Sunday, August 26, 2007


ShanghART H-space
50 MoGanshan Rd., Bldg.18, Shanghai
Reception: Tuesday, 4 Sept. 2007, 6 -8 pm
Telephone:86-21 63593923,86-21 62762818, fax:86-21 63594570
Exhibition: 5 Sept. � 10 Oct. 2007
Daily: 1- 6 pm except Mondays

Press Release

Liang Shaoji is well known for working with animals and nature in his
art. But to understand his work, we must understand something of the
Chinese traditions he is referring to when he lovingly rescues
fragments of China's architectural past from destruction, wraps
references to the sadness and the strife of human life in raw silk
thread, and atones for the unrest and the competition of the floating
world by sitting on top of the sacred mountain of his village watching
in a mirror how the clouds go by. We must know a little at least of the
all-encompassing importance nature has in Chinese thought, and the
ancient poetry that has canonized the images of silk and bamboo,
candles and clouds, as symbols fleeting of life, of suffering and
generosity. But even while referring to Chinese tradition and
associative philosophy, Liang's works target the here and now,
transforming those well-known references into thoroughly contemporary
installations and performances. Demanding unusual expertise and
extraordinary techniques, his works are slow in the making and
difficult to interpret. His installations don't easily submit to
commodification - they should be seen as the residue of actions and
thought processes, indeed as markers of a chosen path of life, rather
than as mere objects.

Liang Shaoji was born in Shanghai in 1945, graduated from Zhejiang Fine
Art School, and studied at Varbanov Institute of Tapestry in Zhejiang
Academy of Art. His early works consisted of serenely abstract hangings
and installations made from textiles, often including bamboo as well.
They made him a well-respected figure in international exhibitions of
arts and crafts. But he felt that this was not enough to satisfy his
desire to make art. In 1988 he started working with silkworms, breeding
them and using them in his works. From that moment on, a whole new
oeuvre emerged, in which he tries to combine biology, bio-ecology,
weaving and sculpture, installation and action. Generally these works
are entitled Nature Series, followed by a number and a date. He refers
to them as sculptures made of time, life and nature, as "recordings of
the fourth dimension". Many works consist of objects (often objects
trouvées) wrapped in the silk threads he has his silkworms spin around
them. The silkworm symbolizes generosity; its thread human life and
history. Liang often makes use of this symbolism to soften or ease the
violence, cruelty or sadness represented by the objects he uses.

Liang Shaoji has exhibited widely in international Biennales and
Triennales, the Venice and Shanghai Biennales among them.

"Cloud" is Liang Shaoji's first solo exhibition in China. It brings
together a selection of works that deal with the uniquely redemptive
aspects of his oeuvre. It comprises recent installation works from the
Natures Series, as well as videos and photographs. The show is curated
by Marianne Brouwer, who was the guest curator of Another Long March.
Chinese Conceptual and Installation Art in the Nineties, held in Breda,
The Netherlands, in 1997.

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