The Illusionary Reality
Preview: Friday, 14 July, 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Exhibition: 19 July - 19 August 2017
Opening Times: Tue - Sat, 12:00pm - 5:00pm
Location: Abject Gallery, 8th Floor, Bamburgh House
Chinese artist Shiquan Zou exhibits a series of paintings that travel across time and culture, between the two distinguished art realms of the east and the west.
The Illusionary Reality is an exploration of Shiquan’s journeys both physically and spiritually from East to West, a space Zou believes is present between the real and the illusionary reconfiguration of the objects in his paintings.
Shiquan’s recent collection of paintings, takes its direction and influence from the Taoist philosopher, Zhuang Zi, who said, ‘Things are not higher or lower than each other when observed on Tao (truth). However, when observed from the perspective of their own, they always discriminate each other’. Shiquan believes that it is only now that he has observed and absorbed both east and west that he can see the inner value of both sides.
“Every object has a concealed story and a sense of history. Mine is a process of talking with these objects and hearing their stories. The attempt to activate these ancient and sometimes ordinary things is to stand aloof above time and space and to find a quiet place in a noisy world” - Shiquan Zou
Shiquan Zou is an associate professor in Fine Art, in Chengdu College of Arts and Sciences, he lives and works in Chengdu.
“As with all good artists who incorporate or use illusion, they also celebrate the deceit of it all, and allow something in the painting to point to that deceit - usually drawing attention to the surface on which the illusion operates. If anyone was ever in doubt the power of painting in an age of ubiquitous digitally and photographically derived images, Shiquan’s paintings are clear proof that painted images can be both engaging and provocative. Perhaps most importantly they have the inherent capacity to make the viewer want to look and not walk by.
Thinking about both scale and space in Shiquan’s paintings, the ability to attend to the ‘overlooked’ is also a reminder that we as individuals each have something very particular, special and unique to offer. In a time when Globalisation is being both questioned and championed, the ability to make things that are unique and special and which are born out of passion and curiosity is also critical. As an artist, Shiquan Zou offers this in the form of paintings that are an odd hybrid and fusion of western classical imagery, traditional Chinese imagery, combined with something akin to the spaces and landscapes of Surrealist paintings. Where one thing starts and another ends is unclear and ambiguous, and this perhaps is what makes them both real, and very contemporary paintings”
- Richard Talbot, Head of Fine Art, Newcastle University
The preview for this exhibition takes place on Friday 14th July, 6pm – 9pm, featuring music, food, a bar and a chance to meet the artist. The exhibition continues to be open from 19th July – 19th August, Wednesday to Saturday, 12pm – 5pm. Entry is free.