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"Between the Lines: Reading Chen Linggang and Liang Weiyuan" on view at Art+ Shanghai Gallery
Installation view of the exhibition.

SHANGHAI.- Like Buddhist pilgrims who trek across vast terrain in search of enlightenment, artists Chen Linggang and Liang Weiyuan find meaningful insight through process. Between the Lines: Reading Chen Linggang and Liang Weiyuan presents contemporary works on canvas that express creation and contemplation, transcending legibility to fuel interpretation and introspection. The works contain an innate sense of inquisitive calm, marking traces of the artists’ hands and minds while inspiring viewers to participate in the reading process.

To see thought is to read a visual language that extends beyond the canvas. Every stroke, knot, color, and action becomes as integral an element to the art as the resulting canvases themselves. Rhythmic repetition and spatial structuring in the production process are mirrored in the visual manner. Paying homage to the past, the two Chinese artists reference the symbolism inherent in Chinese cultural heritage. Providing a depth of time and perspective, language is broken down into the process of its creation: the thought, the surface, the medium, the stroke, the visual, the interpretation. This abstraction creates new readings in the works of Between the Lines to be based on intricate meandering forms and textured materiality rather than established semantics.

The relative order and simplicity of Chen Linggang and Liang Weiyuan’s work belie complex strands of thought and grounding in cultural history. Writerly abstractions inspire new conceptions and interpretations of art, offering a way to see thought and read history in form. By questioning the process of art – where it begins, where it ends – the joint exhibition offers representations of thought on canvas that shape a wandering visual discourse. Immersive in logic and detail, Between the Lines: Reading Chen Linggang and Liang Weiyuan is a map. It is an epiphany.

Chen Linggang is a Beijing-based artist born in 1978 who studied Environmental Art at the Jilin Forestry University. His works on canvas involve printed ephemera or book pages that are knotted and compressed into grid-like collages. His textured compositions play with our understandings of heritage, language, and reading, often incorporating fragments of Tang Dynasty poetry to promote a sense of uncertainty and reflection. He has been exhibited throughout China and Europe, including solo exhibition On the Paper (S.T.A.R.S. Gallery, Beijing, 2013) and participation in 100 Young Artists of Excellence (Xiaopu Art Museum, Beijing, 2011) and Spicy Asian Art Exhibition (HF Contemporary, Berlin, 2011).

Liang Weiyuan is a Chongqing-based artist born in 1985 who studied Chinese Painting at the Sichuan Fine Arts University. His works incorporate bold color and delicate, interweaving strokes in acrylic on canvas, which are inspired by the Buddhist art of the Dunhuang caves and the expressive strokes of traditional Chinese calligraphy that sway between language and art. Liang Weiyuan is an emerging artist whose works have been exhibited in Huang Jue Ping Young Artists Invitational Exhibition (Chongqing, 2011) and Empowering the Future (Chongqing Art Museum, Chongqing, 2012).

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