• WATER - Art Exhibition
  • Artist: Cao Xin, Chai Yiming, Dong Wensheng, Guo Peng, Han Lei, Han Zijian, Hong Lei, Luo Yongjin, Shen Ye, Su Jiaxi, Wang Yabin, Zhang Moliu, Zhu Bing
  • Critic: Chen Haiyan
  • Opening: 2015.07.18 / 16:00 - 18:00
  • Duration: 2015.07.18 - 2015.09.04 / 10:00 - 18:00, Daily
  • Address: OFOTO&ANART. 2F, Building 13, 50 Moganshan Rd., Shanghai
Preface remarks ‘ all inner desires can boil down to the forms of water’
Paul Claudel
Water of Whisper 
by Chen Haiyan

Viewing the works in "water" exhibition, excluding the difference in expressions and forms, I found that some works are visual presentation of individual experience about water, some focus on the humanistic concern on the present reality, while the others reached the depth of philosophical thinking. My personal preference is the last part, the artistic value of this kind of works lies in the exploratory and inspiring nature. Of course, there is no absolute superiority or inferiority in art, there is only ideal viewer and different angle of appreciation. For a thematic group exhibition, every artist’s thinking, creation and presentation on "water" is different water from the same source, eventually converging into a waterscape of shining inspirations. Such exhibition is a helpful visual feast to the art lovers and even the artists themselves.
Regarding the "water" this kind of common and profound urmaterie, the previous descriptions are like overflowed floods. Honestly, I’m sitting here and thinking for very long time and trying best not to fall in conventional patterns, long enough that my will is corroded by my oozing sweat. Moreover, the sweat as water absorbed by the body, after processing and emissions, becomes a refrigerant which can decrease the overheating temperature and anxiety. It has to be washed off due to its caustic effect in order to maintain physical health. After drink large quantity of water to supply body fluid, I suddenly realize that the "water" in Chinese and English both can be used as a verb. Moisten and digestion is the "action" of water. Water is no longer a simple noun. Comparing to macro universe, water is the source of life, birth and maintenance. It is the major part of human being, animals or plants, even the whole blue earth. In the micro world, water changes character through fusing with other substances and using the natural power turns into sweat, tears, blood, body fluid and various life organic fluids, or forming liquid, solid, gas or steam state of rivers and seas, frost, rain, snow, cloud, mist, etc. Moreover, social production activities and commercial consummation produced artificial drinks, medical drops, etc. Which means water exists in the way of using natural or artificial effect to dissolve other materials. In the lever of metaphysical, water is a relatively "sticky" urmaterie. It is colloid to glue various materials together, its the carrier and donator of forms, so that obtaining the philosophical characteristics of "maternity", such as inoculation, catalysis, nourishing, acceptance, fusion, parcel, even melts. 
Such maternal imagery, apparently created in Oedipus mother complex, like "Spring water" in literature, contains beauty and sensuality, full of warmth and caring. Therefore, the waterside farming civilization refers to the river as "mother river" and refers to the water as "milk". The imagery of its pure white being compared to flawless, innocent and selfless emotional power, becomes the symbol of breeding and feeding life and civilization. When people put children into cradles, adults jump into water and swim, the elderly sit in the rocking chair in the sunset and body gently swaying, enjoy the nature’s most mysterious leisure, the shaking is closer to the people’s first memory in the womb of amniotic fluid. That is the other meaning of the imagery. In this poetic water dream and under such big blessing, the maternal water expresses so strongly on life that people poeticize the emotions and forget the pain in life. In a vague memory and daydream, they imagine that water can also bring death into the eternal cycle. When people die, after crossing the Lethe water and drinking the Forgetting soup, they believe water eventually can bring life back to earth. Water brings life to everything and everything can return to water. Flow is the essence of water and time is the essence of flow. “Water” is the word to describe the virtue of God.
However, in the five elements of Yin and Yang, water is the northern basaltic god, in charge of reproduction and life, he is the infinite black, can conquer fire and can also be injured by the soil. When pampered life and civilization is always endless demanding and when love is always being betrayed and despised, water gets angry and gradually becomes violent, and then with bloody red begins to drop into the water. At this point, the water is not homogeneous and pure, lost "best virtue” and no longer being selfless, it becomes evil and causes disaster. Such fierce anger along with the continuous influx of red imagery becomes more and more thick and sticky, psychologically and gradually turns into a creamy, painful, and stinky black liquid and becomes the symbol of “misfortune”. When this unfortunate liquid is injected into living body, it forms a vicious cycle.
The dying people and fish helped each other on the cracking river bed, looked forward to the Greek mythologic Poseidon with his carriage, hoped that he throw Trident into the air and expected the miracle. Qu Yuan questions”who is willing to have their clean body get dirty?" This is the warship of the pure water. Born pure and died pure as well. Therefore, the water becomes "holy water" in the spiritual world. With the symbol of purification it can wash off all the dirt and filth from life. Such symbol is popular in religious rituals and ceremonies, even in every single dripping tear of soul.
When the softest water flows quietly with the thoughts deep down in heart, the real world transforms into a self-love Narcissus, calm as the still water, observing time, space, life and death. When he sincerely sings, the crystal smooth water would reflect an ideal poetic picture. Because, water has emotions, that’s the whisper of water.



Cao Xin (ANART links) _Face NO.43, 33×26.5cm, Paper and Comprehensive Material, 2013|

Chai Yiming (ANART links) _Pipe Dream, 106×41cm, Mixed Media, 2014

Dong Wensheng _Little Waterspray, 33×26cm, Gelatine Silver Print on Fiber Paper, 2012

Guo Peng (OFOTO links) _Gap, 66×26cm, Inkjet Print on Fine Art Paper, 2015

Han Lei _Suzhou Museum 02, 145×190cm, Inkjet Print on Fine Art Paper, 2014

Han Zijian _Sand Book, 80×70  × 3 pieces, 2008

Honglei _The Scripture of Heart, 55×36.5cm, Edition of 7, Inkjet Print on Fine Art Paper, Hand Pigmented, 2015

Luo Yongjin
 (OFOTO links)_Otherness · Window Screen, Pingshan, 60×40cm, Edition of 10, Inkjet Print on Fine Art Paper, 2015

Shenye _Gold Method 1, 240×55×30cm, Rice Paper, Lacquer, Gold Foil, 2015

Su Jiaxi (ANART links) _Rain, 45×23cm, Acrylic on Paper, 2015

Zhang Moliu (ANART links) _Double Diving, 56×78cm, Watercolour on Paper, 2014

Zhu Bing (ANART Links) _Sea 05, 130×97cm, Mixed Media on Canvas, 2014