Shuling Guo: 5–6 PM
- Dates: August 1st–October 4th, 2020
- Open House: August 1st–2nd, 11 am–8 pm, by appointment
- Curator: Lynn Hai
Fou Gallery is delighted to announce that the first show since COVID-19 – Shuling Guo’s solo exhibition 5–6 pm – will be held from August 1st to October 4th. The title comes from her oil painting series 5–6 pm, which will be presented together with her Skin series in this exhibition. A two-day open house with the artist’s presence will be hosted in the first weekend of the exhibition, registered by appointment only to maintain social distance.
In the northern hemisphere’s winter around 5 to 6 pm in the evening, the sun descends towards the horizon and the daylight gradually dims to end the day. This is the moment when the sky becomes a glamorous kaleidoscope of colors. Known as “Ōmagatoki (the time of meeting demons)” in Japanese Shintoism, the twilight, when night alternates with day is believed to be one of the occasions–with sudden changes of natural phenomenon–where non-human spirits appear. Shuling Guo’s 5–6 pm series, depicting subtle changes of colors and light, were created from her contemplation and observations of these moments. She has a keen and accurate intuition for interactions and shifts between different states, which results in a touching reproduction and amplification of subtle perceptions, her paintings being full of delicately honed shades and gradients.
Guo’s application of colors is inspired by her dedicated study of artist and educator Josef Albers’s color theory: “In visual perception a color is almost never seen as it really is–as it physically is. This fact makes color the most relative medium in art. ” (1963) In other words, our understanding of colors is not simply true to its physical properties, but rather subjective, variable and non-repetitive in our mind as circumstances change continuously. With a faith in perceiving rather than seeing colors, Guo is able to capture and re-render ephemeral beauty and a flowing atmosphere beyond the mundane with her sensitivity and concentration, although her themes of work are all just segments of everyday life. The visual imagery of her work is minimal; but through a deliberate presentation of a myriad of transitions of tones and shades, her visuals are divorced from generality and are sublimed into a higher level of emptiness and tranquility with spiritual shock.
5–6 pm series is Guo’s depiction of a number of vivid evenings in her memory. Sunset emanates a dazzling glow and casts a rich spectrum over the sky, the sea, and a corner of a wall. There are almost no concrete figures in Guo’s framing, but only empty scenes with mere light and colors that spread their fluctuations onto the painting surface. Skin series portrays the impressions of light being softly refracted when it penetrates petals and leaves. By magnifying commonly-overlooked details, images of objects are decontexted and thus become abstract. Colors in the paintings present similar lightness and clarity, yet subtly shift between warm and cool hues. The emphasized appeal of generic things sparkles the audience’s interest to observe life from unexpected perspectives.
Guo’s art practice is also influenced by Mark Rothko’s signature works. In Rothko's large-sized paintings. In Rothko’s large-size paintings, symmetrical rectangular blocks in contrasting or complementary colors end with delicately blurred edges, seemingly floating on the base color and vibrating against each other. Although the color blocks in Rothko’s paintings are extremely pure and abstract, they convey intense emotions that overwhelm the audience immediately. Guo believes the most important essence of art is to evoke ubiquitous but precious memories and emotions that dwell in every human, therefore she hopes her art can create striking moments for her audience through the emptiness and simplicity in her expression.
As part of a young generation born around the late 1980s, Shuling Guo grew up during a time when globalization continued to accelerate. Back then, the ever-growing openness, flexibility and freeness of the cultural and artistic environment in China gifted this generation the opportunity to immerse themselves in many unique subcultures and foreign cultures, which ultimately resonate and integrate with their innate Chinese culture. Guo appreciates the “Wabi-Sabi” aesthetics derived from Japanese Zen Buddhism which esteems austerity and humility, and considers ephemerality, impermanence and imperfectness inevitable in the beauty of all substances. Consequently, her paintings capture evanescent instants and atmospheres, refresh typical impressions of ordinary things, and leave room for limitless imagination with her seemingly-abstract frames. Moreover, she regards painting as a spontaneous behavior that is nearly physiological, complying with the most genuine sound from her heart. It sprouts from her nature without any pretension, and thus appears as the most direct image of her aesthetic and faith. Every year Guo spends a lot of time living on a sailboat and paints all by herself. Being far away from the hustle and bustle, she is able to reflect and meditate thoroughly on her inner spirit, naturally fertilizing her life and creation with growing authenticity as time goes by.
Shuling Guo: 5–6 PM
- 展览开幕：8月1日/2日，11 am–8 pm，Eventbrite预约参加
否画廊荣幸地宣布，新冠疫情后策划的首次展览——艺术家郭淑玲个展《5–6 pm》将于八月一日至十月四日举办。展览将呈现郭淑玲《5–6 pm》系列与《皮肤》系列油画作品，而展览名字正来自于同名系列的作品。
郭淑玲的色彩表达受到艺术家、教育家约瑟夫·亚伯斯 (Josef Albers)的色彩理论影响：“在视觉感知里，色彩很少呈现出它实际客观上的样子。这令色彩在艺术中成为最具有相对性的媒介(1963)。”从知觉的层面去理解，人们对事物色彩的认识是主观的，随外界不断变化且不可复制，并非简单地看到色彩的物理性质。因此，尽管郭淑玲所创作的简洁画面多为生活中常见的片段，然而她利用敏锐而专注的主观感悟重新演绎了那些稍纵即逝的美感和氛围；她的描绘虽取材于具象风物，但通过画面中尽可能多地呈现色调和灰度的微妙变化，视觉上脱离了日常的浅层感知，呈现出抽象、宁静的高层次精神力量。
《5–6 pm》系列描绘了郭淑玲记忆和经历中数个美丽的黄昏时分。傍晚的光线在天空、海洋或墙的一角变幻出丰富的色谱，郭淑玲的画面却并不勾勒出任何具体事物的形象，而是以空镜头一般的表达将光与色的细微演变平铺在画面之上。《皮肤》系列则来自光线穿透花瓣或植物发出的轻柔散射，画面将现实事物的细节放得极大，令原本具象的事物成为了抽象。画面中的色彩明度一致而冷暖交织，其超越现实的感染力令观者燃起观察万物的兴趣。郭淑玲的创作亦受到马克·罗斯科(Mark Rothko)的晚期代表性风格影响；罗斯科的作品中，简洁的矩形边缘微妙而模糊，浮在底色之上仿佛在不停颤动。画面只有纯粹而抽离的色域，却能够传达强烈的情绪，给观者以深切的震撼。郭淑玲认为，艺术最动人的亮点即是要抓住人类共性的情感，她希望自己的作品也能够以空性、极简的表达，在一瞬间击中观者的内心。
(b. 1986, Guangdong Province, China)
Graduated from the Oil Painting Department of Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (B.F.A.) in 2010. She immigrated to the United States in 2019, and now lives part time in Philadelphia and part time traveling on the Sailing Vessel Selkie. In 2012, she had her first solo exhibition Secret Fragrance in Beyond Art Space in Beijing. Since then, her work has been widely exhibited in Beijing, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and among other places. Her works have been included in the permanent collections of Central Academy of Fine Arts Art Museum (Beijing) and Art Museum of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts (Guangzhou). In August 2020 she has her first solo exhibition in New York at Fou Gallery: 5—6 pm.