New Exhibition "EARTH IS JUST A ROCK" is on view from May.20th to Jun.10th，2023
New Exhibition "EARTH IS JUST A ROCK" is on view from May.20th to Jun.10th，2023
Casa Regis Center for Culture and Contemporary Art is thrilled to announce the opening of "Land/Mind/Scape," a group photography exhibition featuring the works of seven exceptional Chinese photography artists: Ye Wenlong, Huang Jianxiong, Wang Xin, Yan Jingsong, Ye Tingting, Zhang Qingxiu, and Zheng Xiaolin. This exhibition is proudly supported by Yiwei Gallery in Los Angeles, and curated by Yiwei Lu and assistant curator Jason Chengtian Yu.
In a time where the world has become more divided due to the ongoing pandemic, this exhibition serves as a reminder that art has the power to bring people together. Despite living in different parts of the globe (China, Italy, and the U.S.), the curators, artists, and staff members of Casa Regis, have worked tirelessly together for six months to bring contemporary Chinese photography into a 500-year-old pre-monastery space. This remarkable collaboration is a testament to the idea that art can fill gaps and heal divisions, and art is a universal language that transcends borders and cultures. Through the lens of contemporary Chinese photographers, visitors are invited to explore themes such as identity, tradition, and modernity. The stunning photographs on display offer a window into the rich and complex culture of China, while also highlighting the shared experiences and emotions that connect us all as human beings. But the power of this exhibition goes beyond the art on display. It is a reminder that, even in times of great uncertainty and division, we have the capacity to come together and create something beautiful. Through collaboration and creativity, we can build bridges between cultures and communities, and work towards a more connected and inclusive world.
"Land/Mind/Scape" is a truly captivating collection of contemporary Chinese photography, showcasing the unique perspectives of seven exceptional artists who interpret the world around them through their lenses. The exhibition presents a rich variety of styles and techniques that evoke a profound sense of tranquil contemplation and introspection, transporting visitors to a realm of peaceful stillness and serene calmness. Each photographer's work exudes a sense of quiet beauty, utilizing subtle and understated compositions to convey a profound sense of emotion and contemplation. Drawing inspiration from traditional Chinese aesthetics and philosophy, the artists have skillfully incorporated contemporary techniques and approaches to their work, creating a truly unique and inspiring collection.
Within the exhibition, some of the artists delve into the ancient and revered concept of Shan Shui (山水), which speaks to the harmonious interplay between humanity and nature. Through their lenses, these artists present a stunning visual interpretation of this timeless concept, inviting viewers to become fully immersed in the tranquil and awe-inspiring majesty of the natural world. Meanwhile, other artists within the collection boldly push the boundaries of traditional photography, fearlessly experimenting with a range of materials, formats, and techniques to create truly innovative and strikingly original works of art. The outcome is a dynamic and exhilarating collection that showcases the limitless potential of the photographic medium to inspire and captivate audiences in exciting new ways.
A “Shanshui painting” (Literally translates as mountain and water painting）is more than just a mere depiction of a landscape; it is an embodiment of the artist's personal feelings, thoughts, and aesthetic understanding of the world. The term "Yi Jing" is used to describe this duality, with "Yi" representing the artist's subjective reflections and "Jing" representing the objective representation of the landscape itself. This exhibition presents a modern interpretation of traditional Chinese Shanshui paintings through the medium of photography. Ye Wenlong's photographs expertly merge contemporary lighting techniques with traditional aesthetics, resulting in stunning images that capture the essence of the Eastern black-and-white pictorial style in every shot. By skillfully incorporating strobe lights to capture the beauty of snow, utilizing two-dimensional perspectives to create a distinct viewpoint on landscapes, and encouraging the viewer to contemplate nature's beauty in a peaceful and meditative manner, Ye's work is both visually captivating and emotionally evocative. Regardless of the location, his photographs always fuse "Yi" and "Jing," reflecting both his personal emotions and the natural scenery in perfect harmony. Similarly, Wang Xin's images evoke the stillness and tranquility of traditional ink paintings, drawing attention to the subtle details and textures of the natural world. Her photographs encourage the viewer to slow down and appreciate the beauty of the moment, much like the experience of viewing a traditional Shanshui painting.
Throughout this exhibition, a recurring theme is the use of minimalist aesthetics. The photographers skillfully rely on simple and uncluttered compositions, using a restrained palette of colors to create stunning images that evoke a sense of calm and tranquility, reminiscent of traditional ink landscape paintings. Zheng Xiaolin's photographs are a prime example of this approach, featuring landscapes that are spare and uncluttered, with an endless horizon and sky that transport the viewer to a place of pure serenity. Negative space (留白), a fundamental element in traditional Chinese art, is also used effectively in photography to convey balance, harmony, and provide context. Additionally, it can evoke a sense of mystery or ambiguity. Inspired by the natural world's wonder and awe, Huang Jianxiong distills scenes down to their essential elements, capturing the fundamental aspects of a scene. His work seamlessly recreates the flowing, delicate lines and gradual blending of shades that appear in ink paintings.
For centuries, nature has played a central role in Chinese philosophy and spiritual representation. Mountains and rivers have been regarded as symbols of the divine, and their beauty has been seen as a manifestation of the spiritual realm. Zhang Qingxiu's photographs skillfully incorporate natural elements such as water, wind, and fire to express her understanding of the impermanence of the material world. Her images embrace these natural phenomena and convey her commitment to coming to terms with the passage of time. Yan Jinsong's large scroll photography prints exemplify the profound connection between the natural world and spirituality. They reflect his deep admiration for the devotion of Tibetan Buddhist practitioners as they make their way toward the sacred snow mountain. Yan aspires to capture the same lofty temperament as the ancient inhabitants of this space, using photography as a medium to connect with their legacy. Ye Tingting's photographs capture the intricate floral patterns on fabrics found in Chinese traditional alleys, revealing the antique aura that lingers in historical architecture. Her work not only showcases the exquisite beauty of these patterns but also connects her personal experience to the collective memory of social change. Through her photography, Ye Tingting reaffirms and solidifies her own identity while exploring her relationship with her surroundings.
The Land/Mind/Scape exhibition showcases the potential of photography to delve into the complex relationship between humans and the natural world. By drawing on traditional Chinese aesthetics and philosophy, the photographers featured in this exhibit offer a new perspective on the transformative power of nature to inspire awe, contemplation, and spiritual connection. Through their works, they challenge us to re-examine our relationship with the environment and embrace a deeper understanding of our place in the world. This exhibit not only provides a unique opportunity for cultural exchange but also encourages viewers to continue these conversations beyond the exhibit walls. Let us hope that Land/Mind/Scape sparks ongoing dialogues about our relationship with nature and inspires a deeper appreciation for the beauty and power of the natural world.
About Casa Regis:
Casa Regis - Center for Culture and Contemporary Art is situated in an historic building from the 1600's, located in a semi-remote mountain village in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy where visual artists, video-makers, sound artists, and writers can apply for a residency during the summer months. The location has the dual purpose of being in a quiet surrounding designed to promote an undisturbed creative process while the characteristic building can simultaneously be an aesthetic backdrop to showcase projects or host exhibitions.