fictional exhibition

Fictional Exhibition
Fictional Exhibition
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Post on 27-Dec-2015




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Tran. Dominik Salter Dvorak


  • Fictional Exhibition

    For several years, the painters relatives and friends have continually entered her paintings. Of these oil paintings, her younger brother comes out particularly well. He has cheeks the texture of well-brewed linseed oil, aptly symbolizing the painters habits of mixing oils. Due to her generous use of paint, the canvas supports a gentle surface tension; her brothers mesh-like crew cut, like that of a soldier, shading the skin on the top of the head a faint grey. Some may also nd this texture similar to a cicada wings, blending ttingly into the esh tones of her portraits. At the opening of her solo exhibition this year, her younger brother, appeared in the esh. He, now stands in front of me, seems to have lost weight. But I have no way of telling if the image now held in my memory originates from her older paintings which I know so well, or from occasional glimpses of his gure within a crowd at one of her several past exhibition openings.

    Browsing through new paintings of her younger brother, their impressions would slide around, leaving me feeling even more unravelled. On this occasion, a particular feeling gradually emerges about this younger brother, this younger brother who I cant help but stare at, no matter how rudely. The way he can so effortlessly stir up your attention is sufcient to know that in your own eyes, this younger brother possesses much more than the ordinary appearance of a attering friend, (re-consulting your memory, the image of his cheeks the texture of well-brewed linseed oil cant be wrong; but the cheeks you see now before you, sallow and slightly pockmarked, are nonetheless real.) So, his particular aura probably comes from the photographic qualities of one of his sisters paintings. Its not difcult to imagine that an impression which accumulates over several exhibitions will eventually ferment, by itself creating the effect of tabloid papers, within a small circle.

    Ever since the painters second year at college, when the rst portrait she hung gained the unanimous praise and respect of tutors in the college (It was actually two portraits, one enclosed within the other, faint streaks of red on her younger brothers cheeks, on either side of him in perfect symmetry the faint feeling of sideways motion. The appearance of movement, yet also seeming as if completely still.), her friends started to circulate portraits of her rosy-cheeked, still not twenty younger brother amongst themselves. These biographical portraits would then constantly depict her brother, even without written words. It easily commands the attention of its readers,

  • who were like otaku impatient for the next manga. It was probably due to this that her younger brother, at every exhibition, would stand by the wall looking out at the audience, as if long since accustomed to the gaze his painted-self receives.

    Though this artist doesnt simply paint portraits, it ought to be said that images of her family are but one motif constantly picked out from among a tapestry of themes. The following observation may seem overly perspicacious, but, regardless if an abstract work, or again a portrait, the texture of the painting and the colour of the hairs on the brothers skin actually have several points of confluence. I cant help but wonder if, ever since that image of her brother surfaced in her mind, the smooth cheeks and crew-cut like cicada wings opened to the artist a stylistic pathway of abundant riches?

    Im possibly over-thinking this, though cant be sure: according to psychoanalysis, the fact ought to be reversed: the skin-tone mixed from cadmium red and flake white, is the artists own emphasis, enlightening the hazy rose smears of her brothers adolescence. A follower of Lacan would say something like this: given peoples envy of images, these partial objects which they do not possess, are granted excessive recognition, allowing us to genuinely adopt that appearance.

    I continue to consider the binary, paradoxical relationship of the model / painter so key to this study: from which point do they begin to produce difference, and furthermore contextualise each other? Occasionally, intimate relationships between actor and director can lead to creations which flit between reality and fantasy: both movie directors Cai Ming Liang and Abbas Kiaroastami possess such intersubjective relationships with their actors. But this person in front of me? With this feeling of intense familiarity yet cancelled out by complete unfamiliarity, I approached and talked to him.

    Zian Chen