Granary Art Exhibition, Shandong

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Granary Art Centre , Sishui, Shandong

It is not often contemporary art is brought into the countryside of Shandong. The exhibition title ‘Seeking Spring by the Riverside on a fine day ‘ is taken from Song dynasty poet Zhu Xi. Shandong is home to centuries of tradition and learning, the birthplace of Confucius is only 40mins drive away from the Granary art museum. At the foot of rolling hills this special contemporary exhibition curated by Tie Xin opened on May 25th. In the exhibition essay by poet Liu Xi, he writes that the search for ‘the good” is sincere and necessary and is a way of integrating nature and humanity…’.

Participating artists with Granary Art Centre people

 A huge thank you to the group of interesting artists who set up this unusual art and library refuge four years ago and to Tian Bing  and to exhibition director Yue ShenFeng for hosting and facilitating this exhibition and to all the staff such as Chen ling and Dong Ying , teacher Zhao Yue Feng and other teachers . Special thanks also to the impressive participating artists whose company made for a truly great weekend.

I seek Spring by the riverside on a fine day ,

The boundless scenery is a refreshing sight.

I feel a touch of the east wind here and there

Spring blossoms in a blaze of colour.

Zhu Xi (1130-1200)

The participating artists include:

周伟华Zhou Weihua (Jinan), 郭振宇Guo Zhenyu (Jinan), 邢小震Xing Xiaozhen (Jinan), 苏梓寒Su Zihan (Beijing), 严支胜Yan Zhisheng (Shanghai), 刘   园Liu Yuan (Weifang), 铁心Tie Xin (Jinan), 瑞莲 Niamh Cunningham (Beijing/Ireland )

Tie Xin speaks at the exhibition opening

周伟华Zhou Weihua

周伟华Zhou Weihua

Zhou Weihua was active in the contemporary art circles of Beijing and Shanghai in the 1990s. Using solid oil painting skills in Pop Art and Surrealism the series “Easy Travel” and “Play Together” were pioneering back in the day and remain steadfast. Then there was a turn. The “Let’s Ask” series focuses on the splicing and reorganization of objects, focusing on metaphors and symbols, reflecting the leading philosophies of the era. His installation work negotiates spaces in the world of planners and designers

周伟华Zhou Weihua

What the artist says:

My original intention was to express words from the heart more clearly. For this I explored several different paths. These are two such paths each expressing their own ideas. Everyone is different from each other. Yet there is also a sameness. Everyone is good but alongside evil also exists. We are all free but we also contain an involuntary capacity. Everyone is screaming and but sometimes doing so in silence. Each of us is dancing like a donkey daily. Everyone has to confront themselves daily even when they don’t want to. I always think that everyone is good at being themselves, the world is fine, but they can’t do it as solitary individuals .

周伟华Zhou Weihua

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郭振宇Guo Zhenyu

郭振宇Guo Zhenyu

Guo Zhenyu, whose works are deeply influenced by German new expressionism, with rich knowledge, broad vision and premonition, strong physical strength, combined with impressive ambition, skillfully using modern and post-modern art techniques to create an imagination full of mystery. It is also a meeting of east and west at the metaphysical level, it is a world of art.

郭振宇Guo Zhenyu

What the artist says :

“Cornfield -Starry Sky” is when wheat is ripened and a full moon is aligned. The universe has its intrinsic energy and is synchronized with space and time. The seed is the planet earth and the planet is the seed of the sky with uniform rules and temperament. The fragmentation of the information in Twilight, the deconstruction of the human subject and the digitization of civilization itself show the constant virtual reality. ‘Young reed shoot’ (蒹葭) considers the natural state of life, which is synergistic with the four seasons, compatible with yin and yang and has the contingency essence of emptiness. This is a search for the spiritual world of the ancient literati who are lonely, faint, solitary, cold, lofty, constant, and guarded.

郭振宇Guo Zhenyu (with thread)

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邢小震Xing Xiaozhen

邢小震Xing Xiaozhen

With a Sino- French training background Xing Xiaozhen is committed to the integration of Chinese and Western art. Drawing on the traditional Chinese green landscape, exotic palace gardens and folk art are all incorporated into the process. Simultaneously Western avant-garde gaudy art and pop language are boldly absorbed to make their works more comprehensive and contemporary. Diverse Chinese and Western skills are interwoven as a “Chinese story” of contemporary color patterns.

邢小震Xing Xiaozhen

What the artist says:

The aim is to give the work an indescribable potential meaning, convey an unconventional emotional narrative and critical state and explore the possibility of an alternative freer language of painting.

