Sunlight, Air, Water – Wang Zhiyuan Solo Exhibition
2021.10.30 - 2021.12.12
Artists: Wang Zhiyuan

Sunlight, Air, Water


CLC Gallery Venture is pleased to announce our first collaboration with artist Wang Zhiyuan “Light, Air, Water”, a solo exhibition that opens on October 30 and runs through December 12. Sympathetic with the Formalist language, Wang does not mind the conservative label, but is cautious of its dogma of immanent logic and seemingly fated decorative quality. What other possibilities are there for painting to give expression to contemporary quotidian life? He’s concerned with how may conventional formalist language regain responsiveness. In a relaxed tone he explains, “It has, after all, more to do with pleasing oneself.” Like a devoted formalist, he places action before planning, detaching himself from any conviction or direction in this container of sentiment vs. rationality called Painting, and relying on practical experience and instinct to cope with various poles of extremes. 


While working, Wang is both an involved hand and a cool observer of himself, prioritizing sustainable practice over every other issue, so his paintings are the fruit of the slow progression of his whole consciousness. Influence by Agnes Martin, he believes that painting is not to capture inspiration or the perfect moment, but more the result of humble work. Rollers, a tool associated more with physical labor, enables him to maintain an ambiguous distance from the tradition of easel painting. Rollers, plain, demystifying, and easy to understand, give the painting a more smooth surface and approach the illusory rendering for commercial/industrial products, so as to retain both the spontaneity of hand gesture and the coolness of mechanical aesthetic. Industrial standards for commercial renderings, independent of aesthetics, aim for accuracy, effectiveness and economy. The same common sense may be applied to painting, so the painter tries not to be subject to aesthetics that might interfere with the free flow of the working process, therefore avoid falling into a trapped mental state of problem solving and embellishments in the latter half of the process. In this sense, being relaxed is better than being tense, as over-concentration hampers free flow and creativity. Painting is about construction of ideas, and every day this action informs the decisions. There being nothing absolute right or wrong, we combine the two opposing gestures, painting and erasing (plus and minus) into one. The forms in Wang’s paintings do not appear strange or abstract at all. They resemble renderings of real space, except they are much too close up to recognize. The eyes can not figure out what these forms signify, but one can sense concretely the formless rhythm of movement, characters of shape, structures, weight, surface qualities, perspective, light and permeability: there seem to be a simulation mechanism parallel to reality at work behind the curtain. Inside the historical formalist paintings that claimed to be pure, there was never a vacuum. In “Sunlight, Air, Water”, his series since 2020, Wang makes a point of fusing the necessary awareness in formalist practice with life experience in everyday reality.


Wang Zhiyuan was born in 1990. His major exhibitions and residencies include “Sunlight, Air, Water” (CLC Gallery Venture, 2021), “Wang Zhiyuan” (Mine Project, Hong Kong, 2021), “I have nothing to say and I am saying it” (OCT Boxes Art Museum, 2019), “Lucid Art Foundation Residency” (California, U.S.A., 2016), etc. He got a BFA from China Fine Art Academy in 2013 and an MFA from San Francisco Art Institute in 2015. He is now based in Beijing.