The artistic life of Huang Rui – Announcements
The late 1970s in China was an era of passion that foreshadowed hope and radical change throughout society, when society experienced the transformation of the individual ‘we’ into the collective ‘us’ of the past. The Cultural Revolution has come to an end and the energy of social change through the policy of reform and opening up has spilled over into all aspects of society, including art. The Stars art exhibition in 1979, known as one of the most experimental exhibitions in the history of contemporary Chinese art, was a consistent avant-garde art movement that reflected the spirit of the era. .
Huang Rui, an artist who co-organized the Stars art exhibition is a symbol of a pioneer created by such a social environment of the time. And the name “stars”, metaphorically coined by Huang Rui and his fellow artists, has become another icon in today’s history 40 years later. The “star” did not refer to a specific person, but beautifully connoted an equality given to all artists and to all people as “stars”.
In September 1979, a group of young self-taught underground artist-workers asked the National Museum of China to offer them an exhibition. Their request was refused, but the artists decided to move the exhibition forward without permission from the authorities, using the museum’s exterior wall, a small garden and the surrounding trees. The “wall exhibition”, which subsequently became famous, elicited an unexpected reaction from citizens at the time before it was demolished two days after opening. However, this once discarded exhibition was later restored and reopened as a museum project, which met with great success with a large number of audiences.
The Stars’ slogan and manifesto was simple and clear:
“We use art to document our time. A new era welcomes us. We need to explore new art forms.
The artistic life of Huang Rui at the Jupiter Museum of Art (JMA), in Shenzhen, is one of the extensions of the 40 years of commemoration of the Stars exhibition. Huang’s exhibition presents six sequential contexts of his artistic journey over the past 40 years with a chronological and retrospective character that follows his artistic and social traces of the 1970s, when the Stars exhibition was organized, until the last.
Huang is a multidisciplinary artist who has developed various mediums including painting, sculpture, installation and performance. Until the 1980s, his early works focused on abstract paintings influenced by 20th-century Western Modernist pictorial traditions such as Expressionism and Abstract Expressionism. Then he continued to develop that long proximity to abstraction which began in 1978 in thematic and stylistic practice through 15 years from 1985 to 2000 in Japan. In particular, his works from this period embraced a wide variety of pictorial spectrum, including the geometric symmetry of the series “spatial structure” based on research since 1983, to monochromatic abstraction and the study of the eight trigrams of the Book of Change. .
Social themes and aesthetic forms also coexist in his art, where the works are free from the prejudice that he is an artist of a specific tendency. Nevertheless, the DNA that constantly flows in his art is a spirit of social criticism, a sense of humor and solidarity. Huang often approaches social issues with a playful use of languages, but his works are seen as symbolic with direct slogans for an ironic and humorous effect. Yongwoo Lee, curator of the exhibition, said in his catalog essay that “an avant-garde artist must be an agent who redefines the social sense of time and space in which we stand and act” .
The exhibition The artistic life of Huang Rui is organized by Yongwoo Lee with Bérénice Angremy (consultant) and Wang Liyin (associate curator).