Kiki Xuebing Wang: Blue Hour
2022.07.23 - 2022.08.21
Artists: Kiki Xuebing Wang

CLC Gallery Venture is pleased to present Kiki Xuebing Wang’s solo exhibition Blue Hour, showcasing 8 paintings created by the artist in 2022. It is also the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery, after participating in the exhibition Treasure Island Phantoms curated by Xie Nanxing in 2019.


Born in China in 1993, Kiki Wang received her master degree from Royal College of Art, London in 2020, and is presently based in London. In the last five years Wang has been exploring in painting an array of diverse subjects, from luxury handbags, designer garments, Jules Verne’s extraordinaires, Italian giallo films such as the 1982 Tenebrae, to changes and repetitions regulated by timekeeping apparatuses. By depicting carefully choreographed folds of vibrant fabrics and leathers, and by shedding lights from impossible angles on the objects hollowed or skinned, Wang maps through her painting practise the movement of an economy in which fetishism appears gory, dulled, and is consciously introspective regarding the deformed shape it is in.


Informed by a collection of writings on time such as those by Italian theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli, Kiki Wang shows in Blue Hour her latest series of paintings that depicts the innards of watches. Revealing the mechanism of time that is at once commonplace and mysterious to contemporary consumers — that are in most cases merely familiar with the exchange value of such lavish mechanism, instead of with its inner workings — Wang traces and renders the escapements, ratchets, wheels and pinions with her distinct palette, transforming the cold, metallic materials passionate and vibrant on canvas.


The term "blue hour" refers to a period of twilight when the sun is at a depth below the horizon; the title painting Blue Hour in the exhibition reconfigures such optical phenomenon, by presenting a centred, concentric structure that resembles a vigilant, cyclopean visage. Other blue paintings in the exhibition furthering elaborate this theme. The Belt of Venus, on the other hand, depicts yet another related optical phenomenon: also known as anti-twilight arch, it is the pink band of sun ray that appears opposite to the direction of the sun, at sunrise and sunset. In Kiki Wang’s painting, it is an intricate machine in tropical colours, supplemented by multilayered visual elements that function less as time-makers, but chiefly as time-killers — means and ways through which the time of painting is spent and experienced, against the homogenised and abstracted experience of a time such as sunset.


The three paintings from the series of Piece with Strings deal with Richard Mille watches that typically lay bare the innards, varying largely in hue, and minimally in time. The symmetrical build of the watch demonstrates Kiki Wang’s interest in tackling highly geometrical forms in a way that recalls Italian Futurism — a movement known for its obsession with speed, as she develops a protruding perspective over the last four years, zooming in substantially on the depicted objects. The numerously levelled transparency of the delicate object also reveals the artist’s intent to continue portraying material dimensionalities in her painting practise: from handbag leathers to timekeeping metals and precious stones, Wang carefully depicts crevices and traps to the extent of transforming the painting gesture into stroking, fingering and caressing acts.


Kiki Xuebing Wang was born in 1993, Zhengzhou, China. After living in Los Angeles for many years and graduating from the University of California, Los Angeles, she continued her study in London, UK, and acquired her Master of Arts degree from the Royal College of Art. Wang is currently living and working in London. Her recent solo exhibitions include: Blue Hour, 2022, CLC Gallery Venture, Beijing; 4 SOLOS, 2021, Linseed Projects x Westbund Art Center, Shanghai; A Robin Red Breast In a Cage, Puts All Heaven In a Rage, 2021, PM/AM Gallery, London; The Green Ray and The Scorpions, 2020, Linseed Project, Shanghai; and her selected group exhibitions include: The Connection, 2022, Billytown, The Hague; A Place of One’s Own, 2022, Andrea Festa Fine Art, Rome; Harmonious Arrangement, 2022, Half Gallery, Los Angeles; SALON, 2022, The Sunday Painter x Guts Gallery, London; A Couple of, 2021, Hive Art Center, Beijing; Watch the Fire from the Shore, Linseed Project, 2021, Shanghai; Reality Check, Guts Gallery, 2021, London; John Moores Painting Prize, National Museum Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery, 2021, Liverpool; Still @Live, MAPA Gallery, 2021, London; Barbican Arts Group Trust open, 2019, London; Sympathetic Magic, Zona Mista, 2019, London. And her works have been awarded by Visitor Choice Prize, John Moores Painting Prize, 2020 and Emerging Artist Prize, John Moores Painting Prize, 2020.