Curated by Leo Li Chen
Blindspot Gallery is pleased to present the duo solo exhibition “Zhang Wenzhi: Tiger in Mountains, Deer at Ocean” and “Zheng Haozhong: Melodic Variations”, showcasing the recent paintings of the two Mainland Chinese artists.
Zhang Wenzhi is deeply influenced by the colonial history of the Japanese and Russian Empire in his hometown in Northeast China. The cultural history of the region dating to the early 20th century and the subsequent industrialization and modernization of the area are fundamental to Zhang’s practice. He creates ink paintings that incorporate archival materials, exploring the enduring presence of histories, overshadowed by shifts in power and urbanization, in the region’s collective cultural memory.
Zheng Haozhong creates portrait paintings of close friends and acquaintances, finding traces of self-expression in the depiction of other individuals. His studio acts as a working space but also a source of inspiration, often serving as a backdrop in his paintings. The window on the studio wall emphasizes the interiority of the space, analogous to his connection to the exterior world. Zheng continued to practise the saxophone during the pandemic, harnessing the performative nature of music as a tool in his artistic language. His work is imbued with an expressive and uninhibited character, reminiscent of musical improvisation. The brushstrokes channel the sentiments of his sitters, and teetering on prescribed norms, they are like dissonant notes within order.
Through different approaches, the two painters share a commonality in exploring how individuals navigate through complex realities, dealing with the internal and external, the past and present, the private and public. Their works reveal a poignant self-awareness that is explored through the language of painting.