Press Release – English
Wang Xingwei & Cheng Ran: “Hot Blood, Warm Blood, Cold Blood”
Galerie Urs Meile is pleased to announce the opening of a solo exhibition of Wang Xingwei’s (*1969 in Shengyang, China; lives and works in Beijing, China) recent works, as well as Cheng Ran’s (*1981 in Inner Mongolia, China; lives and works in Hangzhou, China) Hot Blood, Warm Blood, Cold Blood.
Wang Xingwei does not come from an artistic family. It was a natural-born love of painting, rather than his background, that led him to become an artist. The end of 1980s marked the official start of his career as a painter. Since the mid-1990s, his artistic practice, which is rich in subtle cultural and historical references, has been defined by the concurrency of diverse conceptual, stylistic and formal experimentations.
Wang Xingwei is no longer the artistic youth that was known for wearing hand-knitted woollen trousers. He has constructed an exquisitely unique and picturesque language of seemingly disconnected elements - conceptual entries from his own “visual dictionary”. These elements are juxtaposed in order to purposely dismantle the acknowledged logic of thinking and create, by means of their disruptive power, new and unpredictable interpretative possibilities.
This exhibition will show a collection of nearly 20 of Wang Xingwei’s paintings from 2007 up until the present day. The exhibition has been divided into two parts in accordance with the parameters of the exhibition space – Indoor Views and Outdoor Views. The latter will present audiences with the portrait Mao Yan (2010), which depicts the peer and good friend of the artist, as well as Big Tree by the Film Museum (2011), a traditional life study. This is a rare opportunity to view such works, given the artist’s usual approach of working from readymade images. The Indoor Views space will investigate the continuous evolution and progression of the artist’s Old Lady series, which consists of a number of very similar works. As the curator Zhang Li said: “They present a lively, complex art form, the one we call ‘painting’.”
Cheng Ran’s solo show, Hot Blood, Warm Blood, Cold Blood will open at the same time. The exhibition will present a video work of the same title – a 3-channel colour video with sound, in which the artist demonstrates 3 characteristics of the horse – hot blood, warm blood, and cold blood.
It is important to note that Cheng Ran’s 3-channel video work is not primarily a conceptual work. The artist hopes to reduce the technical influence to a minimum level through the deliberate use of inappropriate editing to demonstrate the formality embraced in symbolism and imagery, thus representing an unknown image-space. In an early unpublished statement, Cheng Ran wrote that: “Hot blood, warm blood and cold blood signify 3 characteristics of the horse: the invisible elements that drift in different directions of emotional and spiritual states; similar to the spiritual world of human beings, unreachable, but indispensable.”
Wang Xingwei and Cheng Ran represent two different ages. The media and artistic language that they use is also entirely different. We hope to give audiences a new and different visual experience through the concurrent solo exhibitions of these two very different artists.