Moments on Backstage

Duration : 10:00 -- 18:00

Opening : Aug 11,2007 (Sat) -- Aug 31,2007 (Fri)

Venue : Shun Art Gallery .Shanghai Room 103/208, building 3 No. 50 Moganshan Road, Shanghai (200060)

Tel : +8621 5252 7198

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PRESS RELEASE MOMENTS on BACKSTAGE —-Theatre arts oil paintings solo show of WANG Zhanxin
“Fare Ware My Concubine”, a famous Chinese traditional drama, at the end of which, Shitou cried out “Jizi”out of control, … she finally fulfill Donzi’s wishes, accomplishing the drama of life. However, who committed suicide, Yuji or Donzi? Moreover, is life a drama, or is drama a life?

Today, on 11th Aug, 2007, SHUN Art & Design Gallery honourly invited Professor Wang Zhanxin from National academy of Chinese Theatre Arts to Shanghai, where she will first hold her theatre arts oil painting show. What makes her works distinguished from others is that Wang Zhanxin take the advantage of her position in order bring us a glance at the backstage.

Professor Wang Zhanxin entered National academy of Chinese Theatre Arts in 1993. It was difficult to me at that time to understand the beauty hidden in theatre arts, since the limitation of appreciation of the beauty. 10 years after when I went back to my easel and started painting composing, I found that those art features and culture of deep Chinese tradition in the Chinese theatre arts vibrate in my memory profoundly like pure spring. Bright, unique, exquisite, refined and elegant, the form of that art is always in my mind. Her paintings composed in a unique angle of view have already collected by National academy of Chinese Theatre Arts, Institution of Chinese Arts Research and many collectors domestic and overseas such as from US and Spain. She also has been interviewed by CCTV several times. The most featured paintings by Wang Zhanxin, “Waiting at backstage No. 15” was awarded the silver prize of “Sino-Korean painting arts communication exhibtion”.

In these days, Chinese culture and fashion is becoming world popular. The film “Crouching Tiger & Hidden Dragon” was the black horse in 73th Oscar. The fashion brand “Shanghai Tang” has become the top one of Chinese traditional dress brand. Now in art field, as the quintessence of Chinese culture, the Jing opera has led the new trend in Chinese fashion.

We can currently see that there are many oil paintings focusing on Jing Opera. However, most of them stand upon front stage and make player on stage prominent, but neglect life down stage. Stroke of Wang Zhanxin is strangely unreal rather than clearly drawing the outline of the fully posted up players’ posture. From 2005, Wang zhanxin started composing the series of “Moments on Backstage”. With the special angle of view, her works has gone beyond the original meaning of Chinese traditional theatre arts, but through these works to express the philosophy of “a life is a stage”. After unloading the untruthful mask, which one is the “individual” in real life? Just like the interchange between performance and real life, some one may concentrate on the former so deeply that he/she could not return to his/her life again.

Humans, lives, like a drama. A changing moment between real and fake can be seen in those painting of Wang Zhanxin.

Waiting and Resting Rebirth Degas in China
It was in Paris in 19th century, when Edgar Degas had drawn moments of ballet dancers’ looks and lives on backstage in order to unfold people a real image of life. Usually we see pure white bodies and lithe cross capers on stages. However, in Degas’pictures you will experience yourselves a mood of release on backstage. “Waiting for appear on scene”, in which the “scene” actually appears between audience and performers, but a certain tension could be a joy on backstage.
Occasionally, I saw two original works from Degas in my room in the hotel in Paris. In the pictures there is a bench with a pair of pink dancing shoes on it and beside the shoes sits a girl with a red coat on her should. Before her face there is another girl who is bowing down and tying her shoelace. You may even hear that several girls running downstairs, laughing joyfully, which forms the unique composition of Degas’ picture— joyful and sorrow expressed vividly and incisively.
Several months ago when I was the in National Academy of Chinese Theatre Art and saw her pictures full of the room, an exciting mood raised so naturally that I could not express myself at that time. Sharp blue and red, a moment on backstage is where those unusual colours catch a certain unusual world that can not be seen on the stage. But only via the angle of view through backstage are there chances to form the precision and disillusion on canvas. It is my pleasure and luck that to unfold her works accumulated for a long time to people in Shanghai and the world. We here standoffishly call her as “Rebirth Degas in China”. Ballet and Jing opera, like same performances of “Life Disillusion” but in two ages and on different stages.
We often regard perfection as our final target in our daily life. However, a small mistake may be more lovely and easy to approach and even some how “sexual”. Moments on backstage are actually the opposition to that “perfect” life but self-indulgence and self-release from the “perfect”. That is fascinating and much more than perfect.
One minutes on stages are from hard and boring practices and failures. World of Wang Zhanxin’s works are the real image of the very right life philosophy, which will raise a special “realization” for “you, me and him/her”.

Shun July, 2007