New Release 60 Minute Cites- Kunming by artist and curator Luo Fei. Luo Fei captures an intimate portrait of Kunming documenting the people and locations that surround him but also that can deeply characterize the city. From the noisescapes in ‘Green Lake Park’ to the static-like waves of gentle Kunming rain hitting an umbrella outside a restaurant in ‘Tan Jun Alley’, all the documents are pleasantly candid and the descriptions detailed and thoughtful. I had been to Kunming many years ago for work but never really saw the city. I will have to head back out there again sometime. Welcome to Kunming!
“These recordings are mainly recorded in March and April of Kunming city, where birds can be heard everywhere, and occasionally there is a little rain / Kunming is called the eternal spring city, in the southwest of China, capital of Yunnan province / I have moved and lived here for nearly 20 years / I like the weather and culture here. Like living in any city, we go to school, go to work, go home, take the bus and subway, go to the edge of the city from time to time, enjoy nature / I like to wander around the city, look for places with texture and flavor of life, especially when it rains / These recordings recorded some moments and sounds of my daily life in this city / I usually hold recorder in my hand and walk through a place, or just stand, daze and listen //
Outrageous, like a painting. text: Luo Fei editor in English: Sanne Raabjerg
Painting is probably one of the most intimate and vexing things in the art world today. It always provides stories about itself. These stories set a lot of road signs for later painters. Sometimes, it heralds some sort of end, and sometimes it heralds a return. More frequently, it is just an ancient game that makes people feel like they can continue on their paths. For many painters, painting is just a matter of their own interest, and the continuing growth of their vision and craftsmanship is fascinating, and nothing more.
But painting today is no longer the wild land of artists. Today’s artists are not only facing painting itself, but also the entire art world. People go from looking for breakthroughs, in the methods of painting, in the way of seeing images and in the performative part of painting, to painting the possibility of “painting a painting” and to painting the matter of “painting”. This does not only make “painting” more complicated, but it also makes “seeing paintings” more complicated, since they are no longer as intuitive. The task of painting is no longer just to represent or express something, but to provide different possibilities in “painting” and “seeing”. Correspondingly, this is the starting point of our exhibition today.
Fredrik Fermelin, an artist who graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Art in Sweden in 2015, came to TCG Nordica in September as an artist in residence. Here, he spent three full months focusing on painting. Before that, he mainly engaged in performance, installation, video and digital media, etc. Fermelin’s concept of painting is related to image generation in gif format. Two seemingly similar images are juxtaposed, and the audience themselves associate their correlation, similar to the method of making film montage. However, he just makes two paintings juxtaposed in space, not in time. Although he strongly denies that his paintings are related to the expressionist style, on the surface level they might seem to comprise expressionist tendencies, but that is not what he wants to pursue. He is more concerned with the potential constructional relationship between the pictures.
He Libin’s painting practice in recent years combines the way of performance art with blind painting. In the middle of the night, he paints his impressions and feelings on a large-scale canvas, both indoors and outdoors. In his practice of blind painting, painting, an art form with a long history, is forced into a critical state: Between visible and invisible, between known and unknown, between painting and non-painting. The only thing that can be identified and continually confirmed is the artist’s own existence and self-growth in the vast natural environment. This confirmation is accomplished through inner dialogue and contests in the long-lasting darkness. This turns the painting process into photography development: Developing it in the dark, watching it in the daylight.
He Libin’s and Fermelin’s paintings are very similar in style. They both use expressionism to paint landscapes, and they both provide an unconventional “seeing” experience. He Libin deliberately paints what he has seen when he cannot see; therefore, only time will show the final appearance of the painting. Fermelin’s juxtaposition in space of different paintings, creates uncertainty and dissimilarity in the paintings themselves and in the seeing of the paintings. They both paint in the most intuitive way, but at the same time they create paintings that can be seen on multiple levels.
For this exhibition, more than forty students from Yunnan Arts University participated in He Libin’s short-term expressive painting course. They combine their paintings with the practice methods of action painting, in order to discuss how paintings can be. Fredrik Fermelin, He Libin and the students present us with such a communicative exhibition about “Paintings Behind Paintings”. Here, I have just named it “Outrageous, like a painting”.
