'Fresh Dewdrop', a solo exhibition of the artist Chen Wei is currently on view at Ota Fine Arts in Tokyo through October 28. This exhibition highlights the recent photographic and sculptural works of Chen Wei. His works depict the beauty in the ordinary moments, and even the mundane realities as experienced in contemporary urban life in China. The work aims to resonate less of a pointed critique, and more as an observation of society. This perspective is open ended enough that viewers engagement towards the work may result in an understanding of their own relationship to intimate and expansive spaces. The details of a the maintenance required to keep a facade cohesive. Chen realizes this through his attentive focus applied towards details that are often overlooked. He challenges the notion that beauty is universal with the invitation that beauty is subject to the beholder. Society, the viewers, and Chen himself are positioned to contemplate their environments with more intent.
Chen Wei's "Future and Modern" (2014). Archival Inkjet Print. 100 x 125cm. Courtesy of: Ota Fine Arts
Arrival at personal conclusions in a time of such uncertainty on a global scale could be a source of strength. He has been coined as influential in China, with emphasis towards the up and coming generation of new artists. Utilization of the notion of what is personal, paired with sensorial experience of space, is an experience that Chen aims to cultivate for his audiences. The body of work on display in this exhibition are titled the same as the show; 'Fresh Dewdrop'. The unmonumental yet whimsical nature of this pronouncement provokes awe for the ephemeral fragments that construct collective perception of reality.
In his photographic works, he celebrates the imperfection of minute details. This is evident in the works such as a single tile missing from a larger, modular arrangement of a city sidewalk. The missing tile is evocative of the iconic hubble ultra deep field photograph; at first thought to be a space devoid of activity and later, upon further viewing and focus, was found out to be the home of countless galaxies. These moments are factors that form individual and collective relationships to space. Within spaces of enforced uniformity, the images of ruptures to this order require consideration of the placement of this emphasis. What is not present, or rather, what is void, is what occupies Chen’s attention. This drives the narration of the viewing experience, and provokes the viewer on a psychological level to consider their relationship to aspects of absence.
"Fresh Dewdrop" (2017). Archival Inkjet Print. 64 x 80 cm. Courtesy of: Chen Wei, Ota Fine Arts, and BLOUINARTINFO.
The LED sculptural works are in the form of boards specifically installed or affixed to the walls or floor. The function of the pieces are to undulate in brightness that ranges from dim to bright. The light is colored in the spectrum of reds and blues, pinks and greens. This plays on the sensitivity of the viewers in the space. This is evidenced in both of Chen’s recent sculptural works Trouble #17021 and Trouble #17072. Physiologically, the response to contrast in the lighting would be pupil dilation and contraction which would result in successive bodily reactions. The contrast between the brighter moments in the work, as compared to the dimmer ones is akin to rhythms within the body. This is seen specifically in the body in cycles such as the systolic and diastolic phases of the heartbeat, or in breathing patterns, among others.
"One-Bedroom" (2015). Archival Inkjet Print. 64 x 80 cm. Courtesy of: Chen Wei, Ota Fine Arts and BLOUINARTINFO
Additionally, the work transcends the need to clearly demarcate a perspective of reality as right or wrong. The multisensory experience of the work in both the photographic and the sculptural forms is exemplary of the forward thinking and Chen’s strive toward at uniformity in concept and form. Chen is esteemed for a career in which he has continually pushed the mediums in which he works. His photographic works are recognized for their painterly quality. Individual navigation of familiarity and change are of equal importance. Chen’s works position viewers to give further consideration to moments that might be fleeting details. These moments may be of importance in the future.
What is shared between the viewer and Chen is a relation in sensibility to maintenance of facades, and eventual decay. The removal of his opinion on society from the work allows for a much more universal read and encourages the audience to form their own relationships to the questions that might be possed. The vagueness inherent within these recent works permits a much more expansive dialogue to develop in relation to and around the work.
Chen Wei, Exhibition View (2017). Courtesy of: Ota Fine Arts and Wall Street International.
Chen’s artworks have been exhibited widely in galleries and museums on an international scale. Most recent exhibitions have been in Shanghai, Melbourne, and Sydney. A component consistent in his works is an affection for research realized through manifestations in his artworks. He lives and works in Beijing, a primary source of his subject matter and inspiration.
Chen Wei "Trouble #17072 / 故障" (2017). Courtesy of: Ota Fine Arts and Artsy
The exhibition continues until 28 October 2017. Find out more here.
Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.
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