ChinaSquare is pleased to present SEMIOSIS, a group show featuring Cui Guotai, He Duoling, Mao Yan, Zhang Xiaotao, Zhong Biao and Zhu Wei. Curated by Robert C. Morgan, SEMIOSIS will be on view from March 6, 2008.
These six artists recontextualize various signs of order and chaos within China. Cui Guotai’s paintings are signs of a partial history, existing not as signs of decay, but as signs of loss. He examines the history of semi-production and a halfway industrial state, those that never really signified what they were intended to become. He Duoling’s use of the nude offers an erotic touch that stands alone as a groundbreaking achievement in the post-Revolutionary Chinese art world. Mao Yan uses the commonplace as a way to exorcise meaning through both contortion and relaxation, transcending the commonplace. His elusive lightness of tonalities renders a tender balance of emotional force. Zhang Xiaotao shows us all that is left once the human species has had its fill. Yet, there is the romantic notion that beauty can be found in these episodic visions of decay and the signs of life on Earth will regenerat e once again. Zhong Biao develops a complex ambiguity of signs by incorporating composite paintings with the same figures existing both inside and outside the frames, all within the same space. Zhu Wei’s images are direct, but rarely complex, offering caricatures of images seen in popular culture. As he points in the direction of subjectivity, the viewer either identifies or questions the commonplace mode of signification the artist has chosen to represent.
Robert C. Morgan is an international critic, artist, curator, and lecturer who lives and works primarily in New York City. An author of many books, catalogs, and monographs on contemporary artists, Professor Morgan is focused on the problems of the artist in an era of globalized change and renovation. He holds both an advanced degree in Sculpture and a doctorate in contemporary art history, and currently lectures at Pratt Institute and the School of Visual Arts in New York.