Duration: Aug 31 – Sep 20, 2019
Opening Reception: Aug 31, 2019, Saturday at 3pm
Address: 268 Keefer street, #071 at Lower-ground (LG), Vancouver
Gallery hours: Tues-Sat 12-6pm
Curators: Xiaoyan Yang, Steven Dragonn
BRINGING THE SPIRIT FROM AFAR TO THE OTHER SIDE OF OCEAN
It was in 1987 when Wang Yiming began his first sketching tour to Tibet. Ever since then, he has been obsessed with the rite of “Kora”. In the past 30 years, he made numerous journeys into remote mountains in Tibet. Just as how Tibetan Buddhists express their piety, he also calls his art journey “Kora”. He has already completed 10 trips to Tibet since 2011. Each year he spends one or two months driving to Tibet and practicing sketching from the morning until afternoon when the wind starts to blow. “The way Wang paints may look like sketching , but is in nature a synchronized movement of emotion and body aroused by the majesty of the summit. What sustains his painting on a 8m*3m canvas all day long is the stamina stimulated by a unique emotion. The self-indulgence in his paintings boasts an intense sense of presence, making it more like a tough mental and physical improvement instead of a sketching. In this sense, Wang’s paintings are a kind of action painting, and his artistic practice is the result of something closely linked with his own action”, observed by Yang Xiaoyan, a famous Chinese art critic.
Tibetans practice “Kora” in a number of ways. They walk around a holy mountain or a holy lake just to express their gratitude to mother nature. And this is their spiritual pursuit. I believe a lot of things in human society are just expressed in different ways. They are different because your background of growing up and getting education are different. Or maybe because your jobs are different, just like I am a painter myself. I have been to Tibet for so many times in these years because I am attracted to everything in there. This is my spiritual pursuit and my belief of “Kora”. What appears in my paintings and those paintings done traveling in Tibet are two totally separate concepts. I absorb all the elements in Tibet and reorganize them in my mind before making them into something completely different”, said Wang.
Flag is a spiritual token for Tibetans. Wang borrows this form as a symbol of his action painting. Just as what Huang Jiancheng, a Chinese artist, observed that “Tibet has a sense of belonging and life to Yiming. Traveling to Tibet is just a start, or a part, of his destiny to Tibet. I think what Tibet means to Yiming is more than merely a symbol or a physical experience in surface, but more like a call from within or a religious belief. Only with this can he leave such a meaningful adventure in life”. As a “Tibetan-style” symbol, flags convey the meaning of making wishes and praying for good luck. Stripping off this symbolic element from his abstract paintings created when he traveled to Tibet and elevating it to a kind of behavior art full of a primitive sense of ritual, Wang plans to drag along the “colorful flags” made with 81 pieces of 15m*3m painted cloths around the foot of Mount Everest in the way of walking around the mountain, or “Kora”. He observed that “ I hope people can pay attention to the nature that sustains us. Visitors to Mount Everest leave a large amount of garbage in the camps. Grave environmental pollution can be found at the summit of earth , let alone the rest parts of the world”. Wang hopes to do something for the world, for Mount Everest and for environmental protection through such a painting action.
This time, Wang has brought this spirit with him to Vancouver, a city on the other side of Pacific. In the form of action art, he continues to explore the meaning of life and share his feelings with audience outside China. After his solo exhibitions in Today Art Museum in Beijing (2017), 21 Space Art Museum in Dongguan (2017), Redtory in Guangzhou (2018), Coast Gallery in Zhuhai (2018), chief special art project of Shanghai Art Fair (2018), and Meishan Land Art Festival (2018), Wang started his worldwide promotion of painting actions advocating environmental protection. Vancouver is honored to be the first stop of this journey. Besides paintings created in Tibet, this exhibition will exhibit Wang’s new painting created in this very journey to Vancouver together with local artists. The painting is 20 meters long and is created on a silk-linen cloth.
To support daily operation of Shang Foundation for Art and Canton-sardine, promote environmental protection in art practices and artistic exchanges between China and Canada, Wang has made a generous donation of 15 pieces of exhibit works to raise fund for the operation of the foundation and the gallery.
Flags on the Other Coast: Wang Yiming’s Solo Exhibition in Vancouver is co-curated by Yang Xiaoyan, Chinese art critic and professor at Sun Yat-sen University, and Canadian independent curator Steven Dragonn. The exhibition will open at 3 pm on August 31, 2019 at Canton-sardine until September 20. Guests are invited to grace the opening ceremony, where Wang Yiming will share his thoughts of creation.
Steven Dragonn, director and founder of Canton-sardine
Brief introduction to Wang Yiming
Born in Liuyang, Hunan Province, Wang acquired his master degree from Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts. He is now Dean of Art Teaching and Research Office, Dean of Visual Art Laboratory, and Dean of Environmental Art Research Institute at the School of Architecture of South China University of Technology, and member of the Art Teaching Committee of the Architecture Discipline Professional Steering Committee of National Higher Education Institutions.
Solo Exhibitions of Wang Yiming
2017 Mountain Kora: Yiming Wang’s Spiritual Journey, Today Art Museum, Beijing
2017 A Long Spiritual Journey: the Painting Actions of Wang Yiming, 21 Space Art Museum, Dongguan, Guangdong
2018 Flags: Loving Mount Everest, Respecting Nature, Wang Yiming’s Public Art Actions, Coast Gallery of Gree Real Estate, Zhuhai, Guangdong
2018 Flags: Loving Mount Everest, Respecting Nature, Wang Yiming’s Public Art Actions, Chief Special Art Project of the 22nd Shanghai Art Fair, Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center, Shanghai
2018 Flags: Loving Mount Everest, Respecting Nature, Wang Yiming’s Public Art Actions, E5 Art Gallery, Redtory, Guangzhou
Rain Season in Shangri-la, published by Hunan Art Press
Mountain Kora, published by Lingnan Art Publishing House
策 展 人：杨小彦，龍邃洋
幡，作为藏民的一种精神的寄托。王义明借用了这种形式作为他行动绘画的一种象征，正如中国艺术家黄建成评论道：“西藏对义明应当说有一种生命的归属感。上西藏只是他西藏宿命的开始，或者是一部分。我想西藏之于义明应当不仅是表皮上的符号、感官上的体悟，而是内心的呼唤和宗教般的信念所至，如此才有他生命中这一段极富意义的痕迹”。 幡作为一种“西藏式”的象征包涵的是许愿、祈福的意义。王义明在连续进藏的创作中从抽象绘画中剥离出这一象征元素并将其升华成一个与绘画结合，并具备原始仪式感的行为艺术——他计划把81条长15米宽3米绘画而成的“五彩幡”，以“转山”的方式在珠峰脚下拖行。他说：“希望人们关注我们赖以生存的自然，在珠峰营地，每年造访的游客和登山者都会留下大量垃圾，在地球的最高处都已经出现这么严重的环境问题，其他地方可想而知。” 王义明希望通过这一绘画行动，能为世界、为珠穆朗玛峰、为环保做一点事。
2017 年 “转山记一王义明的精神之旅”, 今日美术馆，北京。2017 年 “精神的长旅，王义明的绘画行动” 二十一空间美术
2018 年 “幡一珍爱珠峰，敬畏自然，王义明公共艺术行
2018 年 “幡一珍爱珠峰，敬畏自然，王义明公共艺术行”，
第 22 届上海艺术博览会首席特别艺术项目，上海
2018 年 “幡一珍爱珠峰，敬畏自然，王义明公共艺术行动”