Red • Vanitas Exhibition by Ling Jian

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Red • Vanitas Exhibition by Ling Jian




开幕时间:2007年4月20日 0时0分







Schoeni Art Gallery is delighted to announce the debut exhibition of established artist, Ling Jian, entitled Red • Vanitas, which we will be showcasing from the 19th of April to the 19th of May 2007. Ling Jian’s newest collection bares testament to the ever growing potential and accomplishment of this extremely talented artist. Having graduated in 1986 from Qinghua University Art College, Beijing, Ling Jian now divides his time as an independent artist between Berlin and Beijing. It wouldn’t be unfair to say that Ling Jian is completely obsessed with women, except that the artist himself voices a rather illuminating disclaimer. Far from being overrun by artistic ideals of aesthetic, Ling Jian strives to emulate a socially relevant commentary into his work. “What is the significance of my ‘beauties?” Ling muses, “If we look at the evolutionary history of humanity, women are always the symbol of an era; we can see the changes of humanity in the way it represents women and the female form through the ages.”
  Ling Jian is intensely aware of the significance of this statement, and far from being the aimless ramblings of a misogynist consumed with putting women in their place, they are represented as icons of a particular, and indeed, locally specific secular popular culture. In his previous collection, Ling Jian questions the modern understanding of religion and how the totemic symbol of Guan Yin is reinterpreted in contemporary understanding. Unafraid to reinterpret the rich iconography of this religious symbol, his renderings of Guan Jin, in a manner of speaking, artistically reincarnate a visual echo of the much venerated Buddhist Goddess of Mercy – he is in a sense striving for a new interpretation of Nirvana, one that is unsettling and slightly plastic, much like what he is surrounded by in China’s emerging subculture that is consumed with the artifice and vice of vanity.
  Red • Vanitas is an unabashed development of these themes. Still, as his “beauties” stand before us on the canvas, their red, pouty lips are parted and seduce. Poised eternally in a “high fashion” pose, Ling Jian’s technique mars what would otherwise be a flawless glossy image of these anatomically warped Chinese waifs. The term vanitas, derived from Latin, implies the, “vanity of vanities.” Red, the colour of anger and passion, has other implied connotations of power and, in some cases, may forebode a warning. Commenting on an era that Ling Jian describes as, “ambivalent,” it comes as no surprise that his,“ ‘beauties’ are the symbol of contemporary China, the complacence with nationalism, worth and how we judge beauty.”
  Written by Alexandra Hamlyn
  A catalogue will be released in conjunction with this exhibition.
  For high resolution images, interview arrangements or further information please contact Selina Liu.