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Curatorial Practitioner: Carlie Yixuan Chang & Jing Jin

Magician Space is pleased to announce our next exhibition Tang Yongxiang: Shape from May 15th to June 27th, 2020. Eleven new paintings by the artist will be presented in this exhibition with a unique display approach. Launching with the long-term artistic practice of Tang Yongxiang, this project aims at investigating painting as a type of media, and how the painting is transferred between its materiality and the depicted objects. Magician Space will be holding both ‘reality’ and ‘virtual’ platforms simultaneously during the exhibition for the first time, to develop intertextuality between the two types of contexts and connect the subjective and objective worlds in the eyes of the artist as well as audiences.

The exhibiting works reflect Tang Yongxiang’s artistic practice since 2012. Using the photos that he takes randomly in daily life as the references, Tang depicts those images accordingly on canvas. And then, adding layers of paint and covering the previous that he painted constantly, in this process, Tang Yongxiang examines and refines the relationship of different objects. This gradual and literal action lasts till recognizable forms are abstracted and evolved to an ideal condition – as it visions in the consciousness of this artist – a subtle balance between shape and shape, shape and space. The painting thus becomes a feeler of the artist, assisting his enduring observation, digestion, and absorption of the objective world and factor it into his own use.

In the paintings that Tang Yongxiang creates, the truth of the objective world is hiding in the shell of the subjective world. The composition in appearance is quiet and neat, negative shapes and positive shapes are attracting yet still restricting one another. All the focuses and contrasts are erased meticulously by the artist, fulfilling his pieces an impression of elegance and cautious. However, the striking thickness of the paints implies tensions and indicates his tangle and struggle in the process of making these paintings. He uses rather unadorned brushstroke and states the process of internalizing frankly, yet at the same time, the traces of subjective expression are hidden meticulously. Tang Yongxiang says, “a piece of art is like the scene of the incident, it has been cleaned when it finished. But if you check carefully, you would still see clues of what has happened.” Rich details grow in the layers and then vanish, but left traces in an unexpected area, which develops sober and obscure hints. This not only grants Tang Yongxiang’s painting strong personality but also triggers the unlimited curiosity of audiences.

In order to achieve the best presenting the traits of Tang Yongxiang’s paintings, for the first time Magician Space is combining both ‘reality’ and ‘virtual’ platforms. Both opposite and unified perspectives are woven in it, so to encourage the audience to experience the two approaches of looking ‘gazing’ and ‘capturing’. Through the curating in ‘reality’ platform, the physical exhibition space, the observers will be able to track, detect, and cognizance the painting method of the artist according to their personal experience; through the website and social media of Magician Space, the ‘virtual’ platform is built up to reinforce detailed information of each piece from the perspective of the artist and reveal the hidden consciousness moments that on the back of images. Also, both platforms will capture the unique personality and habits of the artist through the interchangeable responding method.

This project is another stage exhibition since the last solo of Tang Yongxiang at Magician Space in 2017. In the past three years, Tang Yongxiang paints constantly, which granted him a more profound understanding of the technique and media. Except for the distinctive depiction of shapes which he has been practising, he is also experimenting with different size and colour range subtly. And he deems they are natural changes that generate from life experience and inner feeling. “The painting of Tang Yongxiang is unique with lingering charm beyond time, each time of gazing you would discover a different relationship of forms and shapes, which triggers different senses and thoughts” as Qu Kejie the founder of Magician Space says, “Based on my knowledge, more and more audiences are expecting to see his further achievements, this motives us to present this project during the event Gallery Weekend Beijing 2020 that attracts large public attention.”

Tang Yongxiang: Shape

Shape, exhibition view

A Group of People with Heads in Blue, 2020, oil on canvas, 200 x 300cm

Two Potted Flowers on Yellow, Blue at the Top, Lines at the Bottom, 2020, oil on canvas, 150 x 180cm

Shape, exhibition view

Two Trees, Some Green on the Left One, 2020, oil on canvas, 200 x 300cm

Shape, exhibition view

Shape, exhibition view

A Female Figure at the Lower-right, Many Red Blocks at the Top, 2020, Oil on canvas, 150 x 130cm