Vanguard Gallery is delighted to participate in Art Basel Hong Kong 2023, at booth 3D20, with a solo presentation of Liao Fei’s recent bodies of works, including a new series of sculptures and his signature paper-based works. This latest project will revolve around the artist’s signature research on everyday materials that could be interpreted as portals into the world of metaphysics.
Chiral Extent 24
The project consists of three distinct but intertwined parts. ‘Chiral Extent’ (2021-), the artist’s newly premiered sculpture series, is a formal experiment inspired by gestural communication both in the spiritual realm and among scientific research: in Buddhist art and practice, a variety of hand gestures termed ‘mudra’ are employed to convey specific ritual connotations; while in modern science, handedness, denominated as ‘chirality’, defines an asymmetrical object which cannot be superimposed onto its mirror image. In either case, the use of hands has facilitated human conception of existences far beyond cognition. Liao Fei demonstrates his conceptual principle by showcasing variations of hand constructions following a deductive sequence, unveiling metaphysical temperament contained in everyday materials.
Partially Obscured Circles 3
Matte silver cardstock, paint pen coloring｜250×143cm｜2022
The intersection of spiritual ideas and everyday life continues in ‘Intersection’ (2021-). Works in this series extract overlapped areas of Chinese characters in set phrases, such as ‘yīn guǒ’ (‘karma’) or ‘tài kōng’ (‘akasa’), which derived from the Buddhist lexicon and has become common expressions in sinophonic cultures. Along with this series are origami pieces titled ‘Partially Obscured Circles’ (2021-), where 9 identical square sheets of paper with silver acrylic circles are folded and rotated according to microscopic combination rules. Through the dimension-transforming folding process, an abstract pattern becomes apparent, suggesting a divine revelation. Liao manages to manifest intricate shapes out of mere geometric elements which resembles inexplicable or spiritual relics found on various religious sites.
Intersection (tài kōng/yīn guǒ)
PVC board, marker｜38×53.2cm*3｜2021
This recent series of works showcases Liao Fei’s latest investigation on Buddhist objects and rituals. His works continue with his long-term practice based on the substance of material, informed by various schools of scientific and mathematical thinking that intend to overcome subjectivity and relativity. Words, geometric shapes, and religious rituals, as ordinary and concrete as they might seem, are proof of the human being’s never-ending effort in envisaging a world beyond the horizon or within ourselves.
Download PDF: Liao Fei at Basel Hong Kong 2023 – Vanguard Gallery
ABOUT THE ARTIST | Liao Fei
Liao Fei explores the relationship and tension in materials in his works – between reality and geometry, between cognition and mysticism, between duality and simplification. Following the kernel of “material”, the creation of Liao Fei has always been alert to the rule itself and its consequent “truth”, aspiring to approximate the essence of the material in a more practical approach. While drawing attention to the broader concepts related to these relationships, his works also reveal the metaphysical temperament contained in everyday materials. Consequent to Liao Fei’s multifaceted lens, material forms that are generally imperceptible or habitually disregarded manage to gain visibility, providing thus stage for original insight of human cognitive construction and operation.
Liao Fei was born in Jiangxi in 1981. He graduated from Shanghai Normal University in 2006. He is now based in Shanghai. His recent solo exhibitions include: Art Basel Hong Kong solo project at Vanguard booth, Hong Kong, China (2023); “Depiction”, The Cloister Project, Shanghai, China (2021—2022); “Is everything a contingent occurence”, OCAT Shanghai, China (2021); “Res Extensa”, Vanguard Gallery X O Art Center, Shanghai, China (2018); “Plain”, Shanghai Museum of Glass, Shanghai, China (2016); “Perspective”, YveYang Gallery, Boston, USA (2016); “The Equater”, Vanguard Gallery, Shanghai, China (2016). He also participated in the following group exhibitions: “A Journey of Love and Memory”，Being Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2022—2023); “Being Theoria: 4th Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art”, Zhejiang Art Muesuem, Zhejiang, China (2022); “Warehouse Story VIII — On Your Mark!”, Vanguard Gallery, Shanghai, China (2022); “Silent Thunder”, UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China (2021); “Dis-/Continuing Traditions: Contemporary Video Art from China”, Salamanca Arts Centre, Stamania, Australia (2021); “The C”, Tank Shanghai, Shanghai, China (2020); “ANNEALING”, Shanghai Museum of Glass, China (2020); “In the Open or in Stealth—The Unruly Presence of an Intimate Future”, MACBA Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain (2018); “Botanic Project, Busan Museum of Art”, Busan, Korea (2018); “Frontier:Re-assessment of Post-Globlisational Politics”, OCAT Institute, Beijing, China (2018); “The 5th Huayu Youth Award”, Huayu Art Center, Sanya, China (2017); “Today’s Yesterday—Anren Biennial”, OCAT, Chengdu, China (2017); “The New Normal: China, Art, and 2017”, UCCA, Beijing, China (2017); “Why Not Ask Again: Arguments, Counter-arguments, and Stories”, The 11th Shanghai Biennale, Power Station of Art, China (2016–2017).