Hong Hao (b. 1965, Beijing, China) graduated from the Printmaking Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing in 1989. The artist currently lives and works in Beijing. Much of Hong Hao’s work features assembled scanned images of various found objects including maps, books, tickets, receipts, banknotes, food, and containers. In his 2009 solo exhibition “Hong Hao: Bottom" at Beijing Commune, the artist exhibited a series that features the bottom half of everyday objects. By arranging the scanned images according to their forms and colors, he destructs the functional property of the materials and reproduces an undifferentiated, flattened, deliberately superficial world of aesthetics. While Hong Hao continues to work with found objects, ”AS IT IS,” his recent solo exhibition at Beijing Commune, deals with the physical forms in a more straightforward manner, creating an interesting dialectic development of both the vocabulary and concept of his art.
Pace Hong Kong, 15C Entertainment Building, 30 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong
3 July – 12 August 2015
Pace presents Reflection, the first Hong Kong solo exhibition of Chinese contemporary artist Hong Hao. This solo exhibition features the artist’s latest works, including the Reciprocating and Reflection series. The exhibition will begin on July 3 and continue to August 12. A public opening reception will be held on July 3 from 6:00 to 8:00pm.
To follow the artist’s large-scale retrospective exhibition held at Pace Beijing in 2013, this exhibition will go beyond the artist’s print, collage and video installation art to present works on canvas. These works continue the artist’s creative concept of scanning, which breaks the boundaries of medium through a process of collection, scanning and output followed by hand painting, reaching a “dematerializing” process, a process of refinement that is completed by the intervention of the act of painting.
In his creations, Hong Hao has never consciously laid out image patterns, but the final results of his process present a powerful sense of inner order. This order reveals the artist’s self-restraint, while also making both the creative process and resulting artworks equally important. This constantly growing creation series now stretches out, unbroken, over more than a decade. Each day, the artist records the traces of his own life, consciously avoiding selection of the details, and regularly summarizing this information. In this process, so reliant on endurance and self-control, what the artist is refining is not technique, but his own mind. As it is embodied in the artworks, we see the visual content of the picture gradually shifting from specific material to more essential profiles or even simply lines. Through a decade-long process, we see this manifesting as the artist engaging in inner contemplation in works such as Development.
Like the scan collages that attracted so much attention in the art world, the canvas works featured in Hong Hao’s Hong Kong solo exhibition bring us thoughts about purer aestheticism. The artist dilutes and strips away the essences of things to indicate their root form, presenting the spatial relationship between “dematerialized” materials. This also provides insight into the artist’s ideals. After much tempering, he has returned to an original state, but this state now contains much more refined wisdom.
In the Reflection series featured in this exhibition, the artist treats the act of painting as a facet in the material cycle. These everyday consumer products are born on the two-dimensional plane, and through the aesthetics of industrial design, are produced on the assembly line, entering into everyday life through marketing, sales and consumption. As they are used by people, they come to influence, even compose, the modern way of life. The artist reverses this process through visual methods, bringing it back to the aesthetics of the plane and thus completing the cycle.
Beginning with the 2015 Reflection series, the surface has come to place more emphasis on the reflectivity of brushstrokes and the depth and layering of the surface, further dissolving the profiles of individual objects to leave only an aggregation of outlines. This series presents an abstract vision, but this abstraction is actually derived from a very specific reality, one rooted not only in the artist’s suspicion of the division between concrete and abstract, but also in his unique perspective on reality and value, which also presents as a release of the artist’s self-awareness.