The Man of the Crowd



The Man of the Crowd

Duration: 2020.7.18-2020.8.29


BIdg 6,2555 Longteng Avenue, Shanghai, China


Just as brushstrokes on canvas, letters on paper also guide the viewers to wander among the constructed space of virtual reality. The first person narrative in the novel is also the perspective of the viewer when facing the canvas, which leads each ‘I’ to track the details of those passengers who walked by - “the innumerable varieties of figure, dress, air, gait, visage, and expression of countenance”. Eventually all emotions and features were merged into one old man, ‘I’ followed him across the city, chasing the crowd endlessly. The old man refused to be alone, nor does he allowed to be understood. He is the man of the crowd, a symbol of every human individual. The exhibiting artworks construct figurative but non-realistic images on the canvas. Through the frozen colours, gestures and expressions on canvases, viewers could also activate memory and imagination to turn moment into eternity, capture instantaneous consciousness of figure merely at a glance, and to further observe common and complex spiritual world of the crowd, therefore be able to perceive the nature of oneself and the essence of life.

About the Artists

Fang Wei was born in 1968 in Shanghai, currently lives and works in Shanghai. For a long period of time, he has been intrigued with the inherent qualities of human nature, to which he takes an embracing attitude to address its excitement, fear, solitude, ecstasy and sorrows. With an absurd, exaggerated, surreal approach, Fang employs a palette of dense and gorgeous colours, as well as unique strokes of wash technique to construct an array of spiritual imaginations. The human figure has been one of most important themes in Fang Wei’s practice, under his brush, images of men, women, Buddha, and God come into being as colours come together through blending and permeation to allow his figures become ambiguous and dissolving into the surrounding.

Jiang Cheng was born in 1985 in Zhejiang, currently lives and works in Beijing. The series ‘U’ is the abbreviation of ‘You’, which means everything except me, that is, everything I face or face directly. The series ‘e’ is the last letter of ‘she’ and ‘he’, which has the meaning of the others and also my point of view. In these two series, Jiang did not use sketches, a painting of this kind is the physical reaction when one facing the canvas, and the canvas is the extension of the body. Pigment is flesh and blood, canvas is the body, art history is the soul, and the artist is the sparks of nerve current in the moment of touching. Painting is the status when one facing it. Jiang Cheng regards painting as a kind of life activity.

Li Ran was born 1986 in Hubei, currently lives and works in Shanghai. Li Ran's works on canvas have placed the subject of the “person” - one that's forever impossible to restore - permanently on the stage. In these seemingly dichotomous settings, between “front stage” and “backstage”, “master” and “guest”, “friend” and “enemies”, Li Ran adopts a unique approach in conveying the complexity, disruption, and contradictions within these scenarios. His works mobilise a rich and diverse theatrical language, where details from each work resonate with the others and viewers could swap roles in these various scenes.