Shang Yixin: Qu

2023. 07. 29-09. 15

Beijing Commune will present Shang Yixin's latest exhibition "Qu" on July 29, 2023, showcasing the artist's explorations and reflections in painting over last three years. This is also Shang Yixin's third solo exhibition at Beijing Commune. The exhibition will be on view through September 15, 2023.

The artistic style and creative path in Shang Yixin's art are integrated. The construction of visual patterns often begins with the artist's consciousness and motivation towards existence and its order, while the pursuit of
truth in layers is undertaken through repeated formal exercises. From his first solo painting exhibition in 2013 to two-dimensional works and light installations in 2016, Shang Yixin stems from the reality connection and metaphorical tradition between light, objects, and shadows, embarking on the true path of art through the rational evolution of the principles of affirmation, negation, and synthesis,. His paintings are based on simple elements of forms and complex compositional principles, developing continuous repeating, overlaying, and cycling visual derivation experiments, and gradually presenting the precision of his visual logic and the internal order during this process.

The limitations of tangible environment during last three years have further extended Shang Yixin’s painting from mere work practice into part of daily life. Painting has thus become a life practice for individuals to anew how to perceive and reconstruct the spiritual world . Day after day, the artist uses tools to draw straight lines - "one" (one in Chinese character is one horizontal stroke) - on the canvas, and then pulls the canvas to bend the lines. He uses the distorted canvas surface as a datum to draw once again straight lines overlaying the existing layer. And then he pulls the canvas again and stretches the lines to deforms... This back and forth process continues in a cycle of moving—sensing— responding—recognising, until the painting reaches a state of balance and saturation. Through this continuous generation and dissolution, the form is gradually evolved into a solid yet flowing, chaotic yet refined inner order.

"Drawing one line, bending one line" oscillates between affirming and rejecting, ideas and reality, order and destruction, and permanence and randomness. It is a daily exercise that the artist consciously undertakes. This exercise maintains a high level of vigilance in both body and mind, perceiving how the external stability of the frame interacts with the fluctuating tension of the internal "initiative" of the canvas under an impact of fickle climate in Southern China, and using this initiative

as a pivot to observes, captures, and records the ever-changing
mental status in daily existence. In his work, Shang Yixin endeavours
to transform a balanced force between the body and matter, as well
as the artwork’s dedicate tension between the structural order and spontaneous creation, into a cartography that explores and presents the invisible, intrinsic forces of spirit and life.

The exhibition title “Qu” represents a convergence of three meanings: the “one mind” of bending the straight ideal line by hand; the “one melody” of the image pitch and rhythm gradually formed within inherent limitations, oscillating between two extreme sides of the form; and the irreversible “one leap” of tortuous life breaking free from the closed structure of rationality. For the artist, the truth of life may lie within this process: “To me, it is like a living organism, it does not imply 'perfection' because the formation process is full of contingencies and uncertainties. I do not know what life really means, but perhaps perceiving and striving to comprehend the process of life itself constitutes the meaning of life.”