Review: ‘One Man’ by Liu Zhuoquan at Niagara Galleries

In my primeval week of being in Melbourne, pair Chinese contemporary art minds finally collided in the appropriate space at the right time. I in conclusion got to meet Luise Guest, Director of Education and Research at White Rabbit Collection, Sydney, who was in the city for the opening of the manifestation ‘One Man’ by Liu Zhuoquan at Niagara Galleries. I’ve followed Luise’s examination for many years now (mainly through her incredible blog), but have never had the come to pass to meet her in real life, similar to is the case with many international colleagues in the field, conversations principally unfold online.

After a very replete-on day at RMIT University in opposition to the conference ‘Transnational Mobility in the Asia Pacific: Family, Friends, Facebook, I wandered through the city, through Federation Square to Birrarung Marr Park through the Yarra River, across the William Barak Bridge to Melbourne Cricket Ground, till I arrived in Richmond.

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With the brilliant Spring sun beating down on me (wearing in addition many layers – it’s one and the other too many or too little while the weather is insanely changeable in the present state), I walked across the William Barak Bridge to exist pleasantly surprised by a wordic festival for the ears…a piece of utter art that travelled with me in the manner that I walked above the highway.

Called ‘Proximities’, it is a soundscape originally commissioned with a view to the 2006 Commonwealth Games created through Sonia Leber and David Chesworth in collaboration by Simeon Nelson. Defined as ‘a sonic gallery of human voices’, it shares recordings of people from the 53 Commonwealth nations who are things being so living in Australia, as they plead of local histories and global entanglements.

“How cheat we live with cultural difference? In shared spaces and rim cultures, proximities test our capacity conducive to ethical behaviour.” – Proximities

It completely captivated me to the volume I was very bothered why other persons weren’t stopping or slow-walking to take it every one of in. A great video of the fragment can be seen on the project’s webpage to this place. For some reason, I took ~t any photographs, instead enjoying it for the continued (quite unlike me not to take photos!) whilst questioning whether this was a actual reflection of what Australia “sounds” like. A mystical gem and a real aural preliminary part to this incredible city beyond its clean noise.

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‘Proximities’ (2006) on William Barak Bridge. Image urbanity of Leber, Chesworth and Nelson.

With a content smile, I continued on into the Richmond circuit of Melbourne to find Niagara Galleries, and you couldn’t miss it urbanity of the red facade saying “ART DOES MATTER”. A requisite statement in today’s economic and civil uncertainty…with hints of a “Barbara Kruger” slogan if you ask me. My leading attendance at an exhibition opening in Melbourne (and Australia!), in like manner I wondered what, if anything, would exist different. Not surprisingly, nothing was different…

ART DOES MATTER, Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

ART DOES MATTER, Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

'White Light' (2006), oil on canvas, as part of 'One Man' by Liu Zhuoquan at Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

‘White Light’ (2006), oil on canvas, as part of ‘One Man’ through Liu Zhuoquan at Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

Niagara Galleries is a couple-storey commercial space where Liu’s labor is on show in the upstairs art ~. As Luise has known the projector for many years actually meeting him put ~ her first trip to China, she was invited through the gallery to write the leading catalogue text and give an easy talk at the exhibition opening. Alongside for good and all meeting Luise, I was introduced to artist Tony Scott, renowned in the field of Chinese arts, and co-go to the bottom of China Art Projects in Hong Kong. Again, someone I knew a piece of land about but have never had the happen to meet. Tony, I look head to talking more when I’m next in Asia!

Here are some notes (sole the bullet points and quotations) I notorious down from Luise’s very full talk into Liu Zhuoquan’s act, where a more comprehensive insight be able to be read on a her blog here.

The work of mature artist approach into his own…brave work.

I met him forward my 1st trip to China….I was in stun and awe of Beijing art globe at that time. I was proper beginning to understand how Chinese artists were creating a renovated visual language. Artists in China were in a case of reinvention.

Trained as a painter, he form in a mould the ancient art of “neihua”, coloring inside bottles, that was popular in the Qing family of sovereigns.

He alludes in subtle ways to the Cultural Revolution.

He sees his workshop as a laboratory. I see him for example an alchemist, a social commentary. A studio lined with bottles…inside the snort bottles were a small universe…applied by skill and precise detailing.

He is influenced by 8 years of living in Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism, in like manner showing imagery of Cultural Revolution and form of sovereignty force, the misuse and abuse of governor. The works are not just near to China, they are global issues.

“Do artists be delivered of a moral responsibility to speak approximately social and political issues? Can sagacity actually make a difference?” – Luise Guest

The omnipresence of social media allows for embodied beauty to be communicated in different ways. This is not righteous about China. Many artists feel a trust to talk about the uncomfortable truths, Liu is human being of those artists.

He’s very lately pushing his visual language of bottles, again expressive techniques and brushwork on the external part of the bottle and on to a greater degree conventional surfaces. His use of bottles dates back to forward child, an early affection of chemistry bottles with references to pharmacology in his work…self-medication.

“One of the greatest in quantity interesting thing I find about contemporary Chinese art is how artists to such a degree skillfully navigate their world using keen use of coded imagery where meaning is hidden very deep.” – Luise Guest

On before anything else viewing, I saw Liu’s works considered in the state of subtle statements not only on a material history unique to the artist nevertheless a lonesome journey collective to the Chinese number of people – a grappling of tensions within the conflicted socio-political space of Mainland China and its diaspora. The detailed character of the “neihua” process indicates a extraordinary, intimate engagement with his materials and subject quantity, and more so identifying a need and need to preserve traditional tact-making techniques that are near-destined to have ~ing lost in today’s day and old ~. Liu contorts tradition and politics in a modern contemporary mindset, presenting viewers with one insight into his recollection of his cosmos. One of Luise’s closing sentences truly captured the essence of his use (stated below), what I see being of the kind which a unique presentation of Chinese ambiguity tarrying to be unlocked and translated through the viewer.

‘One Man’ through Liu Zhuoquan is on show at Niagara Galleries till 26 November 2016.

“Each glass vessel imprisons a wronged ghost bring vexatious, a memory or an unsettling day-~.” – Luise Guest

'Self portrait - thinking' (2016) as part of 'One Man' by Liu Zhuoquan at Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

‘Self representation – thinking’ (2016) as part of ‘One Man’ ~ dint of. Liu Zhuoquan at Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

'One Man' by Liu Zhuoquan at Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

‘One Man’ ~ dint of. Liu Zhuoquan at Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

'One Man' by Liu Zhuoquan at Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

‘One Man’ through Liu Zhuoquan at Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

'One Man' by Liu Zhuoquan at Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

‘One Man’ through Liu Zhuoquan at Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

'One Man' by Liu Zhuoquan at Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

‘One Man’ by Liu Zhuoquan at Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

'One Man' by Liu Zhuoquan at Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

‘One Man’ through Liu Zhuoquan at Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

'Man opposite telegraph pole' (2009) as part of 'One Man' by Liu Zhuoquan at Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

‘Man hostile telegraph pole’ (2009) as part of ‘One Man’ by Liu Zhuoquan at Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

'One Man' by Liu Zhuoquan at Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

‘One Man’ through Liu Zhuoquan at Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

'Two policemen' (2007), oil on canvas, as part of 'One Man' by Liu Zhuoquan at Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

‘Two policemen’ (2007), oil up~ canvas, as part of ‘One Man’ ~ means of Liu Zhuoquan at Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

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