The Abstract Show You Should Be Looking At For A Very Long Time
Opening Event: November 9th/19
Curated by: Catarina Braga & Brittan Aebischer
Produced by: ISZAF & AEBRAGA
Sponsored by: FOTOSHOP, LU CAFÉ & SE ARTSPACE
Press Links: TBA
Why? Why look at another contemporary art show of the abstract?
Why do we need to look at something for a very long time?
You don’t. You don’t have to do anything. But we think it is important that you, the viewer, stop and think about it and bother to read, because you are curious.
As humans, we are all curious. Though we see the real world in front of us, we don’t really trust it… either we want something more or we are scared of what we are seeing.
Defining Abstract Art
Abstract Art, in the contemporary sense, can just be about anything. If one were to follow the logic of “abstraction”, that logic would include everything but the actual object or subject in which the work of art takes form. It’s through representation and meaningful symbolism that we can use the language of abstraction to make visible what is often hidden.
For this conversation, we are defining abstract work which can be generally stated as work of art that depicts or represents a state of being, environment, presence or object that detaches itself from the reality of the known “real” world. Which then can manifest itself onto other undefinable states or non-concreteness.
Even this definition can be broad, but that is the point; the abstract is often so open that the lines between concrete and abstract begin to blur and make us question what is it that we’re trying to communicate in the first place.
Abstraction has nothing to do with the physical object or the image in and of itself; it is about what is beyond the surface. That is why the curators chose these two mediums — Painting and Photography to question our relationship with images through this context.
抽象与实体或其本身的影像及表象无关；而是关乎表面以外隐藏的冰山一角。这是为何策展人会选用 — 绘画与摄影这两种媒介，通过使用这种语境对我们与影像的关系来刨根问底。
Abstraction is Human Nature
Humans possess one of the most unique and powerful tools known to our biological selves: the ability to conceptualize and see what is not there. Even if we don’t know the science behind how we do this, everyday we use our imagination to visualize things that are far from us, and to think of things that do not have a visual appearance. Even the space beyond the infinite can appear tangible to us through abstraction.
We are wired to “fill in the gap” of our everyday lives and give meaning to what is undefinable and indescribable. We are accustomed to build metaphors, make jokes, analogies, graphs, charts and maps and so on — all representative of higher thought and logic. Even though hidden, abstraction is as ongoing as thinking.
It is within this context that “The Abstract Show You Should Be Looking At For A Very Long Time” positions itself. This exhibition is also being made visible to create a space in time for us to look at our own abstractions for a very long time; and so that we can constructively think about them and what other visual abstractions’ mean.
Featuring work from 19 foreign and Chinese artists, “The Abstract Show….” brings together a selection of diverse artworks that present each of the artists distinct uses of abstraction.
To present abstract visual representations as pure art objects to the viewer would leave the work emanating only half of its intended meaning. Therefore, in “The Abstract Show…”, the work is being presented with the artists’ definition of abstraction as a way for us to delve deeper into their own meaning.
正因此(1)《驻足久观 - 抽象展》（简称《抽象展》）彰显于世，这场可视化的展览及时地为我们创造了一个公共空间，让我们可以持久地观察自身的抽象，为此我们能建设性地思考这些及其视觉抽象的意义。
So, why look at abstract art? …
That is up to you.
We have told you what to do in this exhibition, now it’s your turn to choose what to do with it.
Together with the curators, the artists, their work and you, the dialogue of abstraction can be made present, real and tangible in hopes to make the intangible more concrete.
Meet The Artists
Born on March 17, 1962, Andriy Bludov graduated from the Graphic Institute of the National Art Institute of Kyiv, in 1990. He is a member of the Ukrainian Artists Union and an Art professor at the National Academy of Art and Architecture.
Andriy's solo exhibitions include: "Atelier Karas" Gallery, Kyiv, Ukraine; "Art Felchlin Art" Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland; "Appia" Gallery, Grenoble, France; «Inter art Gallery Reich» Gallery, Cologne , Germany; Tuset Gallery, Barcelona, Spain; «Cecilia Wameling» Gallery, Baden, Switzerland; «Pavlovsky Arts & Crafts» Gallery, Utrecht, Netherlands.
