Zhai Liang:”New York is A Big Liar” | 翟倞:“纽约是个大骗子”

September 6–November 15, 2014 | 2014年9月6日–2014年11月15日

Opening Reception | 开幕酒会:  Saturday, September 6, 2014, 5-8pm | 2014年9月6日,星期六,5-8pm

Fou Gallery is pleased to present Beijing based artist Zhai Liang’s first solo exhibition in the United States from September 6 through November 15, 2014. The exhibition will feature nine works on paper, created in New York during the artist’s three-month residency at Fou Gallery. According to Zhai, “Everyone has his/her own ‘dream’ of New York. Dazzled by a riot of colour in New York, everyone is living in the lie of this kaleidoscope.” The public opening reception will take place at Fou Gallery on September 6, 5-8pm.

Every image is a unique scene of New York built by Zhai Liang himself, who tries to explore the intersection of reality and the imaginary. A group of half-sitting people, hands with wine glass, a suspended heart and a walking pigeon – everything in Zhai Liang’s works seem to be isolated from the surrounding environment. They suddenly emerge in a void space, leading the audience to enter a surreal dream, or to believe in an elaborate “lie” by the artist.

Zhai Liang has deliberately placed the exhibition and works’ titles in quotation marks, making them appear like quotations attributed to a fictional person of the artist’s creation. In“Pinocchio’s Face,” several abstract geometric compositions form a long-nosed face. However, a close look reveals their real identity – five shreds of paper. Pinocchio – an intriguing figure known for his lies – is the inspiration of the exhibition’s title. The quote-like titles construct a double scam. The unidentified reference person is another creature of the artist, as if standing from the perspective of a third person. “Sigmar Lynch” is an appropriation of a portrait in Museum of Modern Art’s Sigmar Polke exhibition. Zhai Liang stretches the young boy’s face to make him resemble the protagonist in David Lynch’s classic film Eraserhead. “Dark Heart of the America” is a careful examination of the flashy social scenes in New York. Two smiling faces hang in the void. With no bodies in the scene, two hands holding wine glasses become the highlight of the image. A dark heart is suspended on the other side.

Zhai Liang works in a very intuitive manner, as if in constant improvisation. He starts with a brief idea and develops the work with feedback from the process of drawing. The diverse cultural scene in New York inspires him to bring deliberate accidents in final works. Zhai Liang complains that “New York is a Big Liar.” However, he is the initiator of the deception. He builds the mirage out of his imagination, and lures us to look into the kaleidoscope and to create our own mirages.

Read the full press release here.