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“I materialized the spatial relationships in the painting into color blocks and imagined them as toy building blocks. The purpose of stacking the blocks is not to create a stable structure similar to a monument. The most attractive part to me is the moment before the blocks collapse— pulled between stability and instability, doubting stability itself in a stable manner.’

——Wu Chen

 

Magician Space is pleased to present Wu Chen’s solo exhibition ‘The Serious Wu and the Mischievous Chen’. This exhibition is the artist’s fourth solo exhibition at Magician Space.

 

The exhibition is curated by Yang Zi. It showcases the artist’s thinking and advancement of painting work since 2023.

 

The works in this solo exhibition are based on the artist’s thoughts on “power”. The “power” here mainly refers to the psychological impression that the painting creates on the viewer, rather than mere considerations of physical gravity.

 

In “A Spell, Dream Hair Salon” (2023), a lying rabbit squashes a watermelon; its buttocks easily lift three pieces of the fruit. The top watermelon says ” Dream Hair Salon ” in Uyghur. The flowy fonts leisurely pass over the top of the painting, as if to mock the tension between the objects below the painting. In “Three Conflicting Emotions” (2023), the metal block engraved with a fly cracks. It is squeezed tightly within the boundaries of the picture; the gaps are filled with colorful rocks. In “Dangerous Liaison” (2023), the load-bearing structure of the picture is further exposed. The black square in the lower left corner extends all the way to the blue sphere in the upper right corner, diagonally across the white area filled with cracked texture. In these paintings, Wu Chen’s psychological provocation of the audience has reached its limit: the thrill of approaching and the exhilaration of imaginary objects collapsing extend the sense of duration of the viewing experience. Wu Chen said: “I materialized the spatial relationships in the painting into color blocks and imagined them as toy building blocks. The purpose of stacking the blocks is not to create a stable structure similar to a monument. The most attractive part to me is the moment before the blocks collapse— pulled between stability and instability, doubting stability itself in a stable manner.’

 

While stimulating and depicting the spiritual power, the artist also gives order to the damage, making the picture logically credible. As mentioned above, he tries to limit the process of creative transformation within the framework of self-growth, allowing his present self to fight against his past self. He slyly avoids the homogeneous issue of Chinese paintings on canvas today: how to deal with the grafting of various cultural heritage contexts. Occasionally, he would take one or two points from these connections, tell a story, and vigilantly maintain his independence and initiative.

 

As the title of his early work “Portrait of Wu and Chen” foreshadows, Wu Chen is divided and lonely, sometimes lively, sometimes serious, with connections and references, but without connections to rely on.

Wu Chen: The Serious Wu and the Mischievous Chen

Wu Chen: The Serious Wu and the Mischievous Chen, exhibition view

Wu Chen: The Serious Wu and the Mischievous Chen, exhibition view

(L)Dangerous Liaison, 2023, acrylic on canvas, oil pastels, crackle paste, 200 x 150 cm
(R)Sunrise or Sunset, 2023, acrylic on canvas, markers, oil pastels, 200 x 150 cm

Wu Chen: The Serious Wu and the Mischievous Chen, exhibition view

Wu Chen: The Serious Wu and the Mischievous Chen, exhibition view

Wu Chen: The Serious Wu and the Mischievous Chen, exhibition view

Wu Chen: The Serious Wu and the Mischievous Chen, exhibition view

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