This project adopted a unique post-modern architectural design with all buildings presented in a translucent and transparent structure which creates an imaginary city. It is full of energy flow, vibration, and the proportion of all elements, suggesting a causal relationship between all elements and their interdependence.
Barbara Grotowska is a Polish artist and educator living and working in Shenzhen, China. Graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow with an MFA in Visual Arts majoring in Printmaking. In 2011 she came to Guanlan Printmaking Base as an artist-in-residence and decided then to move to Shenzhen permanently. She has been exhibiting her work in Poland, Portugal, UK, USA and China.
|周圆 Butter Zhou
Graduated from London University of the Arts and from Chelsea College of Art with a Master of Arts degree. Since 2016 he’s been living and working in Shenzhen, where he founded the Banana Jam Art Space.
After working in interior design for more than 10 years, the reason why Butter chose Art as his pursuit was from watching his children grow up with the influence of free doodle and love for painting; secondly,only art can express the inexpressible parts of language, and thus remains a reverent and diligent exploration. Butter's works try many directions like painting, sculpture, installation, and performance.
|陈封 Chen Feng
Chen Feng graduated from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts and is currently a professional artist living in Guangzhou. He spent fifteen years exploring art creation and his everyday life, and has carried out various forms of art projects and exhibitions throughout China. Over the years, he has received several recognitions from local and abroad art collectors.
It was not until he was looking at the pure colors of the canvas at every moment, that he confirmed that painting has always been a special practice of meditation for him. In his words: “I spent five years carrying out the Blue series, and the theme of the future [Blue Language] will become the most beautiful and harmonious Sanskrit song I ever wrote on earth. Under beneath the blue sky and pure clouds, the touch of life and the moment of being touched create a picture, and became the enlightenment of life, where every breath it takes and all eyesight follows, all happens in a most touching and sensational way.”
Art passionate. Self-taught. Hailan embarked on a creative adventure in 2017 after receiving the acrylic color set left by a deceased artist friend. She made her first public solo exhibition in January 2019 and received positive feedback from the local art community and art professionals.
Prior to diving deep into art creation, she had many years of experience as a contemporary art curator and gallerist.
The main media she has adopted since then is acrylic painting, 3D, digital, and combined media.
Henry Lawrence is a British Painter, ceramist and sculptor based in Shanghai. He mainly focuses on sentimental and colour driven work. He graduated from the University of Brighton in 2008 with a BA in Interior Architecture, following this in 2017 he completed his MA at the Camberwell College of Arts, on the Designer Maker program focusing primarily on Bronze casting. All these experiences have accumulated in his current work.
|胡威威 Hu Wei Wei
Born in 1981, Hu Wei Wei is a freelance photographer mainly engaged in art photography, portrait photography, and documentary photography.
After graduating with a Major in English in college, he worked in graphic design for several years. He started to work in Photography in 2007, and opened his first solo photography exhibition in 2019.
Joán Llabata is a filmmaker, photographer, and multimedia artist born in Valencia, Spain, in 1976.
After living in China for more than ten years, Joán has witnessed the changes the country has been through in the last decade and has developed a deep relationship with the Shanghai city environment, resulting in his first book "Shanghai Twenty Four Seven" (2019), a body of work that reflects on the concept of the individual versus the environment, urban decay, and on those affected by development.
With "No Man's Land" Joán takes on a new photographic approach, moving away from realism to explore abstraction from a landscape point of view.
Jon Poblador is a Filipino-American artist and art teacher currently based in Guangzhou, China. He received a Master’s degree in Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania and has been a professional artist for the past twenty years. He is currently represented by Larry Becker Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, PA; Gebert Contemporary in Scottsdale, AZ; and Galerie Koo in Hong Kong. The two artworks presented are part of series of small works made during an art residency in France in the summer of 2018.
Kevin Jano was born in NYC. He holds a B.F.A from The Ohio State University and an M.F.A from The University of California at Los Angeles. He has a graphic, often minimal, style and feels going out into the world with a camera is akin to panning for gold in a river of time, light, shadow and color.
