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The Hidden Matter-Ma Shuqing, Shen Kelong, Jiang Ji’an, Hang Chunhui

Asia Art Center is pleased to announce the opening of The Hidden Matter on September 22nd, 2018. The exhibition is on view through December 2nd, 2018. This will be a group exhibition of artists Ma Shuqing, Shen Kelong, Jiang Ji’an, and Hang Chunhui. The exhibition aims to present an investigation into the notion of “matter” within the realm of painting in both the East and the West, as well as explorations into the aesthetics of “matter” as painting (art) and its significance in understanding the intrinsic nature of art.

The Hidden Matter

The study of “matter” is paramount in Heidegger’s philosophy. Heidegger proposes that there are three modes of being: substance (naturally-derived), utility (a manmade object created for specific needs), and existence (art). Materiality is the intrinsic nature of matter. In the understanding of anancient Chinese philosopher named Zhuangzi, it is believed that it refers to the self-being of matter, which is the intrinsic nature of a matter as it isnaturally. Art as “matter” is often overlooked or concealed because of its unique aesthetics quality… matter has included it through a certain approach orconstruct to allow the materiality of everyday matter to be felt again via acertain way. While the visual and philosophical discourses on the existence of “matter” in the context of modern art ensue, “Tao” (the way) in traditional Chinese philosophy is connected to the “World” in Western philosophy.


马树青 Ma Shuqing
《无题2018系列 Untitled 2018 Series》 
综合媒介 Mixed Media 2018

Artist Ma Shuqing believes artworks are matter first, and matter is tangible. The message that matter conveys is sensible; it exists within the senses of sight, hearing, and touch, as well as color, sound, roughness, and hardness.Through repeated alterations in the process of painting, the painter has allowed it to become a unique “matter” of art. Ma Shuqing attempts to reset his artwork to its original state to become a tangible, touchable matter, to bringthe artwork closer yet distance its meaning.


沈克龙 Shen Kelong
《出岫 Over the Cave》 72x58cm 
Lacquer,Fabric,Wahui,Gold and silver foil

“Lacquer” is a material rich in cultural uniqueness and historical significance, evoking a feeling of density and strength. As the materiality oflacquer transforms to attach itself to literariness and spirituality, every creative process becomes a magical experience, as if embarking on a spiritual pilgrimage, again and again. Artist Shen Kelong attempts to transform the tradition and the unique materiality of lacquer as well as its embedded cultural significance, envisioning in a contemporary form.

姜吉安 jiang Ji'an
《应物游心·之一 In-between Object and Meditation No.1》 
39x201cm 现成品绘画 Ready-made Painting 2018

“To view matters through matters, to create matters by matters, and to perceive matters with meditation” is the way in which artist Jiang Ji’an views art and the fundamentals of philosophical concepts. In regards to the construct of traditional painting, what remains after stripping away the image is “matter”. The qualities of “matter” and“readymade” become the ontology of painting today. As a manifestation ofmatter, painting emphasizes on the sense of touch to become matter.Painting is no longer a two-dimensional substantive which exist externally from matters, but the various notes of the matter thing-in-itself. Painting unites with matters and result intheir great spiritual joy.

杭春晖 Hang Chunhui
《被形式遮蔽的信息-No.8 Message Obscured by Form-No.8》 
37x117cm   综合材料 Mixed Media 2018

For artist Hang Chunhui, the question lies in how to re-examine the relationship between materiality and its form through an Eastern approach. Brush and ink, xuan paper, bas-reliefand other traditional materials are used to discuss how materiality creates anew, undefined boundary within form and structure. In other words, the connoted relationship of the form and matter of later Modernism is examined through the crafts of Chinese painting. Just as the existence of light and shadow, matteris matter, and this form of existence seems detached from the usual understanding of object. The moment of realizing the existence of matter is obscured by the illusions of vision as it is implied in visual form.