Artist: Wang Wenting
Curator: Yu Fei
Hive Center for Contemporary Art is thrilled to announce the second solo exhibition by Chinese artist Wang Wenting in China，Wang wenting：Spectra of Being，opening on April 29，2023，in exhibition hall A，focusing on her latest paintings. The exhibition is curated by Yu Fei and will be on view until June 6，2023.
In the contemporary context, the word rainbow refers to the capture and the arrangement of the colors of everything that emerges from the action of light and water on the web of vision. Indeed, the earliest historical records of the rainbow date back to the Shang dynasty oracle bone script, when the ancients had difficulty understanding the spectacle of the rainbow and believed it to be a living material being, therefore creating a script design for it with biological references. In various mythological and folklore frameworks, the end of a rainbow is regarded as either the dwelling of the spirits or the site of treasures and the rainbow is also seen as a bridge between the gods and humans. In the coinciding imagination of the civilizations of the world, the rainbow symbolizes a fleeting realm of mystery where time and space flex, stretching infinitely into prehistory and the future. In this way, the rainbow connects color, matter, and space-time, establishing a spectrum of life under infinite imagination. These manifold qualities and attributes of the rainbow transform it into a perfect metaphor for Wang Wenting’s creative practice.
Wang Wenting grew up in an environment of various industrial processing plants, among which metal casting plants have fostered a particularly distinctive, specific and detailed sensory experience and visual memory for her. Arguably, Wang’s predilection for metals is not simply due to the affinity of individual experiences. Metal has an extraordinary peculiarity in the history of human civilization. Along with the creation of writing and the construction of cities, the smelting of metals has long been regarded as one of the three elements in the birth of humanity, a symbol of humans’ advanced involvement in the material world, so much so that major historical epochs have chosen to be named after metals. What becomes evident is that the painted metallic substances and casting scenes are extremely aesthetically appealing. Most metals are manifested as columns and rings, towering, curling, tumbling, and dispersing in a juxtaposition of rigidity and flexibility. In the exceedingly romanticized casting process, all metal-related materials uninterruptedly emit a subtle glow from the inside out, just like the afterglow of civilization.
Wang completely escapes from the original materiality, texture and color. Thus the spectrum of high purity and high saturation is enough to encompass everything in the material world. For her, the meaning of color does not rest on its imagery，but only on its intensity and abundance. Before actually painting on canvas, she randomly arranges the combines all the colors available and presented on the computer screen to compose the visual foundation of her works. The colors of the virtual world are endless, and Wang sifts through the new nature of the digital age with her own biological vision as a filter.
Wang believes that although the fantastical material worlds in her work are created by her, the subjectivity of those substances is not imparted by her but rather their inherent right. In the extended history of pre-modernity, pantheism dominated the judgment and definition of matter, projecting the understanding of humanity onto non-human beings based on the underlying logic of anthropomorphism. Immediately followed by unparalleled rational thinking, modernism placed humans and matter at the two ends of the scale of a subject-object dichotomy, reinforcing the hierarchical structure of humans and the material world. At present, Wang is seeking to adopt a post-humanist and Neo-materialist perspective that is different from the two aforementioned, appearing to and imagining the equal subjectivity of everything in a decentralized, de-instrumentalized, non-anthropomorphic and non-hierarchical manner.