Widely considered one of China’s most significant contemporary artists, Zhong Biao creates surrealistic paintings that contemplate the passage of time, especially as it applies to China’s urban evolution. His explosive and colorful paintings are a visual collage of imagery representing his personal experiences, layered in with references to politics and contemporary Chinese society. These references include images of children in 1960s Cultural Revolution-era clothing, Han Dynasty terracotta figurines, beauty pageant imagery, and English language banners. Often, his works portray realistic figures that that seem to defy gravity, leaping and flying over spaces of blank canvas, set against dystopian Chinese cityscapes shown at different angles.
Biao’s splitting of imagery and sense of energy relates to his goal to challenge the limits of space and time which frame our experience. “My process of combing through old memories is really an effort to define future directions,” says Biao. “More than anything, my art is an art which searches for order. I search for the order that belongs to the era of today, taking coincidence as a theory of methodology that can explain its everyday connection with the omnipresent.”
In his latest body of work titled “The Other Shore”, debuting tonight at Klein Sun Gallery in New York, Biao incorporates new references focused on the co-existence of diverse cultures. His paintings are filled with allusions to terrorist attacks, the media and natural disasters all mingling together in separate but combined worlds. Based on the Buddhist concept of paramita (meaning, “perfection” or “completeness”) in which pure virtues are nurtured with the intent of attaining enlightenment, the exhibit strives to understand “the other shore”, that is, the other side of the story. “I have only one dream, that the people I have painted will, many years from now, visit the people of the future on my behalf, taking along with them this chaotic world.”
“The Other Shore”: