Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts

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Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts
Zhao Gang 21st : Supports /ColorLumps as Anthropography of History
2020-05-01 ~ 2020-08-23

The thirty some years from the mid-1980s to early 21st Century was a period of historical growth in China, as well as a critical period of economic fluctuations and political identity in Taiwan; it was also an interactive period of Taiwan’s contemporary art, and a period of ferocious growth for Chinese contemporary art with the “Post-June 4” artists entering the international stage. Zhao Gang, who experienced the Cultural Revolution and was a member of the Chinese avant-garde art group “Stars,” has established and created a unique “in-between” position through his bold dialectics and painting during this development period of Chinese art: between color lumps (oil paint, depiction) and supports (image, history). Utilizing layers of color lumps and depiction of thick lines of oil paints, Zhao allows the paintings and images he references to break loose from their original contexts, and then be fatefully captured by his brushstrokes with strong personal colors, turning canvas into a stage on which he carries out dialogues with history. The depiction method of embezzling historical paintings and images through color lumps and thick lines enabled him to develop the Anthropography of China series. Regardless of people, works, landscapes, still lives, or places, the “re-depictions” simultaneously become the allegories or interpretations injected with personal viewpoints and projected with desires. Thus, the forms outlined through depiction are closely related to the artist’s sophisticated interpretation of various historical “materials.” This is no longer the “Pop” vocabulary exhibited through conceptual games, but the action of letting brushstrokes of life deconstruct supports of consciousness. Through pleasant hand gestures that are resolute, sarcastic, and at times sharp, the appearance and disappearance, and variation, of history (supports) in depiction profoundly illustrate the sorrow and pity of diaspora. The fusion of “color lumps” and “supports” in the works is the multiple operation of “colors.” These “colors” always embody the artist’s powerful desires, while sharply facing the compulsion of history directly, ultimately achieving the appearance of “color dissolution.”

Based on these, Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Each Modern, and artist Zhao Gang, jointly conceptualize the cross-comparison of creative series, and transcendence of scale of work through time and space, as this is the only way to perceive the anthropography presented by the artist within this limited space-time.