the number sequence that is inscribed beneath each painting, one through sixteen. The goal here is to hand viewers the tools to accompany Liang Yuanwei on the journey she took to create the paintings, and to experience a similar process of discovery. This should include visitors becoming aware of the shifts and inflections of progress in the language at it evolved, and of the occasional awkward moment when the artist was wrong-footed, as texture, tonality and combinations of colour resulted in unanticipated effects. The full journey of this process is rounded out by the presence of three early works from 2005 and 2008, located in the small room at the end point of the exhibition. These are variously unfinished and illustrate how decisions were taken in the early stages of this approach.
Liang Yuanwei draws inspiration from a broad range of influences including Sol LeWit, Francisco Goya, Italian frescoes, Gabriel Orozco, and Jasper Johns. Significant here is that, for Liang Yuanwei, research is an essential part of the process by which a possible aesthetic system is constructed. Compositions appear similar, being built around a particular pattern usually taken from a textile. The building process of each painting unfolds section by section across and down the canvas, replicating the techniques of 15th century frescoes. “My paintings are my own little universe of materials, purposes and techniques,” she says. “Words make it sound simple, but the process is not” That process requires skill, patience and discipline. OCAT Xi’an is proud to present “Oval” as representing Liang Yuanwei’s thinking and concept at their finest.
Liang Yuanwei was born in Xi’an in 1977. She graduated from the China Central Academy of Fine Art where received her BA and MA degrees consecutively. She currently lives and works in Beijing. As one of the most important artists of the emerging generation, Liang Yuanwei has exhibited her art in various spaces include Ullens Center for Contemporary Art(Beijing), Museum of China Central Academy of Fine Arts(Beijing), Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum(Shanghai), Berkeley Art Museum(U.S.), and Foundation Joan Miro(Spain), etc. She was also one of the participating artists of the China Pavilion in 54th Venice Biennale (2011). Her solo exhibitions include “Oval”(Xi’an OCAT, 2015); “Pomegranate” (Beijing Commune, 2013); “Golden Notes” (Beijing Commune, 2010); “51m: 15# Liang Yuanwei” (Taikang Space, 2010); and“BLDG 115 RM 1904: Liang Yuanwei’s Solo Show” (Boers-Li Gallery, 2008). Her solo show “Golden Note” at Beijing Commune (2011) was selected by ARTFORUM magazine as one of the most valuable shows of the year in the painting. Her most recent solo exhibition “The Tension Between a Bow and an Elephant” (Pace London, 2014) was selected by ArtInfo as the “Must See: 5 London Shows Opening This week”. Her works has been included in publications such as Younger than Jesus (Phaidon, 2009) and Vitamin P2 (Phaindon, 2011). Her recent exhibitions include “My Generation: Young Chinese Artists” (Tempa Museumof Art, Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Orange County Museum of Art, U.S., 2014-2015) and “Focus Beijing: the De Heus-Zomer Collection” (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 2014).