“I give old things new meanings through my work.”
Born: Yingkou City, Liaoning, 1976
Painting “is like an asylum for me”, says Shen Liang. Within that haven he experiments boldly, playing contemporary riffs on themes from China’s past. An early series of paintings reflected on Beijing Opera, an iconic art form that people his own age largely ignore. For This Is a Book(2007) Shen Liang revisited the propaganda comic books of the Cultural Revolution, reproducing their covers in oils at many times the original size, then defacing the images with lewd and jokey scribbles—the kind bored schoolboys might do in class. In treating pulp propaganda as worthy of the academy, he mocks Party attempts at thought control, their gullible audience—and himself as an artist. Once, “when you finished a painting, you dared not mess with it,” he says. “It was such a heavy feeling. Now I find that vandalising my own paintings relaxes me.”
MATERIAL ENGRAVING PICTURE – SHEN LIANG SOLO EXHIBITION
Shen Liang’s“Material, Engraving, Picture” Solo Exhibition planned by Bao Dong will be presented by Space Station on 10th March, 2012. The exhibition will display up-to-date oil paintings created by member of N12-Shen Liang in the past two years. At the exhibition, a veranda-like mode of appearance will be structured to circuitously present the fondness of the old things by artists. Among dark colour and indistinct walls, a feeling of shuttling between usual objects and ancient stone tablets is built.
From the early years of 21st Century, the trend of“Photographic Painting”or “Graphic Painting”formed a kind of limited aesthetical interest while distinguishing from realistic painting. Artists emerged from the trend shape a sort of generality, and how to surpass the generality and propel artistic practice becomes the major problem they are facing.
Shen Liang’s recent works just implicate the opportunity to change the situation. He highlighted the existence of pictures when using old photos, and involved the picture itself in the structure of plane of existence as material objects. The relationship between photos and pictures is more like the relationship between “original” and “rubbed”, a physical connection between body and brush stroke. The thickness of relief sculpture like pigment covered the graphic character of old pictures, and released the memorial character of the object itself.
These art works created by Shen Liang are pictures as well as objects. They not only pointed to certain nostalgic feeling and aesthetic atmosphere but also declined any possible interpretation; they need concentrated gaze while in the meantime expecting vagrant sight. The possibility of considering the relationship between painting and picture, art and object is also involved.