策展人 | 崔灿灿
开 幕 | 2018.01.20. 3:00pm
展 期 | 2018.01.20—2018.02.28
地 点 | 站台中国当代艺术机构
星期二 | Tuesday
2007 | 布面油画 oil on canvas | 147.5x198cm
2013 | 布面油画 oil on canvas | 61x95cm
基彭贝格的肖像 | Portrait of Kippenberger
2008 | 布面油画 oil on canvas | 140x100cm
MoMA | MoMA
2016 | 布面油画 oil on canvas | 91x121cm
Notes of History
Written By Cui Cancan
A classic is something that tends to relegate the concerns of the moment to the status of background noise, but at the same time this back ground noise is something we can not do without. Your classic author is the one you can not feel indifferent to, who helps you to define yourself in relation to him, even in dispute with him.
--Italo Calvino<Why Read the Classic?>
This is a story teller’s comment on other storytellers.In other words, an artist uses his own paintings to comment on other artists.These artists and stories include Bresson’s Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare shot in 1932, Yves Klein’s Leap into the Void in Paris; a day in Date Paintings of On Kawara, Hopper’s American Landscape, showing loneliness of earth in paintings; Beuys’hat and German flag, Serra’s steel plates at Kassel; the word “Russia” on brownblocks, and 3 p.m. in Raymond Carver’s novels.
OOF | OFF
2007 | 布面油画 oil on canvas | 147.5x305cm
The stories are told in different ways, such as documentary, adaptation, borrowing stories or comparison. The events and encounters occurring in their daily lifeare also recorded by storytellers as emotions or expressed directly. The different storytelling and comments, the seamless change between histories and imaginations have formed an interaction, constituting Liu Gangshun’s notes.
Sometimes, many notes imply value judgement, and sometimes they just record a vague moment. Being a faithful record can not explain why choosing these stories since there were so many events and people in history? The history can not prove itself, only when a storyteller needs the truth, will the truth speak: but in what kind of context and in what order, will what kind of truth be spoken? Or, only we have learnt the dual background of the story and the story teller can we understand the past based on the present; with the help of the past can we learn the present.
俄罗斯! | Russia!
2007 | 布面丙烯 acrylic on canvas | 136x136cm
On Dec. 27, 1984, On Kawara drew a Date Painting in New York; 10,000 kilometers away, Liu took a photograph in Daye Steel Plant, in which, a stone was on a chair. Liu drew two images together in the time that is concrete but also full of coincidence. In 2002, Liu came to Beijing to start his long life. He bought his first album here named Mondrian, which deeply affected him. 11 years later, he replicated Bill’s Four Enclosed Color Clustersand added a triangle in the upper-right corner and wrote “I like Mondrian”. In the same year, he drew Mondrian-style seven-color pens, desks and a blank sheet of paper in his work "Silence", and he drew a Mondrian bookshelf in "Daydream".Personal history begins with the passing memories, and the history means the transmission of the gifts and customs from the past to the future.
In some times, we can always find a similar look –eyesight of a same goal in history. The distance between histories will produce aesthetics, and even the most crucial history will also be given an absurd smile. The most tender memories might generate in explicable sentiment because of the distance. We can always find something shared in these obvious differences, something that connects us but has never been directly expressed.
刺猬 | Hedgehog
2013 | 布面油画 oil on canvas | 150x150cm
These same goals or connections appear in many of Liu’s works. In most of time, he did it on purpose or explicitly found the potential connection to give it a new state and context — Lichtenstein’s portrait of blonde girl and the logo of Chase Bank, hot dogs and advertisement of Nescafe. Hopper’s Nighthawk, the beginning of American scenery, and the indifference and alienation of modern life, thus, Liu drew "Money Never Sleeps".In Indiana’s "LOVE", the sharp triangle broke into the picture unexpectedly. The exhibition placed a “text” work in front of the works – "Life Is Really Dangerous".
Two different stories in different times and under different backgrounds, however, are fit by Liu together in the same work. They belong to one idea – the emerging and impact of American pop culture and consumerism, which were ecstatic gifts given by American culture to China. After experiencing various changes and reactions, Liu drew them in his paintings with the understanding of life and his emotions.
椭圆办公室 | Oval Office
2008 | 布面油画 oil on canvas | 147.5x198cm
The story contains ideas and also welcomes comments. Even the copies of the comments are still a kind of comment. Sometimes, the comment itself is a story. Liu once drew a portrait for Kippenberg in an unconventional way: he drew furniture of him – a curved lamp – to comment on his complex and precarious life. The story is always on the move with different meanings indifferent times and spaces. Space conversion is the key word in Elmgreen and Dragset’s works. In 2005, they brought “Prada Marfa” into the deserts of Texas. Liu Gangshun replaced the “Prada Marfa” with “MOMA”. As an art exhibition, it did not have an audience in true sense, since its destiny has integrated with the deserts. Stories were passed in spaces, and the images of the stories could also be vague. They will eventually become ashes before those people with great imagination to history and text sort them out and turn them into a pyramid-shaped miracle.
"Notes of History" are comments, stories, and the definition of the artists themselves. When notes begin to stretch, drawing turns into a long-term work with experience and significance, which will explore the reality while connecting the history. Liu needs to search references repeatedly and define himself by layering together his historical experience and connecting hope and frustration brought by his personal experience.
During the process of definition, he needs to constantly choose between yes and no, great and small, far and near, which is similar as the images we have seen in the novels and films. We keep approaching, pushing away and staying way while immersing ourselves in the scene at the same time. During his long-term creation, Liu repeated these actions, to gradually shorten the distance between historical and personal experience which finally turned increasingly vague. At last, if he is lucky enough, he will find out the true meaning from the vague.