Curator: Luo Fei Artists: Fredrik Fermelin, He Libin and his students from the Yunnan Arts University Live Music on the opening: Eilev Stoveland Dekko, Fredrik Fermelin
Opening: 8pm, Dec 28th, 2018 Exhibition Time: Dec 28th 2018 to Jan 7th 2019 （Sundays Close） TCG Nordica Culture Center, Chuangku, Xibalu 101, Kunming Organized by TCG Nordica and Oilpainting Department of Yunnan Arts University
– Luo Fei’s encounter with and observations in the Zurich Residency Project
From May to August 2018, Kunming curator and artist Luo Fei, also the director of TCG Nordica gallery was invited to participate in the Kunming-Zurich Friendship City Exchange Residency Project. This was also the first time that Luo Fei visited Switzerland. During his stay in Zurich, Luo Fei visited local art museums and galleries. Furthermore, he visited off-spaces, curators, artists, and deepened the local rich artistic ecology. Luo Fei noted that the structuralist traditions in Swiss contemporary art are ubiquitous in today’s phantom, noting the tradition of oral performances among Swiss performance artists, and the artists’ embrace and re-engineering of entertainment culture.
During nearly three months of observation and communication, Luo Fei experienced the charming city of Zurich – an ordinary, affluent, stable, and high standard of daily life. It is such daily life that shapes the “formal correctness” and “media bombing” of contemporary art today globally. It is also in such a society where everything is guaranteed, that people still express their dissatisfaction with reality. Where is the criticality of art? Political art? There, everyday life, like contemporary art, is more textual and theoretical, and any kind of “barbarous”, “self-deprecating”, “boring” or “scientific” art has become part of the vain and elegant life. It provides protection against pleasure and nothingness, and provides protection from ethical evaluation. So, what is the goal of life? What is the appeal of art?
During his stay in Zurich, in addition to visiting Italy, Norway, Sweden and other places, Luo Fei purposefully visited the Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp in Krakow, Poland. With the confusion of “no poetry after Auschwitz”, Luo Fei walked in the “rural hell” that looked beautiful and rational. There, everything is beyond the imagination of man. Where has “humanity” been hidden or enlarged since the Enlightenment? What is the value of Hannah Arendt’s reflection on “the banality of evil”?
To Luo Fei, the artist resides in the project as a temporary life that constantly meets people and returns to himself. In a strange way, he does not set an expected goal. He just keeps accumulating and adjusting himself. Keep open, keep communicating, keep thinking, and keep sharing.
The talk will be on Sep 14th, 7pm at TCG Nordica.
It will be in Chinese.
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马蒂：十年来我们做了106个展览，每年8至10个项目，包括在国内的和国外的，我参加过至少12回国际性的独立空间博览会，去年在都灵的一个博览会上拿了一个奖(the Premio Intrauma Art Prize)，前几周我在雅典和巴塞尔参加博览会。我这个空间主要是做展览，如果搞其他派对活动，我的邻居会抗议的，哈哈。然后我们这里会存留一小部分艺术家的作品，虽然不是很多收入，但可以保持一部分在空间里也挺好。
诺茨：我不认为无聊，因为我们这里也诞生了很多杰出的艺术家。尽管我们身处欧洲的中心地带，但我们还是有一种山谷思维（Mountain Valley thinking），不少杰出的艺术家甚至来自大山里，比如罗曼·西格纳(Roman Signer)，一生可能没有见过太多世面，看上去像书呆子，但这也很好。瑞士也经历过几次装置和雕塑的艺术运动，有的作品甚至具有很强的挑衅性，比如克里斯托夫•布切尔(Christoph Büchel)的装置，他经常做一些探索极端心理的探索。所以我不会说我们的艺术是无聊的(boring)，或许你可以说有点闷(bored)。当然，和世界上其他国家相比，我们这里确实没有太多大问题，这里没有贫民区。