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Intimate, More Intimate

2024.07.06 - 2024.08.03

Artist: Zheng Lanxiong

Curator: Zhou Qinru

Cub_ism_ Artspace presents "Intimate, More Intimate", the first solo project by artist Lanxiong Zheng at the gallery from 6 July to 3 August 2024, featuring more than a dozen paintings and sculptures in clay.

Zheng Lanxiong's individual memories and emotional connections are tugged between inward and outward, and this delicate process is also his creative process. A painting is an intimate experience for him - when one remembers a cosy afternoon in childhood, a beloved toy, moments of quiet solitude, it is as if one is looking through a veil or a fog (it might be more appropriate to use the term "to feel" is used to refer to the "to look"). Zheng Lanxiong repeatedly uses very light colour to fill and adjust the painting, over and over again, his feeling is either deepened or hidden, and finally encounter with the viewer as an unclear and ambiguous gesture. "Colour is in the body, sensation is in the body, and not in the air. Sensation is what is painted. What is painted on the canvas is the body, not insofar as it is represented as an object, but insofar as it is experienced as sustaining this sensation, called, "the appleyness of the apple"."


"I only believe in creativity that comes from being true to the inner drive of myself."

This exhibition attempts to expose the artist's private world to the public space of the gallery, reversing the role of his works - from "as an outlet for emotions" to "as an entrance to memory". It invites the viewer to see (and feel) through a "veil" or "fog". As an extremely personal space, the bathroom is usually small and closed, which is why it has become a “refuge” for the artist in the midst of social life. Zheng Lanxiong often props his hands on the sink and looks at the mirror without expression for a long time, but sometimes he is afraid. "Now I fear the mirror may disclose. The true, unvarnished visage of my soul”. The exhibition, however, deliberately places the "bathroom" in the most open area of the space, surrounded by almost no walls, also out of a challenge to such an "intimate" state, because for the viewer who meets his work for the first time, the experience seems to be more unfamiliar. For the viewer encountering his work for the first time, the experience seems more unfamiliar. “The face God sees, that men perhaps see too”. —Who knows?

Zheng Lanxiong's creations also include childhood toys and games - although these old objects are long gone and those self-indulgent games can no longer satisfy him. The rocking horse, small elephants, and tadpoles held in his hands, the exhibition uses the concept of "collection" in a relatively private space to recreate the "storage room" that does not actually exist, but is the artist's most desirable. Unlike the “bathroom”, the “storeroom”, as Zheng Lanxiong's "more intimate" inner space, does not bring the artist any uneasiness. "When I was growing up, there were so many toys, and I have long since passed the age of playing with them, but seeing the simple handmade toys always evokes feelings in my heart, but I can't find the old rocking horse any more." Zheng Lanxiong perceives that this area has long belonged to distant memories and cannot be retrieved, so likewise, it cannot be destroyed, and in this solid state it can be picked up by self without withering.

The relationship of "intimate and more intimate" is not only a summary of the artist's deepest emotional state, but also a means of survival for the artist - he works hard and spontaneously, he has his own little moments of freedom and sublimity.

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