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Same: Difference: Exhibition of small-scale works by contemporary artists opens at Rossi & Rossi
Christopher Doyle, Shimane SHINTO Land.19, 2013. Photo collage, 29.7 x 21 cm (11 ¾ x 8 ¼ in).
LONDON.- Rossi & Rossi announces Same : Difference, an exhibition of small-scale works that aims to highlight the individuality of disparate Asian artists within a non-Asian context. For this show the difference of their various approaches is constrained by a single constant – the size of the works: each artist having to use the dimensions of an A4 sheet of paper: 29.7 x 21 cm.

The title of the show is derived from the informal, often dismissive, phase “same difference” (each word, of course, the antonym of the other), indicating the belief that despite apparent differences two or more things are, in essence, the same. In separating the two words with a colon the idea is to highlight both the sameness and the difference between the artists and within their works.

The exhibition features specially commissioned paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures by eleven contemporary Asian artists from various countries: Hong Kong, Macau, Pakistan, Singapore, Switzerland, Tibet and the USA, and includes Benchung, Konstantin Bessmertny, Faiza Butt, Heman Chong, Christopher Doyle, Gade, Kesang Lamdark, Nortse, Tenzing Rigdol, Tsherin Sherpa, and Palden Weinreb.

The A4 format was chosen because it belongs to a series of paper sizes that has been adopted around the world for official and everyday use. The main advantage of this series is the aspect ratio of 1:√2, which allows for easier scaling up or down into the next paper size. Its functionality makes an A4 sheet of paper a ubiquitous object, one that is seen every day, the same in every office, banal and unexceptional. It is the intervention of the artist that makes the difference, each artist (and work) being different from the other. As such, the exhibition is a playful demonstration of how artists can, in spite of restrictions, transform the everyday and the standardised into highly distinct works that incorporate different skills and techniques while addressing different themes and issues.

In many ways Same : Difference is also a call to arms for the artists – an opportunity to show those who often airily dismiss Asian contemporary art – that artists of Asian origin and their works have a vitality and pertinence equal to that of ‘Western’ contemporary art; that they are the same as Western artists though often corralled into a different pen. The techniques and materials incorporated in the works – ranging from cloisonné to photo collages, old Tibetan prayer flags to melted plastic as well as more traditional materials such as gold leaf, acrylic and graphite – demonstrate how these artists are no different from any other, all are highly imaginative, determined and creative individuals, producing intensely personal and inspiring works of art.

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