【Exhibition】Wang Huangsheng Lifelines

“Lifeline” is a term in English that implies the saving of life when one is in urgent need of help and the connotation of rescue is here intended culturally, as a metaphor for Wang’s lines as cultural thread, just as the trunk of a tree steadily grows upwards, supporting all the branches, his lines form the key element throughout his oeuvre.’ - Katie Hill, Curator

Hong Kong – 3812 Gallery is honoured to present a solo exhibition by renowned Chinese artist Wang
Huangsheng, marking his debut show in Hong Kong. Entitled Lifelines, the exhibition is on view from 3 to 12  September 2019 in Pao Galleries, 5/F, Hong Kong Arts Centre. As an important member of the art world whose roles have navigated being a museum director (currently as Chief Director of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Art  Museum and previously as Director of Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum from 2009 to 2017), as well as a founder of large-scale art events such as Guangzhou Triennial and Beijing Photo Biennale, Wang’s artistic practice over the years can indeed be understood as a lifeline. The exhibition is curated by Dr. Katie Hill, Programme Leader of Art of Asia and their Markets at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London.

Lifelines will showcase Wang’s magnificent new series of calligraphic works Daily-Practice, the Prose Poetries. Wang believes: ‘Daily-Practice is a way for Chinese to cultivate cultures. We would waste thousands of paper sheets just for practicing calligraphy, but poetry writings are more like playing a game of expressing emotions.’ During the daily practice of calligraphy, Wang rewrote some of his classical poetries created in his youth in the  1970s, infusing colours into fluid cursive script and thereby combining painting and calligraphy into one. The colours blue, yellow and green mark the works’ mood in this series, blended with water and ink on Xuan paper.Through the practice as a daily ritual, the artist is to attain “cultivation” and “enlightenment”. The “chaotic”  script where characters overlay each other contains the artist’s classical sensibility, as well as a fusion of aesthetic and conceptual meanings that echo and reverberate with the past.

Katie Hill, the curator, comments: ‘Over the years, in his expansive ink practice, Wang’s pursuit of line has 
departed from a more classical mode in his earlier works to a more experimental abstraction that take various forms - from dense clusters of curvaceous lines lightly swooping in and out to express a sense of uninterrupted movement in space.’ From brush and ink as the principal medium, to textile, resin, newspaper, barbed wire and installation video, Wang continually expands his visual language. He dips cotton gauze in red and makes rubbings on paper, wraps barbed wire with gauze and squeezes sharp-edged wires through glass tubes which scatter into fragments. His action and works resulting from it respond to social issues such as wars and quasiwars, conflict and quasi-conflict, regional and global, left and right, poverty and disease, economy and crisis, along with the hurt, uneasiness, anxiety, pain and turbulence caused. As Hill says, ‘Indeed, ink is now no longer a medium but an important and complex discourse in art stemming from the expansion of its creative potential, spilling out into film, animation, performance, multi-media and installation.’

Calvin Hui, Co-founder and Artistic Director of 3812 Gallery states, ‘The use of lines is one of the major
characteristics of traditional Chinese paintings. Wang Huangsheng, born into a family in which his father was a painter and calligrapher of the Literati movement, has received formal training in Chinese painting. He reinterprets lines in a contemporary way, developing an abstract yet strong style with a foothold in tradition. Wang bridges “cultivation” in Chinese traditions and “freedom” in contemporary culture, perfectly in line with 3812’score values.’

Hui continues: ‘Through this exhibition, we hope to bring audiences into Wang’s art world full of fluid and
unrestrained lines.’