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Likes in the Flow, Ab-Ex on the Street
Solo Exhibition G Museum, Nanjing
Date: 07.15, 2023 - 11.12, 2023

Artists: XU ZHEN® 徐震®

ShanghART Gallery is pleased to announce that Xu Zhen®'s solo exhibition "Likes in the Flow, Ab-Ex on the Street" will open on July 14 at the G Museum, Nanjing. The exhibition will run from July 15 to November 12. The exhibition features Xu Zhen®'s latest "Passion" series of paintings and installations "Base" (2023), as well as his ongoing series "Under Heaven" and "The Metal Language".

The "Passion" series explores data-based realities and depicts the forms they may take in the age of social media. Xu Zhen creatively continued and developed pop art, conceptual art, and abstract expressionism in the global reformation towards cloud algorithms and artificial intelligence. The “Passion” series is presented in an "iconic style". Xu Zhen follows the logic and visual habits of social media interfaces in his painting practice. Oil painting is used as a material to express social media emotions in full swing within the limits of the three basic colors. Emotional communication, information exchange, thinking rhythm, and talking density construct the main dynamic relationship and impact the visual language of the painting. Thus, Xu Zhen integrated painting and screen, virtual and reality, which are ubiquitous elements in contemporary times, expanding and strengthening his visual language. The artist takes this relationship to the extreme, leading us to reflect on the instrumental logic and ethics of the social media age.

Different from the large-scale paintings, thousands of small paintings in the size of mobile phones appear neatly and densely on the walls, like a set of codes that can be called up at any time—these are the protagonists of the artist's "Signal" project. In the past year, more than 2,000 small paintings have been gifted to the artist's friends and audiences from different countries. Meanwhile, these paintings are posted on social media by the recipients. (WeChat, Tik Tok, Instagram, etc.) In the exhibition, Xu Zhen appropriated some of these images from social media, juxtaposing them with the real "Passion" paintings in the exhibition hall. Here, the artist embeds the smudge gesture in his paintings into the actions behind these self-media images such as posting, sharing, liking, and commenting. Xu Zhen appropriated an image of how the viewer was using his painting and hung a new painting on it again. He hints at the question of "how painting emerges today", mobilizing the viewer's sensitivity to the digital and the real world.

The design of the Apple Store is highly recognizable worldwide, allowing people to experience and consume in an atmosphere of innovation and high technology. In the exhibited work "Base", Xu Zhen directly appropriated a coherent set of displays such as tables and electronic devices from the Apple Store and designated it as a sculpture presentation. The iPhones are playing the content generated during real use. These realistic digital contents interrupt the comfort, safety, and professional high-tech sense of commercial design. Here, the artist integrates the realities of various social productions, integrating industrial design, consumer experience, contemporary technology, and big data platforms into this work. Let the whole set of products and display methods become the "base" of the sculpture, and the content on the mobile phone screen is the "shape" of the sculpture, making the "Base" a conceptual artwork that constantly collects digital images.

We can think of Xu Zhen®'s solo exhibition as an assembly site for emotional data smearing and social media circulation. Through his depiction of landscapes in the digital age, the artist organizes the reality of a new techno-based culture aesthetically and sensually.

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More Pictures:


Artnet | The Artist Xu Zhen—Prankster, Publisher, and Museum Founder—Has Returned to the Exhibition Stage With a New Show in China That Captures Our Need for Connection
《绘画, 动员》| 王亚敏评徐震®个展“漂流点赞,街头抽表”
徐震:速溶抽表,一次城市波普的突进 | 99艺术网
专访徐震,身名同一的数字化表达 | IDEAT理想家

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