倒数第二次晚餐 | Party Before New Year Patry
Duration : 11:00-19:00 (closed on Monday)
Opening : 2022.12.20-2023.02.19
Venue : Room 108, No. 3, Lane 1363, Middle Fuxing Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai, China 200031
Tel : +86 (0)21 5496 1918
Web : https://www.shunartdesign.com
Artist : 梁廷玮｜Tingwei LIANG
Party Before New Year Party
Shun Art Gallery is honored to present artist Tingwei Liang’s solo exhibition Party Before New Year Party. The exhibition showcases the artist’s new works from 2022, including more than 20 works from the two series “GODISH” and “MIMICS”. Among them, the “GODISH” series differs from the previous works, adding new symbols. Through the re-creation of religious works at the beginning of the Renaissance, human beings are divided into divine and animal, that is, the monkey with a strong religious color in the work. This way of expression subtly allows the audience into the so-called perspective of God, looking back at human society itself in a higher dimension, and thinking about the significance of religion, an indispensable part of civilization, in human history that differs from the previous. The “MIMICS” series is derived from the Latin language and has the meaning of “imitation” in English, which means “monkeys imitate human behavior”. The almost identical sense of sight of monkeys expresses the epitome of human society from an absolute perspective.
Tingwei Liang chose monkeys as the core symbol for his works. In the stage of the “Mankey” series, the pictures are strong and point directly to people’s hearts. Under the gaze of the monkey group, the viewers subconsciously see themselves. This kind of gaze is uncomfortable， just like the gaze of the naked woman in Manet’s “Dinner on the Grass”, it is like a mirror, forcing you to see your embarrassment. The logic of the artists in the “Godish” series inherits the previous one. The GODISH series was born during the first epidemic in Shanghai in 2019 after Tingwei Liang returned from Central Saint Martins. The artist did not want to use the appearance of the epidemic to describe the present but chose to use ancient and imitation methods to pay tribute to the Black Death period of human beings more than 600 years ago, and reflect on the current similarities and differences by recalling the history of that period.
The real life in northern Italy from the 13th to the 14th century was a dark age. The church was licentious, the city-states incessantly attack each other, and the Black Death swallow the city. Human beings can no longer safely hand over their souls to God, and instead, look within themselves for the antidote. City-states need talented people to defend and establish prestige, individuals need to rely on their abilities to survive, and businessmen must maximize their personal interests. Therefore, the value of people themselves begins to increase, humanism wakes up, and the time for the Renaissance arrives. In contrast to the current situation of human beings, when the pandemic and war affect everyone’s life, when isolation and confrontation tear our intimate relationship apart, the civilization building built by human beings for hundreds of years seems to have lost the foundation of faith. We saw our arrogance, hypocrisy, greed, numbness, and prejudice…but we couldn’t change anything about it. If the internal logic of the last Renaissance lies in the collapse and reconstruction of beliefs, is it possible for us now to re-establish a “new Renaissance” that unites people’s hearts in a time that beliefs are absent?
Tingwei Liang’s way of seeing, on the one hand, is the interaction between the work and the audience, on the other hand, is to stand in the past and objectively look forward to the future world. Therefore, in the GODISH series, Liang expands new perspectives and dimensions in the visual collision between advanced civilization and primitive races. At the same time, through the ingenious re-creation of the works in the alternate period of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, it not only metaphors the present, but also buries the optimistic expectation for the “New Renaissance”.
Tingwei Liang believes that the so-called thinking about the connection and boundary between divinity and animality is a part of human beings returning to human nature. Although a utilitarian society can operate structurally, all of this makes people more similar to the existence of worker ants or robots, All kinds of alienation in society, values, and aesthetics make human beings forget their true “existence”. Instead, in A Brief History of Mankind, the author’s statement on the state of human beings in the gathering and hunting period, Nietzsche’s “Dionysian Aesthetics” mentioned the relaxation of people in a hangover, and what Heidegger said of the “poetic existence” of human beings can make us return to ourselves.
The use and exploration of materials are what Tingwei Liang has always been pursuing. Liang believes that the film art knowledge he acquired in his early undergraduates allowed him to not only focus on brushes and paints in his works, “the expression of the picture is a comprehensive and immersive presentation.” He assumes that the square or polygon on the shelf is an aesthetic perspective that has been used for thousands of years and has been immersed in people’s bone marrow. When interpreting the scene of the picture, it is a particularly important link between the picture and the viewer.
“Making objects look like vintage” makes the works a more so-called antique perspective. This perspective allows a contemporary work to wear a sense of age to better carry the grotesque and absurdity of the work. Liang believes that it does not take hundreds of years for a work to have “shedding” aesthetics are part of his pursuit in the GODISH series.
The naming of all GODISH series is re-interpreted based on the commonality of the pictures in the era in which the artist lived. This so-called “talking through pictures” is not only a tribute to Giotto’s “talking through pictures” at that time, but also a way that does not cater to traditional expression. Black humor runs through Liang Tingwei’s “Godish” series. It allows the audience to immerse in the picture in a more relaxed way. Not only the name of the work, but also the symbolic meaning of gestures, such as piety and worship, are also replaced in the picture. The internationally common gestures applicable to human civilization are reinterpreted after conceptual confusion, which also adds more dramatic colors to the picture. This form better unifies the concept of the title of the picture and the work itself.
Tingwei Liang is fascinated by the hidden relationship between the origin of life, social science, and human religion. Monkey is not only a metaphor for human divinity and civilized society but also has the mutual guidance of human nature and animal nature. The GODISH series is a tribute to the exploration of Giotto’s period only during the epidemic period. After the epidemic is over, this series will inevitably usher in new changes and innovations. Symbols of Chinese and Western elements will also be presented in the GODISH series in new and diversified forms in the future. In any case, the diversity and integration of civilizations are the clues and cores that go through the artist’s present and future series.
Written by Shun in Shanghai