The CAMP Gallery is please to announce our first exhibition of 2021 with On Oriental Reveries, a solo show by artist Guang-Yu Zhang.
Guang-Yu Zhang brings forth an elysian world ever-filled with mystified fauna and vegetation, finding inspiration in Western elements and merging it into his own Eastern techniques. Influenced by the technical teachings of his fine art training at Central Saint Martins in the UK, he furthers this approach by integrating both painting and digital photography practices into his work.
The Shanghai-based artist honors his roots by emulating the finishing of ink-based art in the portrayal of idealized landscapes, flipping the script by integrating the Westerner approach of occupying all available negative space with more saturated elements than is expected of Oriental art. His eclectic compositions convey a nostalgia driven by traditional Chinese motifs, featuring a world filled with auspicious symbolism such as: cranes (longevity), goldfish (wealth), horses (power), and dragonflies (new beginnings). These motifs conflate seamlessly with the artist’s eye for soft yet striking color schemes. The Western inspiration is further evidenced in works such as the Fairyland series, where Guang incorporates imagery such as gnome statues, airships, paper planes, and UFOs into his landscapes. The inclusion of such elements cement the surreal nature of the artist’s aesthetic, achieving a collage-like quality in his pieces by introducing characters that, at first glance, don’t belong within his conception, illustrating how his work speaks of the artist’s own imagination.
Guang often features concentric geometry within his work, separating compositions into two realms in which one appears to encapsulate another. As seen in works such as Fairyland G-II , Fairyland G-III , and Fairyland G-V , he presents a deviation of elements while remaining harmonious and interconnected. This compositional decision can be said to be a self-referential analogy that speaks to his own dichotomy of influences, as well as being a direct reference to the ancient Chinese belief that the earth was flat and encapsulated under a dome-like sky. His color choices set him apart as an artist, presenting a diffusion of tones that yield sometimes dreamy and other times nightmarish qualities to his work, creating an immersive paradisaical although surreal realm that draws those who set eyes on the same.
Like suspended in time, Guang ’s work acts as a window towards a freeze frame of the artist’s perception. A soothing world, a thrilling world, an Elysium where earth and sky intertwine, where light and darkness are one and the same.