scratch paper, gold foil, OSB board
Guan Yu, Kong Qian, Li Weiyi, Pu Yingwei, Wang Qing, Joey Xia, Zhang Ji
Creating & Gesture
In his book Gestures, the Jewish philosopher Vilém Flusser takes sixteen basic human gestures and offers a phenomenological description to each one of them . In this well-structured and coherent book, Flusser weaves a seemingly loose but disciplined tapestry of gestures. From ‘Writing’, ’Painting’, and ‘Photographing’ to ‘Planting’, ‘Shaving’ and ‘Smoking a Pipe’, Flusser navigates with remarkable ease between the activities of everyday life and the specific creative practices. This exhibition is a play on the subject of creative gestures. There has never been a lack of studies of gesture in art history. Figures in painting and sculpture often impart significance through their specific gestures in a multitude of mythological, religious and secular contexts. Even more intriguing is the seldom-mentioned and rarely-encapsulated gesture of the creator. The gesture of creating is thus the core proposition of this exhibition.
The beginning and completion of a work are always in evidence. The vacant vehicle takes up the gesture of creation over time until it is fulfilled and reaches its end. The initiation and end of the creative gesture itself are difficult to measure and define. True creation seems to begin well before the act of creating and does not necessarily end with the completion of the creative action. The gesture of creating is closer to an uninterrupted, endless movement of self-analysis, constantly examining and reinventing its own meaning. Flusser notes that thinking without action is only a virtuality, that there is no real thinking until the gesture is made, and that thinking is only realised through the gesture. Therefore, creative thinking does not necessarily signify creativity. Likewise, confronting familiar material with an existing mentality is, in his view, a repetition of the stereotype; it is only by approaching unfamiliar material with new ideas that the prototype is constructed. The gesture of creating implies a drawn-out game destined to take place between the past, the known self and the future, the unknown one.
Connection & Communication
The real meaning of creating is to establish a relationship, and the gesture precisely addresses the essence of creating, compelling the creator to confront the self, the object and the other. The intention of the exhibition is to present a structure of creation, a constant reflection of the mind and a superimposition of action. The works, materials, traces, etc., shown are not in their original form, unprocessed or unorganised, but instead, they are strung together by the hands of the creators in loose or meticulous gestures that invisibly distinguish and articulate the different subjectivity of creation. Ultimately, these creative gestures extend through every corner of the exhibition and into an unexplored future tense. This show is all about the use of space as a medium to capture, record and respond to the very gesture of creating. Here, the space serves the same role as the canvas, the photographic paper or the screen that carries the work. The entire exhibition is dedicated to writing and communicating the unfolding self-representation of each creator in a spatial context.