KRÜTZ SīVÆL is a self taught abstract and figurative painter focusing on cubist expressionism. He uses highly expressive interlocking lines made with a single stroke to convey the various emotions and characteristics of his subjects. He is inspired by the beauty of decay and rejuvenation found in city walls and is visible in the many layers and textures found throughout his work. He considers this cycle of wear and rebuilding as an allegory to our own personal growth. The goal of his art is to give the viewer what he calls a “holy moment” where they are able to forget their everyday struggles and feel a communion with the transcendent.
Lena Kilina is a visual researcher, sinologist and performing artist. Being a native Siberian and has a strong background in music & Asian studies having majored in Chinese culture and history. Lena is constantly traveling around the world and for the last decade she was living in China, Sweden, Spain and Japan. Currently working on doctoral research in social science, urban studies & visual anthropology about public spaces of Sao Paulo and Shanghai in Brazil. In addition, Lena serves as an ambassador in World Music School Shanghai/ Helsinki NGO. She is also member of the Shanghai-based co-creative artistic collective “Illumin8tors”.
Maja was born in 1991, in the small town of Cacak in central Serbia. After showing great drawing and painting skills she was admitted to Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade, where she became both Bachelor and Master’s degree holder in 2015.
She was granted a full scholarship in Salzburg Summer Academy in 2015 where she had opportunity to work with German Artists and exhibit her works. Her enthusiasm for traveling and exploring cultures lead her to China in March 2018 where she decided to stay and work as an art teacher.
Matt is a Shenzhen resident and keen photographer, particularly interested in Black and White and Street Photography. He rediscovered photography under the tutelage of the Shenzhen-based, Venezuelan photographer, Jesus Salazar and is an active member of the vibrant Shenzhen Photography group, and he enjoys working with both digital and film photography.
His recent work was featured in the group show exhibited at Besamé Mucho in 2018, and on That’s PRD online website.
Michele Lancia is a Research Assistant Professor at Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen. His research moves from Earth Science to Environmental Engineer also via satellite image and aerial photo analysis. Michele is keen on urban and architecture photography; in 2019, he received two merit awards from Eye Shenzhen and Shenzhen Daily for the “Expat Eye” Contest and from Bureau Public Works of Shenzhen for “Welcome to the Architectural Dream” (你好，筑梦者) Contest.
Savo is a Serbian artist, graduated as a painter from the Fine and Applied Arts college in Belgrade, and is currently an Art teacher based in Shenzhen. His main mediums are Painting, Photography, Sculpture and Digital Illustration.
“The Abstract Show” is his second exhibition in Shenzhen, the first one being “The Treasure Show", also organized by ISZAF this year.
Tyler Jackson is a film photographer known for his powerful cultural ceremony and fine art studio images. The work on display at the Abstract Show is part of his ‘Figure and Form’ series that premiered earlier this year and focuses on conveying the strength and beauty of the human body by presenting it in unconventional ways. This allows the viewer to skip over their initial perceptions of what a body should be and reconstruct the idea from the very beginning.
Yvette Stride is an Australian artist and educator, drawing inspiration from her surroundings and spiritual connections. Especially in her homes of Hungry Head Beach (Australia), Baishizhou (China) and her underwater home (Scuba diving in the ocean). Holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art (Queensland University of Technology), and a Masters of Education (Arts) from Southern Cross University, she has directed collaborative murals in Australia and Malaysia and co- created many sketchbooks as part of the Brooklyn Library’s Sketchbook Project (New York). Earlier this year, she completed an artist residency at Guanlan Printmaking Base in China (2019) and has been showing work locally through ISZAF in Shenzhen.
| 蔡倚希 YiXi Cai
Yixi Cai is a painter and a textile designer that earned her MA degree at Chelsea College of Art and Design. She is particularly interested in geometric shapes and lines and loves to work from 3D to 2D, deconstructing and reconstructing again as it helps her develop her work. The reason for this approach is her love for playing with cubes and puzzles since she was a kid. Coloring has also been one of her favorite things to do.