Vanguard gallery


Tang Chao: SHIMMER


Nonphysical - session II

Duration: from October 17, 2021, onward

Access I

Access II

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Vanguard Gallery is pleased to present Tang Chao's solo project “Shimmer”, inviting the viewers to embark on a virtual journey. Opening online on October 17, “Shimmer” is the second project at Vanguard Gallery’s “Nonphysical” program, aspiring to explore the possibilities of artistic concepts, ideas and forms in non-physical context.

“Shimmer” manifests itself taking advantage of digital maps and public reviews net as its foundation, where the artist has flagged a number of virtual locations that bridge between reality and illusion. Guided by the keywords provided by Tang Chao, the viewers can therefore locate and virtually visit each location, as well as browsing through paintings and videos displayed on their corresponding homepage. By switching and shifting among different locations with the navigation mode on, the viewers are enabled to discover trivial things shimmering in corners of everyday life: from natural creations such as flowers, bees, and eagles flying across the Alps, to inventions and constructions of the human world such as car flow, neon lights, and religious sites... The works in this series collectively compose an illusive universe.

A sequence of paintings and videos is selected by the artist in accordance with each specific site: from Cape Verde in the Atlantic Ocean to the equator, and even going beyond the outer space, the artist manages to soar to the cyber “cloud” and “sketch” these landscapes. His drawings of trees, rocks, and leopards on small flock paper seem to morph into heterodimensional being with totem-like patterns. Taking inspiration from Japanese actor Kimura Takuya’s cooking philosophy of using local ingredients, all the materials of Tang Chao’s videos are sourced online: streaming media, game interfaces, maps or movie screenshots, as well as videos taken on the artist's personal smartphone. All found materials are rearranged, reprocessed, and converted into lo-fi collages to stimulate the viewer’s own interpretation.

Tang Chao weaves his sightseeing over the cloud into a loosely structured visual essay. The project responses to the individual struggle and anxiety among a million trivia that saturate our contemporary life, and the inevitable drift into the vortex of nature, digital image, and power structure.


"Nonphysical" is a newly established unit at Vanguard Gallery. Compared to exhibitions in the physical space, "Nonphysical" is an independent arena of its own, using online exhibitions and other "non-physical" platforms to present conceptual creations and formal constructions by artists. "Nonphysical" does not set specific subjects, but rather three projects are realized each year, constituting a conversation among themselves to promote exchange, create environments, explore directions, and exercise ideas.