21 Nov 2019 ‑ 5 Feb 2020 (every Tue to Sat) 11am ‑ 7pm (8 hours)
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Hong Kong – Pace is pleased to present “Zhang Xiaogang‧Mao Yan‧Qiu Xiaofei”, a group exhibition featuring three well-known Chinese contemporary artists. The show includes Zhang Xiaogang’s newest paintings that have never been exhibited before, as well as Mao Yan’s and Qiu Xiaofei’s signature works from recent years. These three painters, active in the international art scene, are representatives of those who are dedicated to exploring and exerting the power of painting as a medium. In the field of using brush to narrate, Zhang Xiaogang, Mao Yan and Qiu Xiaofei all possess personal style and unique thinking; each brushstroke executed by their wrist is not only a manifestation of exquisite skills, but also instills abundant thinking and emotions. The exhibition will be on view at Pace Gallery in the H Queen’s building from November 22, 2019 – January 2, 2020, with an opening reception in the presence of Zhang Xiaogang and Qiu Xiaofei on Thursday, November 21 from 6 – 8 pm.

Zhang Xiaogang once said, “I am not a talented painter, but I am indeed a person who uses painting to express himself.” Zhang is recognized for integrating the introverted and sensitive qualities of his personality into his creation of art and presenting it through extremely refined brushworks with a warmth of life. The exhibition focuses on the artist’s continued use of narrative scenes and portraits, through a lens of constructed memory and imagination, in exploration of the nature of painting, autobiography and emotional sensibility. Both the technical and figurative composition of the works reflect the artist’s broad interrogation of the nature of painting as a physical manifestation of the unconscious and as interpretive of individual and collective memory, reflecting on the cultural terrain of contemporary China and questioning notions of identity.

The portraits by Mao Yan included in the exhibition display the artist’s signature aesthetic of gray ashen tones. In his work such as the well-known Thomas series, Mao Yan depicts everyday faces with fine and delicate brushstrokes, guiding his audience to enter an era of meditation and tranquility against the fast-paced world. In conjunction with this, his works hold an essence of revere for the historical and heritage value within the art of portraiture. Along with layers and infiltration of oil paint, the concrete and explicit subjects are gradually translated into an abstracted analogy. Within both the portraits and still-life pieces, Mao Yan conveys a profound connection between his brushstrokes and emotions, creativity and an existential exploration. His poetic strokes transform portraits, objects and landscapes into a spiritual medium that surpasses the reality.

As the youngest artist in the group exhibition, Qiu Xiaofei has already undergone enriching transformation in term of his vision for painting. Although his recent works barely appear to depict objective things, he is still telling stories via the context of autobiography and the history of painting. As he once said, “Painting starts with imagery and finally returns to imagery. In fact, my works are not purely abstract. There is concretization in my paintings, like spatial specifics…there is always a relationship between that and your consciousness and intentions…” Qiu’s recent works, such as The Trotsky Wilderness in the exhibition, reveal further reflection toward images and the language of painting, evoking not only the prolonged discussion of representation, but also a more conscious initiative: to awaken the potential of human perception hidden in the depths of the mind through shapes, colors, and the act of painting itself.