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Gong Yan

Ruelle - The Back-Alley

Je vous conduis dans un couloir tout blanc. Mais cette blancheur est, pour moi, comme un cran sur lequel ma mmoire et mon imagination projettent les rues de Shangha que j'ai tant parcourues pendant mon enfance.

Ruelle I
Dans le miroir chacun d'entre nous a pu voir nos images relles, puis cette image s'est brise en mme temps que le miroir et, pourtant, nous sommes demeurs bien rels. O se trouve la vraie ralit? Est-ce dans le miroir ou en-dehors du miroir?
Ce que l'on tient pour la ralit alors qu'il ne s'agit, peut-tre, que d'une illusion. Finalement toute ralit n'est-elle pas illusion?
(Video interactive 2004 Ecole Nationale Superieur de Paris)

Ruelle II
Vous tes ici dans ma chambre parisienne. Mais travers les petits trous vous pouvez voir la vue que j'ai depuis ma chambre de Shangha. Cette superposition de deux univers trangers l'un l'autre montre de nouveau l'ambigut de la ralit quand on vit alternativement dans deux mondes aussi lointains. Ainsi quand je referme sur moi la porte de ma chambre parisienne la ralit de Paris s'enfuit et, seule entre me quatre murs, c'est Shangha que je vis.
(Video 3D, chinese ink painting 2004 Ecole Nationale Superieur de Paris)

Rolf A. Kluenter

The invention of paper has improved the flow of mankind's communication. Papermaking was invented in China and after hundreds of years it made its way to the western world. Rolf A. Kluenter (*1956), however, went in the opposite direction: from Europe to Asia. More than 25 years ago he went to Kathmandu, Nepal. Then he wandered through Asia, from India to China.

Black paper is the primary ground and substance of Kluenter's current work. The paper was produced by the traditional method following the artist's additional instructions. By blackening the thick handmade paper with coal dust and by giving additional structure on the paper surface, the artist further alienates the medium.

On this lively material he draws dense lines and grids in white acrylic, which suit the uneven structure of the paper well. The graphical elements with Chinese ink or the structures and enhancements of white acrylic colour make a contrast. Kluenter names this phenomenon "going from the black to the light". Put together, both elements could therefore have a meditative balance, representing a peaceful dialogue between paperwork and grid, wouldn't Kluenter have integrated some medium-seriously disruptive action: irritating dots and spots, fractures, slants and distortions.

The artist, however, does not leave the Nepali paper just in its role as a carrier of the painting. In many of his paintings and objects, he works with the individually cut black handmade paper stripes. He arranges them in a way that they cross each other; he weaves the paper stripes into a net, folds them or punches holes on them.

The artist shows in his net-like wall objects e.g. that some rhythms just develop because they are a series of single steps. In the hand-made structure irregularities are already present, which - by overlaying several nets - will be enhanced, related or even entirely neutralized.

His works in this sense can be seen as the black answer to white marks on a virtual map: they show the borders of the enlightened art history and refer indirectly to other human abilities: improvisation for example.

Rolf A. Kluenter's works are the expression of his intellectual and spiritual exchanges with Asian religion, history and philosophy, as well as the interaction of the west and east inspiration.

Paul Schwer

Paul Schwer (*1951) was already a qualified medical doctor when he enrolled in Erwin Heerich's painting class at the Kunstakademie in D¨¹sseldorf. He graduated there in 1988. Besides teaching appointments at various art academies he showed work at numerous group and solo exhibitions in Germany and abroad. This year, the Kunstverein at Hanover presented one of his installations in an exhibition entitled Blast, and his one-man show at Museum Schloss Morsbroich in Leverkusen is on view until 12th September. Now, with Baozis & Boards, Galerie Bugdahn und Kaimer presents new works conceived specially for the Gallery space.

Up to the early 1990s, Paul Schwer's works were executed mainly as oil paintings on canvas. In titles and subjects he would draw on reality in a mimetic way, even though the 'depicted' element would defy a focus if a viewer should attempt it.- Therein already lay the artist's basic pictorial ideas. Since then, his painterly procedure has evolved into an experimental laboratory that takes polyester foil or sheets of glass, cloth or acrylic glass as the support for bold brushwork-applications of either acrylic paint or pigment in a buttermilk medium. Foil sheets printed with black-and-white photographs or acting as screens for projected films or slide images are also part of his repertoire. Schwer combines the individual elements with each other and places them in different locations in the exhibition space - hanging on the wall (shelves both single and racked, frieze-like rectangles); leaning against the wall (glass and acrylic sheets standing on the ground); covering the walls, all-over-fashion; arranged as tableaux on the ground and partially over architectural floodlights, thus the installation Blast ); set up in the middle of a room (round structures stapled together out of balls of foil - the Baozis) - hanging from ceiling to floor (lengths of cloth and foil); or again, strung athwart a room (Farbverspannungen or 'stretched colours' of tulle). This outline sketch of orders in which his work may be seen reflects Schwer's basic artistic drift - moving increasingly away from place, scale and function of the classical panel painting, the non-transparent rectangle hung on a wall at eye-level, and taking up the variables of the real ambient space to let it permeate the work's reality. In concrete terms this means the choice of a transparent support material (plastic foil, glass, etc.) that does not hide what it has of before and behind and which articulates the continuity of the space. These 'colour membranes' simultaneously allow the Directions that the three-dimensional space offers and that embody a host of Angles of Vision to be brought to bear (horizontal, vertical, various inclines). Finally, Schwer combines his cycles of work to form complex installations that provoke the viewer to perceive anew and more intensely; and that have us experience colour 'as an optical phenomenon' - as coloured light, that is; not as coloured material.

