LC Queisser is delighted to open up “Inside Work,” a solo exhibition by Changsha-born, Frankfurt-based mostly artist Yong Xiang Li. The exhibition provides three new “chair paintings:” painted modular picket panels linked by using hinges that make it possible for them to assume 3-dimensional styles off the wall and ostensibly be broken down into chairs. As collapsed “bamboo landscape paintings,” these is effective flirt with the attract of the attractive and their standing as mere area, although citing an aesthetic history of exoticism in Western artwork and structure.
Li’s strategy to portray is traditionally informed as effectively as mimetic, shifting between trompe l’oeil consequences, portraiture, and item style. Participating in a promiscuous press-and-pull concerning painterly kinds and varieties of objecthood, the artist performs in a versatile way to emphasize the historical value of model and to break with the meant transparency of the “canvas economy” of Western portray revealing how this financial state usually will come with sociopolitical strings connected.
“Picnic at the Bamboo Garden” is motivated by traditional “Asian” landscape motifs of Rococo, a particularly ornamental art historical interval that exhibited a deep fascination with and hyperbolic mistranslation of the aesthetics of the “Far East.” This cultural zeitgeist prompted a time period of frenzied copying and imagining of Oriental motifs in attractive Western customer goods—a development also identified as chinoiserie. These nodes serve as departure factors for Li’s engagement with the bogus language of “The Considerably East” as inherently pluralistic and ambivalent: a trope that, in one particular conclusion, cites colonial energy relations, and on the other, a pedestrian “schlock” aesthetic that, because of to its ignoble ornamental position, represents an choice to the myth of Large Art.
In the anachronism of the absolutely free-hand appropriation in chinoiserie inside style and design, Li finds an opening for a important examination of the Western portray custom and its relation to area, décor, and alterity. The artist’s chair paintings confront the painted imagescape with that of decorative surface area: presenting paintings as almost nothing a lot more (or considerably less) than painted objects or painting on objects playfully rejects the romantic strategy of ex-nihilo, the “blank canvas.” This heroic idea of aesthetic depth, authenticity, and innovation runs deep in the history of painting and emerged along with the historical past of Western imperialist growth. The legacy of these dominant aesthetic units throughout Western modernity is a binary worldview that, in glorifying and normalizing a masculine autonomous thought of artwork, has pitted with each other a variety of signifiers as socio-aesthetic Other folks: ornamentation as superficial as feminine as ethnic.
Somewhat than a pointed attack on these historical aesthetic frameworks, Li’s structures entertain an substitute trajectory for the painterly medium that reconnects with its motley histories across models, media, geographies, and varieties of benefit. The artist’s embrace of portray as surface—not as surface area “for its individual sake,” but surface of, in relation to, or in support of something—highlights its unsung history as a attractive, tactile object, a queer electricity relation, a sort of labor. This is underscored in modest painted paneling on textured, sandy surfaces, properly modeled to suit the pre-current paneling underneath the home windows of the gallery. By ostensibly becoming 1 with the constructing, Li proposes portray as a medium that, significantly from its dominant heritage, is capable to disguise or dress up to be something else, based on the situation. These themes of getting a visitor, stranger, or pretender are echoed in Li’s 2019 online video A View From a Suspended Bridge (with footage by François Pisapia) also on exhibit.
— Jeppe Ugelvig
At LC Queisser, Tbilisi
till April 4, 2022