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2023.10.28 - 2023.12.02

Artist: Sonia Jia

Curator: Wang Haoyang

'I think it all began with the day that I fell down on an uneven ground, and the pain came upon immediately. The broken skin started bleeding and the skin turned as redness. The change started on the second day, redness transformed as bruise and looks like cyan dots on skin. Time goes by, the scar begins to fade away, but I needed to get along with this scar for a period of time. During the rehabilitation, it was still painful when I touched it unintentionally.'

Cub_ism_ Artspace is pleased to announce the collaboration with artist Sonia Jia’s first solo exhibition in China, 「Untouchable」. Sonia’s art practice is based on the complexity of the precarious intimacy. During the working process, artist uses the redness and cyan left by trauma as the major theme color on canvas, which leads the viewers walk into the canvas and feel the frail emotion from the paintings. Exhibition is from 28 October to 2 December.


Exhibition named as「Untouchable」implies that people subconsciously escaped from the harm and also relates to artist’s discussion of precarious intimacy. In some perilous environment, there is a paradox exists in contradiction of people’s relationships——the boundaries between individuals disappear and are replaced by the individuals who without any kinship. The intimacy emerges from joint resistance to external risk factors. Sonia is influenced by the book Precarious Intimacies, precarious intimacies represent forms of connection, care, and solidarity as survival strategies and call attention to the forces that produce precarity: continuous economic, social, and political insecurity.  The two side poles in paradox relationship seems never intersect with each other,  but encounter and bound together with the precious emotion in between.

Bruise and scar seem to be a kind of language expression when the skin gets injured. These scars shadowy bonded with people for the rest of life, both on the skin, and also as a piece of memory sinks into our mind. Sonia initially discovers “bruise” from herself, gradually, she realizes that the harmful relationship brought about by this environment does not only exist as an individual; throughout history, there have been countless individuals who have been persecuted by wars. Artist drives her inspiration from historical context movie such as The Flowers of War and uses montage in expression and attracts viewers eyes to a focus point with certain gesture of the characters. For instance, in painting Tactile Fragment II, two women embrace with each other and there is an infant in their arms. The painting color looks like skin color and the cyan dot seems like cruise. Instead of using western oil painting skills which layering with heavy paint, the artist chooses Chinese landscape painting method that covering with gauzy paint and layered it. This kind of technique interprets the painting’s narration. Even though, the scar and bruise will gradually fade away, artist uses the brush to seal them on canvas and pervades the painting with a sense of past.

Influenced by Bataille’s concept “non-utile work”,  artist documents the irrational moment in life such as, hazy dream, indulgence and gaze in a narrative way. When the viewers stand in front of the paintings, the time is passing by. In addition, Bataille’s interpretation of life also implies that life is a turbulent movement that constantly seeks to explode. The inherent rebirth is the dance of revitalization. Sonia reconstructs these memories and rejuvenates them through their own creations. Although, the context expressed by Sonia is full of uneasiness, it is even more precious that the emergence of symbiosis and unity generated from intimate relationship. The skin will be revitalized when the scars and bruises healed spontaneously. Finally, the harm that people get through is not always the outcome of pessimism, but will rebirth as power of trees to sprout.

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