Duration：2023.09.16 — 2023. 10. 28
Vernissage：9.16 Sat. 15:00-19:00
Venue：Vanguard Gallery，B1-8, 9 Qufu Road, Shanghai
Over the Hills Oil on canvas, 300x150cm, 2023
The exhibition is anchored by a series of large paintings with the width from three to four meters. The stacked mountains dominate the picture planes, their sharp edges cutting through the glowing mist. The maroon earth and the moist atmosphere suggests the distinct laterite-covered landscape in the artist’s hometown in Southeast China, while the swirling clouds with extra dry pigments recall those that adorn mythical murals. These new paintings carry Xiao Jiang’s signature style of contrasting texture, and using palpable brushstrokes to structure color-saturated and substantial forms.
There is no doubt that the depiction of the majestic mountains renders the paintings monumental. The image might have been inspired by the scenery backdrop of historical paintings with heroic scenes, or the long empty shots in films that imply solemn mood. In Xiao Jiang’s paintings, however, the landscape here is the protagonist, while the observers in the pictures, usually turning their backs against or journeying into the scene, join the audience in awe.
Suburb Oil on canvas, 50x35cm, 2023
In other works of the series, the scale of figure and landscape becomes so dramatic that it defies common perspective. It ties the works to a Romantic ideal that transposes men and nature. Meanwhile, the small works with urbanscape are snapshots packed with stoicism and geometric order. They are distilled representation of the sense of distance that the artist keeps from reality.
About the Artist | Xiao Jiang
Xiao Jiang was born in 1977 in Jiangxi Province, China. He lives and works in Shanghai. Xiao Jiang’s works depict landscape, figures, and interiors. His first institutional solo exhibition in Europe, “Ordinary Days”, will open in October at Lopez de la Serna CAC, Madrid. His recent solo exhibitions includes “Continuous Passage”, Karma, New York, 2022; “Mountains Aside”, Vanguard Gallery, Shanghai, 2021; “An Inward Odyssey”, Lianhua Apartment Space—Sifang Art Museum, Shanghai, 2021; “The Distant Mountains”, Platform China, Beijing, 2021; “In Common”, LEO Gallery, Hong Kong, 2020; and “Right in Sight”, Vanguard Gallery, 2018.