July 25, 2009, Beijing — UCCA presents Shi Zhiying’s first solo exhibition, curated by Yan Pei-Ming, entitled From the Pacific Ocean to the High Seas, which opens to the public on July 26. Comprised of several large scale, sea themed oil paintings and a one-minute, freehand drawing animation, the exhibition layout is designed to take viewers on a journey from the Pacific Ocean to the high seas, from still works to animation. The works emphasize the process of their making, the meditative nature of repetition and the expansion of space and time. The exhibition will be on display until August 30.
Initiated in July 2008, the concept of the Curated by… series was developed by UCCA Director Jérôme Sans and launched to support the creativity of young Chinese artists. The series invites leading Chinese artists to recommend and curate exhibitions of works by new talents, connecting artists of different ages, the art institution, and the public. So far, Wang Du, Wang Jianwei, Qiu Zhijie and Liu Xiaodong have curated exhibitions by Ji Zhou, He An, Ye Nan & Ding Ding, and Yan Bing, respectively; many of these exhibitions were these artists’ first solo shows. More established artists, for instance Yang Fudong and Sui Jianguo, will also participate in the series as curators.
With her pure and simple portrayals, Shi Zhiying’s From the Pacific Ocean to the High Seas fully embodies the spirit of Curated by…, which encourages and supports those who insist on their art practices and self-exploration. Shi Zhiying’s works arouse one’s infinite inspiration and let people give flight to the imagination regarding the sea’s profound nature. It is the reason that Yan Pei-Ming selected her for an exhibition at UCCA.
Shi Zhiying draws on the theme of the sea, which is familiar to everyone, using a method of painting which emphasizes repetition. As she says, “the observed sea represents the order and disorder in nature; disappearance, instant overlapping and infinity; and tranquility and speech. The characteristic of freehand drawings, which is presented here, is a way of reading the outside world beyond knowledge and theory. It is a direct path to the senses and heart.” Moreover, it serves as a way that the inside world observes the outside world of an artist. In selecting this promising young artist, Yan Pei-Ming, as the curator of this show, hopes to create dialogue and raise questions, such as “Are Shi Zhiying and the ‘sea’ in her heart able to successfully decode how contemporary art provides in-depth reflections on an object’s form, expressing this through various languages? Are the methods of creating form used by conventional or unconventional art sufficient to accurately express her thoughts? And how then would people appreciate and evaluate these thoughts?”