If at all, it is the Boards on show in this exhibition that still distantly recall the traditional panel painting. On wooden shelves mounted at eye-level, two or three layers of acrylic sheet, painted in monochrome colour are propped upright and lit from an artificial light source. Foils with black-and-white photographs of urban and nature fragments also make up part of this staggered set. Like the film and slide projections, these photographs act as a pointer to reality, but without resorting to reproduce it in paint; instead it emerges as a collage of quotes with the function of 'cutting' one into the other, the exhibition space and the outside space - and to imply an anchoring, a definition of location (such as Stralsund ). An effect running counter to the loosening up of the criterion of the outward demarcation of the picture occurs in the frieze-like wood constructions with a set made of foil sheets, coloured or with a photographic motif, they, too, backlit with fluorescent light. The more compact structure and spatial depth of these works lends them something of an object quality and they appear like showcases for a film running from the spool, and create the effect of a compaction of material.

With the pigment, as always, applied to be translucent, not opaque, the same principle of overlap and the blending and consolidation of colour is at work in the large-scale pieces composed of coloured glass positioned directly on the ground and leaning against the wall. When Schwer crumples and staples the painted pieces of foil together into his great Baozis what faces the beholder is matt and glossy surfaces acting as the facets of a sculpture-like heap of colour that, while appearing more corporeal than the other works, is yet weightless and delicate.

With almost scientific, penetrating method, Paul Schwer runs through the gamut of the contemporary possibilities of painting in the postmodern era. The transparent construction of his installations and their unballasted lightness imbue the colour anew with vitality, intensity and beauty.

Zhang Jian-Jun

Zhang Jian-Jun's (*1955) diverse projects include series of drawings, paintings and photographically based work and installations of large sculpture. In the recent series Time Chapter, he has altered large format photographs of historic Chinese and western architecture with painted additions of modernist forms. In his China Series Zhang may alter antique Chinese pots themselves or uses paint over photographs to reshape their image. The range of Zhang¡¯s interests and his ability to reference thousands of years of art history are in line with the numerous influences he sites, including Asian philosophies of antiquity and early 20th century European art.

part one: time, water, black board, rice paper, performance, video
part two: oil paint, sumi-ink, rice paper on linen each panel: 260 cm x 145 cm, 6 panels total
This work is in two parts. Part one is a performance/video, part two is a painting.
For part one, I chose 40 painted water images from traditional chinese to western contemporary art history, and projected these images on a wall. While the water images were projected, I drew these water images with clear water on rice paper mounted on a black board. As the water dried, my water-painted images gradually faded away. This performance was documented by video, which was then played during the exhibition.
Part two, a painting exhibited on the opposite wall, is the movement of water. It used oil paint and sumi-ink, representing two cultures.

The form of human culture changes in response of the evolving times, ideology, and global politics. The present continually wears away, and is replaced by the new. At the same time, a portion of the old is retained, but it assimilates with its replacement to form something innovative with a touch of tradition.
The installation "Sumi-Ink Garden of Re-creation" follows the conventions of the architectural style of Chinese scholar gardens. In the center, there are six Tai-Hui rocks made out of solidified sumi-ink. Water is pumped from the reservoir at the base of he three smaller rocks, Once at the top, the water trickles down along the exterior, and returns to the container. As the same time elapses, the the rocks will gradually wear away. Photographs are taken periodically to record this process of erosion. They will be collected along with the residuals of the sumi-ink Tai Hu rocks.
The three wooden barriers create a sense of closure, yet they provide space and freedom. These barriers are designed to have rippling shapes to mimic the defining characteristics of contemporary
The floor of the exhibition is tiled with old bricks that date backe more than three hundred years. (Purchased from a village in Guangdong Provinve.)
Five black goldfish swim in a shallow pool, placed on the floor of the exhibition space.

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