Zhao Yao: Signals from Heaven, Signals from Heaven.

2018. 11. 03-12. 25

Beijing Commune is pleased to announce that Scenery, the second solo exhibition of artist Liang Shuo, will open on March 21, 2019. Scenery is the junction between the urban and the wild. Scenery as a concept conveys the contemporary attitude towards and understanding of landscapes, a locus for the ancients and the moderns, space and time, ideologies and aesthetics. Painting is the main medium presented in this exhibition, constructed as a figurative space for spectatorship, embodying the experiences, memories and reflections from Liang Shuo’s wandering about rivers and mountains in recent years. The exhibition will open until May 4th.

Liang Shuo frequently uses mundane objects and leftovers as materials, put together with the idea of “Zha,” proposed by him in 2009. From the early “Migrate Worker Series” to “Material Practice,” “Smug and Beautiful,” and “Fit,” the reflections on space and ideological aesthetics are among his major interest. “Scenery” is the key to Liang Shuo’s thinking in recent years. It is about achieving artificial creation to the maximum degree in various limited practical conditions, the same as the fusion between landscapes and Zha.

Liang Shuo regards the presentation of this exhibition as petit woyou (for ancient Chinese literati, woyou means looking at landscape paintings in place of traveling through physical territories) resulted from his recent years’ “traveling for pleasure.” With reference to various formal structures used in traditional paintings such as handscrolls, albums, and hanging scrolls, the traditionally private scene of viewing is relocated into a public exhibition space. By constructing a confined path with economic, low-cost materials, the viewing experience is pushed into a new context. This arrangement follows Liang Shuo’s anti-genre, unpredictable logic and the idea of “freedom born out of restriction” that he has always emphasized. Liang Shuo endows the geographical and cultural phenomena of the exhibition space with the connection between the inner and the outer, so that all the content of the paintings can be connected with their counterparts in reality - sceneries that actually exist. Liang Shuo appreciates how time and space are conveyed in ancient landscape paintings, and manages to achieve “anti-images” by depicting his own embodied experience. “While your steps guide your sights,” “people” become part of the scenery in the exhibition space.

Compared to his previous exhibition “Temple of Candour” in which the spatial attraction was restored according to textual description, Liang Shuo in Scenery transforms his studies from the three-dimensional to the planar. Skeptical of the rigid mannerism ubiquitous in the classic themes of traditional paintings such as Wangchuan and Huangshan, Liang is more convinced of his own corporeal experiences. In the process of wandering and collecting materials, he consciously resists the retina-oriented training he had received. The space and sites in concern are blended with a constant unmasking and masking of the linguistic mechanism behind the “object” and the “scenery”. Wandering in the cracks of reality created by Liang Shuo, the long paragraphs of text in the work serve as linguistic supplements to the images and contribute to the work’s spatial-visual transformation. His understanding of the nature of object is an experiential hybridity of reality, conscious feelings and visuality all generated by his particular methodology.

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