Xie Molin: Light / Deposits

2014. 06. 02-08. 02

Beijing Commune is pleased to announce the opening of artist Xie Molin’s second solo exhibition, “Light/Deposits,” on June 3rd, 2014. The exhibition will continue until August 2nd, 2014.

Xie Molin uses computers and machines as creative tools to contemplate the possibilities of painting, a painting method artists chose in the age of technology. Distancing himself from figurative modes of expression, Xie employs a triaxial linkage painting machine he invented in combination with his process of workmanlike, meticulous, manual operation. With precise control, the artist attains a certain feeling of stability through a sense of order and perfect control. For the artist, the significance of “painting machines” as an extension of the painter’s two hands is clearly even more important. Rather than describing this significance as conceptual, it would be more accurate to say that his use of “machines” is rooted in a need for greater precision in his sense of form in painting.

This exhibition contains ten pieces of varying size from the artist’s series “Overlay.” They are a focused display of Xie Molin’s most recent work. While continuing the artist’s method of mechanical painting, these new works also weaken the sense of movement of his past paintings created by changes in mechanical tracks. Form in these paintings is more fixed and solemn, stressing subtle gradations in color and a more dedicated control over material. He mixes a large amount of acrylic medium into his acrylic paint, such that they accumulate on the canvas into a gelatin-like, captivating, translucent coloration. The overlapping of two layers of pigment forms a granulated structure that reflects external light, while the translucent covers between gradated colors form an internal halation.

“Light/Deposits” is rooted in Xie Molin’s considerations of and reactions to reality. The exhibition is composed of artworks from his “Overlay” series as well as the artist’s photographs of garbage dumps seen on the ground of the exhibition space. The two polar conditions of “light” and “deposits”consciously display a clear fissuring and fault between reality and the artist’s practice. Scenes of garbage dumps reconstruct the artist’s real environment in his creative life, reflecting the barren, rotten existential reality and psychological crisis that underlie radiant notions of contemporary society. Within this negative living environment, Xie sees creative production as an active escape from being devoured by reality.

This exhibition uses abstract canvases and real scenes to express the artist’s experiences and emotions. He recombines and juxtaposes reality and his private memories, using mechanical painting techniques to closely interlink his creative practice with the era in which he lives. As machines expand the scope and capability of actions, they also imperceptibly impose modes of mechanized thought and behavior on mankind. While liberating the human hand, the artist must avoid accidents in mechanical operations that can occur at any time by strictly adhering to a set of operational rules. With this, painting is no longer a creative method that unites the eye, mind, and hand, but rather a “struggle” between man and machine. However, Xie Molin is still willing to classify his practice as painting. The development of painting’s formal language and the relationship between creation and this era are the spiritual traces of the external visual perception and internal humanism of Xie Molin’s practice.

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