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Galerie Perrotin presents first group show of young artists from Greater China
Cheng Ran, Film Still No.1, 2014. C-print, 179 x 90cm / 70 1/2 x 27 1/2 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and Galerie Perrotin.

HONG KONG.- Galerie Perrotin presents Forest of Illusions, featuring three artists from the 1980s generation of Greater China. The exhibiting artists, Cheng Ran (Hangzhou), Tsang Kin-wah (Hong Kong) and Yang Yi-shiang (Taiwan) share the same concerns about human conditions of the contemporary world. Forest of Illusions immerses audiences in an imaginative space, and provides insights on how to comprehend the current state we are living in through submission to illuminations. Curated by William Zhao, with Assistant Curator Jeannie Wu, the exhibition runs from 24 July to 23 August 2014.

Forest of Illusions brings together, three diverse artists who are united in their needs to inform the quotidian. Tsang Kin-wah’s white canvases carry seemingly subtle impressions, however upon closer inspection lies the sexual suppression, anguish and discontent that is encountered in mundane living. Cheng Ran uses black humour to voice out the absurdity of the virtual world, investigating the temptations and loneliness of the city dwellers; whilst Taiwan Yang Yi-Shiang’s delicate paintings, displaying the complexity and the weakness of humanity.

Forest of Illusions features a new video work by Cheng Ran, produced by the curator, featuring acclaimed actress Carina Lau as the female protagonist in narrative. A passionate supporter of the arts, Carina Lau was involved in the project on a pro-bono basis. The artwork, Always I Trust, narrates the sentiments of the epoch exquisitely. Mastering media as a language, the work transcends a simple encounter with junk email into an intriguing story. The mundane email featured is a pornographic advertisement to lure lonely hearts, and in spite of the highly personalised tone and ironic grammatical mistakes due to its nature being computer-generated, it attracted the artist’s attention to initiate a story about the real and the fake – both being so manipulative and paradoxical. The video work echoes with the sense of distance and indifference experienced by every city dweller, who yearn for heartfelt comfort. The scenes and mise-en-scene crafted to exquisite beauty are just like the false hope we have every now and then.

Conversely Yang Yi-shiang’s paintings strike the audience with its conceptual and sharp sensitivity expressed upon the unsettlements, disappointments and entanglements of the contemporary living. Yang Yi-shiang was not formally trained as a painter; however her strokes entail creativity. Her artworks feature solid foundations constructing impressions on canvas with poetic narratives and the unity of the colours.

Tsang Kin-wah is one of the leading local artists, having treaded a long path of creativity to established success. The seven paintings exhibited in Forest of Illusions were produced in 2009 and feature intense explicit content the very value that the curators found of importance. Tsang Kin-wah is well known for creating installations with strong graphical text, and this series is very far from those works. The images of sex and the visual language applied reveal about the artistic concept and manner of articulation whilst exposing the pretense, rage, helplessness and discontent generated by the pressured young generation of today’s world.

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