▲ 彩虹 2020-1
纸本设色 Ink and Color on Paper
▲ Wassily Kandinsky
Cossacks (Part of the Composition IV)
Oil on Canvas
The Boundary of Objecthood
Written by Seraph Ran
Looking back at the artistic career, Hang Chunhui is accustomed to use gray tones to express art, which implies his calm examination and rational thinking. He seems to isolate himself from the daily prosperity and explore the relationship between the forms of natural objects, abstraction and concrete schema. The new work entitled "Rainbow 2020-1" presents a completely different visual appearance. The evolution of his creative style is determined and inevitable, following his inherent logic.
▲"The Incidental of the Fundamental - Hang Chunhui's Art Practice" Onsite View, Guangdong Museum of Art
The creative motive of "Rainbow 2020-1" is derived from the series of "In-Definite Reproduction", which continues Hang Chunhui's long-term thinking and exploration regarding visual truth. The visual confusion is realized through the relationship between cold and warm, as well as light and dark. Thus, it provides viewers an enlarged and infinite space of illusion. Nevertheless, this kind of vision never develop towards the direction of space and field as it of minimalist works, it keeps staying in the wall. In the creative practice of exploring visual validity, Hang Chunhui gradually removed the concrete schema of objects and their referring narrative characteristics.
Hang Chunhui's creative practice embodies Michael Fred's reflection on minimalism and the reductionist tendency in Greenberg's modernism theory. Minimalist artists completely abandoned painting, no longer willing to work on flat surfaces. To some extent, they turned from two-dimensional surfaces into three-dimensional forms. For instance, minimalist artists Robert Morris and Donald Judd emphasized the "integrity" of "single shape", and claims that "shape is an object". In the article "Shape as Form: Frank Stella’s Irregular Polygons"(1966), Michael Fried pointed out that "the development of modernist painting requires the ability of shape as a medium, convincing us that visual artworks from our sights are paintings, not objects from daily life". Modernism is aware of the literalism of the painting base, that is, the planeness, unevenness and proportions of the base, which is actually a kind of "objecthood". Therefore, modernist painting uses the base as a medium and realizes that art needs to deal with the tension between the painted content and the base ingeniously.
Through establishing a continuity between the reproducible or abstract painted shape and the actual shape (sculpture or frame base), Hang Chunhui gives real objects an illusion, blurring the boundary between the shape as basic attributes of the object, and shapes of the painting. Taking "Spatial Narrative(Homage to Judd)" as an example, Hang Chunhui adds hand-painted traces to the form of Donald Judd's "single shape", pursuing the continuity and integration of the base shape and the painted shape. As Michael Fred mentioned in his criticism of minimalism in “Art and Objecthood” in Art and Objecthood: Essays and Reviews, Modernist painting defeats or suspends its objecthood. The key factor lies in the shape, which must belong to the painting rather than the actual shape. Literalism art focuses on the shape of established characteristics of an object, which ignores a seek to defeat or suspend its physical properties. On the contrary, it discovers and highlights this kind of objecthood."
▲ Onsite View of "Indefinite Rhetoric - Hang Chunhui Solo Exhibition", Asia Art Center
Faced with the new contemporary context, contemporary art has made a comprehensive breakthrough in the concept of traditional art, and has derived an independent system in the construction of images. Imagery has become a possible resistance for contemporary art to seek new development possibilities. As a result, contemporary art has gradually transformed into "fuzzy images" and "de-image", that is, to show the value of works by focusing on the artist's individual experience. From a certain perspective, Hang Chunhui gradually deviated from the faithful representation of the shelves, and arranged the composition of the works appropriately in a rigorous logical order according to aesthetic accumulation and innovative methods.
Hang Chunhui not only respects objective vision, but also retains the contingency of painting. In this context, "Rainbow 2020-1" is regarded as an extension of the "In-Definite Reproduction" series, which uses a subjective abstract combination to show the fuzzy attributes between concrete and abstract, subjective and objective. In "Rainbow 2020-1", color becomes an expressive element of form, rather than an expressive dimension of art. To a certain extent, the sense of order of color builds up the rhythm of the picture. When the color is perfect, the form is complete. This "form" is not the form of objective natural things, nor is it a form of reproduction or imitation, but an abstract and symbolic form refined by art, which is the aesthetic emotion displayed by the art form. As Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) stated, the form is concrete and integral when the color is abundant. It does not mean to preset a program that completely covers the paint on the canvas, but when wiping out the first color, he tries to use the perception of color to blend with the next color according to the development trend of the color patterns.
The basic unit of the color gradient drawn in "Rainbow 2020-1" is a linear composition of picture frames. In each basic unit, the artist objectively presents the attributes of "objects", the shaping of light and dark surfaces, contours and shadows. And between each unit, it shows the progressive relationship of rectangular color blocks with unlimited width. Throughout the creative process, Hang Chunhui emphasized the principle of openness, embracing every new contingency. As a result, uncontrollable color gradients also present a perceptual reproduction.
