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Lee Rui Xiang | Beautiful Disaster
 

Art Projects Gallery is delighted to present “Beautiful Disaster”, Singapore artist Lee Ruixiang’s debut solo exhibition in Hong Kong. The exhibition showcases his latest works from his “It was beautiful while it lasted” series. Trained in printmaking, Ruixiang constantly challenges the notion of traditional printmaking with his innovative techniques and in pushing the limits of the materials that he works with.

Ruixiang’s works go beyond the two-dimensional expression of ink on paper as is typical of traditional printmaking. His works portray a sense of three dimensionality in his assemblage of cutouts and layering of the printed images. This method of composing and juxtaposition of the contents, motifs, and texts imbue Ruixiang’s works with a sense of hierarchy, movement and spatiality. Shadows forming along the boundaries of the cutout images blur the outlines and their relationships with the adjacent objects, enhancing the sense of three- dimensionality. This interplay of reimaging three-dimensionality into two and back into three again is a quality that the artist finds conceptually intriguing. To add a sense of touch, the artist also added in hand painted strokes of colors.

The “Beautiful Disaster” exhibition explores themes such as entrapment vs freedom and vulnerability vs love while reimagining the delicate balance between the beautiful and the bizarre in life, in which conditions and roles can interchange in the blink of an eye. He questions “Whether the decisions and actions that we make enable life to become more beautiful or is it just another disaster with a beautiful mask over it”. Indeed reading into Ruixiang’s works is akin to unveiling of layers and layers of masks and meanings that start to unravel as the viewers visually explore the dynamic and intricate details that define the artist’s works.

Lee Ruixiang graduated from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Art Singapore with a Diploma in Fine Art (Printmaking) in 2012. While he has exhibited extensively worldwide in group exhibitions and art fairs since 2011, the exhibition at Art Projects Gallery will be his debut solo exhibition.

 

Artist’s Statement
My work is an exploration of various themes such as entrapment and freedom from my viewpoint. Employing various media and techniques such as monochrome woodcut printing, paper cutting, colored mixed-media with touches of hand painted strokes and stencils, my creations depict mankind in a unique aesthetic world with sacrilegious references to the story of Pandora’s Box.

The quest for beauty and perfection inspires us to work towards an objective, however, because due to the greed of society, we become irresistibly enslaved to the quest, where any trace of hope is but a contradiction. It gives the false illusion that one can change an unchangeable and inevitable future that will surely befall into disillusionment.

My works aim to challenge the viewers and audience to question about objectives in life and our roles in the society. Whether the decisions and actions that we make enable life to become more beautiful or is it just another disaster with a beautiful mask over it.

Although personal and largely autobiographical, these works address universal journeys and experiences, prompting viewers to reflect on the stories that define their own real and imagined lives.

The works may be expressive of brutality and animosity, but on the contrary to me, it is about the vulnerability and love between human beings. Amongst chaos, love can torment. My works divulge a fascination with the interchangeability of power, for example, when the bullied becomes the bully. On that note, it reveals the fabrications of the interchangeability, the weaknesses and volatility of the human mind and ego, of which at times would lead to turbulent barbarity. Alas, the artworks capture the irony that unequivocally impresses on our minds; fear is the root cause of aggression that inevitably festers thereby perpetuating a vicious cycle of savagery and capture the zeitgeist of the early 21st century. Though the world has evolved, aggression, oppression, and inequality remain bedfellows in current digital age, only disguised in different forms.


藝途畫廊榮幸呈現新加坡藝術家李瑞吉祥首度個展《美麗的災難》。是次展覽展示瑞祥的近期“當下的美麗”的系列作品。受過專業的板畫訓練,瑞祥無論是在技巧上,或是在他所運用的媒介上,都不斷的挑戰板畫的傳統概念。

瑞祥的作品突破了傳統板畫典型的紙墨二維表達方式。將印製了的板畫圖像剪出,再將它們很有層次感的組合起來,令作品顯得格外有立體感。作品內容、圖案和文字在瑞祥的編排和並置下,促使作品具有層次結構、動感和空間感。沿著圖像切口的邊界所形成的模糊陰影和輪廓,以及其與相鄰對象的關係,提高了作品的三維感。令藝術家覺得耐人尋問之處,莫過於對立體事物想象成平面,再將它們重現三維的特質。 部分作品更是加入了手繪的色彩,使得作品更是別具一格。

壓迫與自由、脆弱與愛,想象美麗與離奇生活之間的微妙平衡,這些狀況、條件和角色都可以在眨眼間交換,這正是這次展覽《美麗的災難》所探索的主題。藝術家質疑“我們所做的決定或行為是否會讓我們的生活變得更美好,或只是另一場災難的美麗面具”。藝術家作品裡富有動感的細膩細節,在觀眾探索的過程中,像是揭開那一層層的面具和含義。

李瑞祥(b. 1989, 新加坡)於2012年畢業於新加坡南洋美術學院,主修板畫。自2011年開始,瑞祥便參與各國群展和藝術博覽,這次在藝途畫廊的展覽則是瑞祥的首度個展。

 

藝術家自述
我的作品是對於各個主題的探索,例如壓迫與自由。利用各種媒介和技巧如單色板畫、剪紙、手繪和模板混合顏料,褻瀆的引用潘多拉魔盒的故事在我的作品裡,描繪人類在一個獨特的審美世界。

美麗和完美的追求激勵我們朝著一個目標努力,然而社會的貪婪,導致我們成為渴望的奴隸,在抱著希望的同時,亦是一種矛盾。它讓人們認為可以改變所不能改變的和無法避免的未來的假象,這種假象最終只會面臨幻滅。

我試圖通過作品向觀眾提問觀眾在生活中的目標和在社會中的角色。 我們所做的決定或行為是否會讓我們的生活變得更美好,或只是另一場災難的美麗面具。

雖然作品是根據自身經歷所創作,不過希望透過作品中對很多人都息息相關的內容,能促使觀眾體會到自己真實的體驗或是編織想象的生活。

作品咋看之下似乎顯得殘酷和富有敵意,然而對我而言,它是探索人與人之間的脆弱與愛。在混亂當中,愛也可以是種折磨。作品也透露了對權利的互換性,例如當被欺負者變成了施欺者。也就是在編織這種互換性的想象同時,揭發了人們的弱點以及心靈和自我的波動,當中可能會導致動盪的野蠻行徑。 作品也試圖捕捉那明確的烙印在我們腦海裡的生活中的種種諷刺;害怕是侵略的根源,它會無法避免的惡化,導致野蠻的惡性循環,體現了21世紀初的時代精神。雖然這個世界正在改變,然而侵略、壓迫和不平等仍然存在在這數碼時代,只是偽裝成了其他的形式。

 

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