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Liang Yuanwei at Pace London Gallery.

The Tension between a Bow and an Elephant
March 21, 2014 – April 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 perception.

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.

The series presented at Pace London is the result of a meticulous approach to painting, and one that Liang has previously employed to reach her envisioned “targets”. Working on individual strips, Liang constructs her canvases with a subtle painting technique; this usually begins by drawing on the can¬vas and then filling empty segments with varying colours until reaching a flat yet elegant surface.

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.


To learn more about the exhibition, please visit: