WANG MAI: NEW PETROL CHINA
September 21st 2007, 7 - 9 pm
September 22nd - November 17th 2007
ALEXANDER OCHS GALLERIES BERLIN | BEIJING
Tues - Fri 10 am - 6 pm
Sat 11 am - 6 pm
ART FORUM BERLIN
September 29th - October 3rd 2007
October 11th - 14th 2007
ACAF New York
November 8th - 12th 2007
The symbols and icons of modern materialist society levitate luminously in an airy and agravic pictorial space. Seemingly ungrounded, they lure the eye of the beholder up to heavenly heights. A visionary panorama of illusiveness unfolds, sprinkled with a fullness of visual signs derived from the fleeting world of modern mass-media, propaganda and sold dreams...
Though barely in his mid-thirties and autodidact, the artist Wang Mai - born in 1972 in Yi Chun - already belongs to the most important and undoubtedly most interesting representatives of today's Chinese art-scene.
His artistic creations are affected by a particular topicality of content, mainly circling around issues of energy and economic policy and around the consequences of a world-wide exploitation of resources and environment. The artist is also concerned with the dangers of an all too blind belief in science and technological advance, with the false promises of capitalism, with the strong influence of big industrial enterprises and energy concerns - and with the power of their media-symbols. The tiger as figurehead and hallmark of a globally operating oil-company is quoted by the artist just as explicitly as the icon of a shell used by a competing enterprise, or the corporate symbols of other large companies, lavishing the well-known allurements of consumption not only on China, but on the whole world. Together we dream the same dreams, experience the same frustrations - and the same shipwrecks.
Wang Mai's exceedingly multi-layered pictorial compositions unfold within extremes - and hold a multitude of critical hints and ironic allusions. The artist leads us through an overflowing world of signs, full of visual attractions that need to be explored step by step. Thus, our eyes not only see the mere fair appearance, but also grasp what stands behind it: The powers governing this cosmos of illusions are being laid bare. Wang Mai generates a very peculiar and impressive visual aesthetics, similarly captivating and challenging the senses and the mind of the observer...
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