MELBOURNE.- The National Gallery of Victoria
is presenting the large-scale, immersive video works of Wang Gongxin, one of Chinas most respected video artists, in a solo exhibition that opened on 11 April 2014.
Wang Gongxin: Video Artist presents three works that reflect upon contemporary and traditional Chinese culture, displaying Gongxins characteristically subtle humour and subverting viewers expectations by turning seemingly ordinary situations upside down.
Tony Ellwood, Director, NGV, said: This exhibition extends the NGVs focus upon international new media through the work of pioneering and influential Chinese contemporary artist Wang Gongxin. Gongxin is a driving force of Chinas avant-garde movement and was among the first to create a site-specific video installation in that country. The NGV is pleased to exhibit his captivating video works.
Wang Gongxin: Video Artist is dominated by the major nine-screen installation Relating its about Ya, 2010, an exuberantly filmic experience that deals with Beijings relentlessly fast pace of life in an intense display of sound, colour and movement. Basic colour, 2010, is a five channel video installation that depicts extreme close-ups of a naked body in which the human form is gradually hidden and abstracted by continuously-snowing powdered pigments. The third work, Dinner table, 2006, is a recent NGV acquisition which depicts a Chinese banquet laden with carefully presented dishes projected onto a steeply tilted white table defying gravity to slide slowly and impossibly upwards.
Born in Beijing in 1960, Gongxin trained as an oil painter in a socialist-realist style before his first encounter with video art in New York, where he lived from the late 1980s to mid 1990s. Back in Beijing, he and his artist wife Lin Tianmiao helped pioneer the Chinese video art movement, turning their home, and later a corner of a relatives restaurant, into a gallery where fellow artists could meet and show their work. During this time he began to produce video art and became one of Chinas earliest and most influential video artists with works that explored the diffusion of ideas between the West and China. Gongxin now lives and works between Beijing and New York.