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Void: An Aesthetic Expression | 無：一种美学的表达
28. juni 2018 - 15. juli 2018
In March 2017, the «New Norwegian Woods – Printmaking Exchange Exhibition» co-sponsored by Hubei Museum of Art (HBMOA) and the Norwegian Printmaker’s Association was successfully held at the Hubei Museum of Art. The exhibition was well received by the audience. The nearly 80 pieces of art work by 23 Norwegian artists represent the achievements of contemporary Norwegian printmaking, some of them boasting fine imageries and some of them bold expressions. Witnessing the wide range of various artistic expressions and technique, we understand that printmaking in Norway is a field that is robust and experimental.
In the spirit of friendship and exchange, HBMOA invited five artists from Hubei Province, Fu Zhongwang, Wei Guangqing, Yuan Xiaoyu, Zhang Guanghui, and Zhang Lian, to visit Oslo, Norway in June 2018 for further the geo-cultural communication. Their art works will be on exhibition at the Gallery of Norwegian Printmaker’s Association. Hubei has been an important place of origin as well as a place of happening for Chinese art. Back to 3000 years ago, the area was the cradle of the Chu Culture, often associated with Taoism and a unique aesthetic style characteristics of exoticism and sensuousness. The Chu Culture has always been supplementing and competing with the orthodox Confucianist culture in almost all aspect of societal, intellectual, literary and artistic life in China. The 20th Century saw a legion of young artists headed to Wuhan, the provincial capital from every corner of China, and were to form a Hubei School as called by contemporary Chinese art historians. Exploiting a network of frequent exchange and mutual influences, as well as the facilitation from progressive local institutions, the community of artists thrives and grows in Hubei, making art events of international significance to happen here.
Void, the keyword of the exhibition signifies an aesthetic attitude of “non-egoism”, rendering a beautiful idea of art without boundaries. This philosophy that values void and nothing-ness, finds its origin in ancient Taoism thinkers, Laozi, Zhuangzi, cultivated by Taoist classics and eventually became a way of life. The five artists from Hubei, Fu Zhongwang, Wei Guangqing, Yuan Xiaofang , Zhang Guanghui, and Zhang Lian, are all leading artists in their own fields, working with different creative forms including sculptures, installations, oil paintings, new media, printmaking and drawings. They are widely represent in domestic and international exhibitions as important species of contemporary Chinese art. Their artistic development spans from their early years as emerging artists entralled by enthusiasm of youth, to the current stage of sophisticated reflection enriched by the journey of life. What they have sustained is the epitome of the artistic attitude of Hubei School, namely, “wu-wei/ devoid of action”, “wu-sheng/ devoid of sound”, “wu-xing/ devoid of shape”, “wu-yan/ devoid of speech”, “wu-wei/ devoid of taste”. Their narratives showcase the diversity and multiple-polarity of contemporary art in Hubei.
Over the years, HBMOA has always adhered to the principle of “ Rooted in local culture, going out to the world, valuing history, focusing on the contemporary”. The institute provides professional exhibition space for artists, influential academic exchange platform for theorists and critique, outstanding and representative exhibitions for the public. Hence HBMOA curated the “Void: An aesthetic expression—Exchange Exhibition of Hubei artists to Oslo, Norway” . The exhibition aims to express the cultural confidence and cultural consciousness of Hubei artists in their breaking geographic boundaries. We do hope that the exhibition will serve as a bonding opportunity between Norwegian and Chinese artists.
Director, Hubei Museum of Art.