Venue: iPreciation, 50 Cuscaden Road, HPL House #01-01, Singapore 249724
Private Preview: 11 Apr 2019, Thursday, 6 – 8pm (By Invitation Only)
Exhibition Opens to Public: 12 Apr – 27 Apr 2019
Artist Talk: 13 Apr 2019, Saturday, 2pm (Moderator: Ms Chow Yian Ping)
iPRECIATION is proud to present a solo exhibition by Chinese artist Chen Xinmao 陳心懋 (b. 1954), entitled Peony Pavilion「遊園驚夢」. Chen, currently a Professor at East China Normal University, College of the Arts in Shanghai, has exhibited widely across China and internationally. This exhibition marks the debut of Chen’s artworks in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Peony Pavilion「遊園驚夢」 by Chen Xinmao 陳心懋 is the first of iPRECIATION year 2019 series of ink exhibitions that highlights outstanding Chinese and Singapore artists and their contemporary encounters and reinterpretation of the long tradition of ink painting. iPRECIATION year 2019 series of ink exhibitions will also include exhibitions by Cai Guangbin, Jennifer Wen Ma, and Zhuang Shengtao.
This exhibition showcases Chen’s most recent works entitled “Peony Pavilion” inspired by China’s famous kunqu opera of the same name, written by the Ming dynasty playwright Tang Xianzu in 1598. The opera tells a fantastical love story of an official’s daughter Du Liniang and a young scholar Liu Mengmei. Transcending time and space, and life and death, Peony Pavilion has enchanted its audiences across the centuries.
Chen has seen the opera multiple times and was inspired to create artworks based on its story. In depicting the well-loved story, Chen aims to capture the essence of the “Chinese aesthetic”. Defining the “Chinese aesthetic” has been a key focus in Chen’s art over the years. As a part of the generation of Chinese artists who were born in the 1950s, Chen has experienced China’s tumultuous political and cultural changes, which culminated in the Cultural Revolution and the 1985 New Art Wave Movement.
With the influx of various artistic influences, methods, and ideologies, Chinese artists of the time explored various modes of individualistic expression. Chen’s diverse artistic influences come to the fore in the melange of text and imagery of mountains, rocks, landscapes and varied figures seen in his Peony Pavilion artworks. In Chen’s work, he has always made use of a diversity of subjects and media, yet he has always maintained his goal of capturing the traditional Chinese aesthetic in the contemporary era.
Chen believes that landscape painting continues to be representative of the Chinese aesthetic, particularly in the depiction of gardens and its related elements. Peony Pavilion and its garden setting, which the entire opera takes place in, realise Chen’s thoughts on how best to portray gardens in his paintings.
According to Chen, while the garden carries importance, the figures in the garden form the central focus of his paintings. Chen views the people in his depicted gardens as a symbol of humankind. Whether in the past or present, people have been demarcated by religion, ethnicity, laws and social customs, yet they share a universal search for freedom and equality.
The figures in Chen’s paintings provide depth and breadth in their encompassment of the relationships between humans and society. Chen’s works reflect the indispensable tradition of Chinese painting of cleansing our hearts and minds.
Chen Xinmao 陳心懋 (b. 1954, China) studied at the Art Department of Shanghai Theatre Academy for his bachelor’s degree and graduated in 1982. He later obtained his master’s degree from Nanjing University of the Arts in 1987. On top of practising his artistic career, Chen is presently a Professor at East China Normal University, College of the Arts.
For more information on Peony Pavilion and Chen’s works, please contact us at (65) 6339 0678 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.