邢小震Xing Xiaozhen

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苏梓寒Su Zihan

苏梓寒Su Zihan
苏梓寒Su Zihan

Su Zihan avails of a flat, super-realistic technique that combines artistic styles including photography, stitching, surrealist settings, combined to present a contemporary person. His “Horse” series has clear symbols and strong metaphors. The horse is a running animal. In a world of mechanics, strange and static pieces, there is no way to do it. There is nothing to do. People are meant to be wrought as horses, yet people are alienated into objects.

 苏梓寒Su Zihan
苏梓寒Su Zihan

What the artist says:

My work aims to relate existential reading and present existence by means of painting.

 苏梓寒Su Zihan
苏梓寒Su Zihan

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严支胜Yan Zhisheng (Jason Yan)

严支胜Yan Zhisheng
严支胜Yan Zhisheng

Yan Zhisheng is an artist with a strong sense of the times. Using a realistic approach he presents a fictional picture. The “Gust” series is fixated with clothes, architecture, clouds and wind. This triggers the viewer’s feelings and heartbeat. It opens a social setting with simple personal items. Metaphors express the present and transcendend ordinary objects. The current unspeakable state of life.

严支胜Yan Zhisheng
严支胜Yan Zhisheng

What the artist says

In the process of urbanization can we escape fate which is blowing in the wind? The amount of time spent on youth ….in the arrow of time….. can we deny life without roots?

严支胜Yan Zhisheng
严支胜Yan Zhisheng

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刘园Liu Yuan

刘 园Liu Yuan
刘 园 Liu Yuan

Liu Yuan, the youngest artist in this exhibition chose to take the initiative in painting. People may well be reminded of Monet’s later years. Liu focusses on the ‘written’ line, emphasizing rhythm and beat. In order to achieve subjective metaphysical realm there appears to be a choice of the visual plain and molten clay frame. This is the purpose of the East way. The technique is between performance and abstraction. The style is juxtaposed and graceful, and both wild and elegant.

刘 园 Liu Yuan
刘 园 Liu Yuan

What the artist says :

The “Quiet” series depicts flowers in night light, removing details of daytime vision we search for the light in the black. The frame is transformed by the extended material and space to reflect ever-changing laws of nature, peeling off the surface of everything and deepening into it. It positions this abstract natural gas into a rhythmic and musical expression.

刘 园 Liu Yuan
刘 园 Liu Yuan

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铁心Tie Xin

  铁心Tie Xin
铁心Tie Xin

Tie Xin is a painter, a poet and a conceptual artist. His works have both classic aesthetic consciousness and contemporary performance skills. In the artistic pursuit of self-consciousness they carry metaphorical ideological motives, concrete symbolic guidance and clear creative intentions. They are a combination of tradition and contemporary, abstract and concrete. The painting’s textural expressions and process reflect a comprehensive and versatile contemporary artist.

  铁心Tie Xin
铁心Tie Xin

What the artist says:

My paintings are aimed for social attention, exhibited here on rough stone granary walls, and they have the effect of time telling narratives.

  铁心Tie Xin
铁心Tie Xin

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瑞莲 Niamh Cunningham

Niamh Cunningham 瑞莲

瑞莲 Niamh Cunningham

Niamh Cunningham is an Irish artist. Inspired by the literary narrative of Ulysses, the “Wandering Rocks” portrait series uses a unique approach to combine reality and virtual elements to create a phantom water-wave language that allows images and memories to interact and perceive. A new painting narrative. Ruilian has been engaged in artistic creation and activities in China for a long time. She has explored the fusion of Chinese and Western paintings.

瑞莲 Niamh Cunningham
瑞莲 Niamh Cunningham

What the artist says:

There are times we recognize many different people in the same person. Recasting people I know personally as characters in the famous book Ulysses allows each portrait become more universal and timeless. In searching for the other we find ourselves. Digital distortions and face recognition both by artificial intelligence and human reading of faces is intriguing to me.

瑞莲 Niamh Cunningham
瑞莲 Niamh Cunningham

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A big thank you to all the people at the Art Granary in SiShui county, especially to artist/curator Tie Xin. Poet Liu Xi you were very patient to explain things to me , thank you for sharing your ideas. And poet Xing Fu Hui thank you for telling me about your fondness for Seamus Heaney and his poetry.

Acknowledgments:

Individual artist profiles have been borrowed from the exhibition essay by Liu Xi with his kind permission.

Media Link 1

Media Link 2

Artworks by Tie Xin 铁心 & Niamh Cunningham 瑞莲
Granary Art Museum