22 July - 22 September 2017
Installation Views
Press release

Zhai Liang is an excellent storytelling artist. His works can always lead audiences to endless imagination. What he especially tells is not just that the story is confined in itself, but the storyhidden under it, such as the story of Text, the story of Logic, the story of Narrative, and so on. These stories are then transformed into paintings and 3-D works. Take his trilogy of exhibitions --- “The Garden of Forking Paths” as an example, which were presented at A Thousand Plateaus Art Space three times from 2011 to 2015. The inspiration of this work comes from Borgess work of the same name, and together they narrate the complex relationships among Readers, Criticsand Authorbeyond this fantastic story. Zhai Liang transformed this relationship into visual language of painting, highlighting the feedback and imagination of viewers, as well as the spark between artists different creative demands. The work pulls the audience into a field of thoughts where high-speed operations occur. Later on, he created the The Night Ferryseries, a new story originated from Libraryand Notes.


Having experienced his own leaping thoughts and wandering, Zhai entered a new progress of thinking and accumulation. For him, SLOW, the diametrically opposite way, acts as a reference for his art. In arts and literature, from his point of view, SLOWexists in an indistinct way. Throughout history, the spiraling and forward process of times seems to be slow. Maybe, FASTis just an illusion? Or, perhaps SLOWis only a yearning for idyllic family life against this rapidly changing society? Following this clue, Zhai created a batch of new works, which will be shown in a solo exhibition with the name of SLOW. Exhibition opening is July 22 , 2017.


In his new works, Zhai made some important shifts in his methodology of painting by simplifying the narrative structures,and strengthening the experiments of brush strokes and pictures textures. He stroves to make direct association between ideological contents in SLOWand visual perception. For more direct depiction of characters, he discarded some graphic details, such as facial expressions, and

adopted the logic of brushes instead of the logic of images to redefine a character.


In view of this, he restudied the master of Northern Renaissance - Pieter Bruegel the elders masterpieces by learning the interactions between colors and brushwork, together with Jasper Johns solutions to stroke borders. When Zhai talked about his creating experiences, he realized that his works are not that thick as Johns, but both their works end with sudden peace regarding their treatments of the color borders, no matter how trivial the strokes are. Such presentation of brushworks, as the reflection of his exploration in SLOW, is indeed a kind of practice in action. Perhaps, the edge of brushstroke and the border of artists inner world are the same thing but in different dimensions?