There are also many ingenious rainbow masterpieces in the history of Western art. In Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944)’s “Cossacks (Part of the Composition IV)” (1910), the pattern of the rainbow is still in the form of a curved arch, with a large abstract color block is reproducibly traced. In Paul Klee's (1879-1940) work “With the Rainbow” (1917), rainbow is deconstructed and reassembled like a vortex, and its highly saturated color also adds a bit distorted conjecture. Hang Chunhui's "Rainbow 2020-1" is forward-looking, which not only subverts the reproduction and description of the natural form of the rainbow, but also integrates color into an element of form, hiding the artist's perceptual concept in the original visual color of the rainbow.
In addition, Hang Chunhui injected inner vitality and soul of the times into "Rainbow 2020-1". "Rainbow 2020-1" , created during the COVID-19 period, overturns the usual creative techniques and displays with its bright and colorful colors. The unexpected disaster does not presuppose an ideal space and current situation for the artist, which requires the creator to perceive and shape the experience and perception in the disaster with a more sincere attitude and a sharper artistic sense. This work reveals the Hang Chunhui's thoughts regarding the authorities of the epidemic, his beautiful hopes for the dark catastrophe, with a deep sorrow. This kind of romantic sublime sense makes human aware of their insignificance and helplessness. Although art cannot be an effective cure for the epidemic, it brings warmth and expectations to people's ideological realm.
This work seems to be a perceptual interlude on the path of Hang Chunhui's rational reproduction of creation, which makes people look forward to his prologue experiment and research.
学术注解 Academic Annotation
1. 保罗·塞尚（Paul Cézanne，1839-1906）：是一位著名法国画家，风格介于印象派到立体主义画派之间。他的作品为19世纪的艺术观念转换到20世纪的艺术风格奠定基础，对亨利·马蒂斯和巴勃罗·毕加索产生极大的影响。塞尚使用的绘画方式，以及他认为自然界所有物品皆可由圆柱，球体与椎体等三种结构组成的艺术主张深刻影响并革新了20世纪的新美术，被誉为“当代艺术之父”。代表作：《圣维克多山》（1882-1885）、《静物与窗帘》（1895）、《头骨金字塔》（1902）等。
1. Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) was a famous French painter whose style is between Impressionism and Cubism. His works laid the foundation for the transformation of artistic concepts from the 19th century to the artistic styles of the 20th century, and had a great influence on Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. Cézanne's painting method and his artistic proposition that all objects in nature can be composed of three structures: cylinders, spheres and cones have profoundly influenced and revolutionized the new art of the 20th century, and he is known as the "father of contemporary art". Cézanne’s representative works include Mont Sainte-Victore (1882-1885), Still Life with a Curtains (1895), Pyramid of Skulls (1902), etc.
2. 迈克尔·弗雷德 （1939-）：美国当代艺术史家和艺术批评家，著有《聚精会神与剧场性：狄德罗时代的绘画与观众》（1981）、《库尔贝的现实主义》（1992）、《马奈的现代主义》（1998）、《艺术与物性：论文与评论集》（1998）等。
2. Michael Martin Fried (1939-) was an American contemporary art historian and art critic. He was also the author of Absorption and Theatricality: Painting and Beholder in the Age of Diderot (1988), Courbet’s Realism (1992), Manet’s Modernism: or, The Face of Painting in the 1860s (1998), Art and Objecthood: Essays and Reviews (1998) , etc.
3. 克莱门特·格林伯格（1909-1994）: 20世纪下半叶美国最重要的艺术批评家，也是该时期整个西方最重要的艺术批评家之一。代表作品：《艺术与文化》、《格林伯格艺术批评文集》。
3. Clement Greenberg (1909-1994) was the greatest art critic in the United States in the second half of the 20th century, and one of the greatest art critics in the West during that period. His representative books include Art and Culture: Critical Essays , The Collected Essays and Criticism, etc.
4. 瓦西里‧康丁斯基（Wassily Kandinsky，1866-1944）：出生于俄罗斯的画家和美术理论家。皮特·蒙德里安、马列维奇和康定斯基被认为是抽象艺术的先驱。代表作：《构成》系列等。
4. Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) was a Russian-born painter and art theorist. Pete Mondrian, Malevich and Kandinsky are considered the pioneers of abstract art. Kandinsky’s representative works include"Composition" series, etc.
5. 保罗‧克利（Paul Klee，1879-1940）：是一位瑞士裔的德国籍的画家。画风被封为超现实主义、立体主义和表现主义。他对色彩的变化有独特的鉴赏力，成熟时期的作品更大量采用多种多样的混合媒材，例如沙子或木屑等，创作出具有特别张力画作。代表作：《Fish Magic》、 《Zitronen》、《Viaducts Break Ranks》等。
5. Paul Klee (1879-1940) was a German painter of Swiss origin. His style of painting was named Surrealism, Cubism and Expressionism. He had a unique appreciation for color changes, and his mature works used a variety of mixed media, such as sand or wood chips, to create paintings with special tension. Klee’s representative works include "Fish Magic", "Zitronen", "Viaducts Break Ranks", etc.
Asia Art Center (Taipei II)
齐物 - 杭春晖个展 Intertextuality - Hang Chunhui Solo Exhibition
Asia Art Center (Beijing)
不分明 - 杭春晖个展 Ambiguity - Hang Chunhui Solo Exhibition
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