Autumn Thoughts – Solo Exhibition of Hao Liang

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Autumn Thoughts

Solo Exhibition of Hao Liang

 HL-solo announcement

 

For in pursuing the truth one must start from the things that are always in the same state and suffer no change. Such are the heavenly bodies; for these do not appear to be now of one nature and again of another, but are manifestly always the same and share in no change.

- Aristotle, Metaphysics. W.D. Ross trans. NuVision Publications,2009

1. When a landscape provokes an emotional reaction in me, it doesn’t mean that I’m able to discern the temperament of the landscape; I would only say that it’s my inner world reflected in the landscape, but I don’t know if the landscape has its own inner world, waiting for my heart to express it.

2. The wise and the benevolent are moved by the stillness of mountains and movement of rivers. They see more wisdom and benevolence, and harmony between the two, and so they are pleased. But the stillness of mountains is not called benevolence, and the movement of rivers is not called wisdom. Such things are separate, but they still can be pleasurably apprehended.

- Excerpted from Qian Zhongshu, “The use of ti and qi in Changji,” On the Art of Poetry, Beijing, Sanlian Press, 2010.

The title of the exhibition,Autumn Thoughts, is inspired by the poem Taoshu (Suite): Autumn Thoughts by Ma Zhiyuan (1250-1321), one of the four great Yuan playwrights. Taoshu (Suite) implies how the paintings in Hao Liang’s Suite: Autumn Thoughts series echo one another—like the arias in the same taoshu that utilise a single rhythm throughout one act, the paintings share some common features and yet they each enjoy their own distinct poetic structure. The title also refers to the artist’s observation of and reflection on Yuan paintings, and the changing technique of modelling in the art of modern times—he explores how the contemporary feelings and emotions can be condensed and reconstructed by using a refined form developed in the past.

 

 

 

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 Exhibition view of Hao Liang Autumn Thoughts, Mirrored Gardens, 2021.

 

 

 

終日凝眸,絹本重彩,Ink  and color on silk,畫心尺寸:22.5x23.5cm,裝框尺寸:42.5x43.5x3.8cm,2020-2

Hao Liang, Pondering Gaze, ink and color on silk, 2020

 

 

 

Alone in my Ch’in pavilion,
Locked by fog,
Only the green flowing water
In front of the pavilion
Knows my eyes that stare and stare,
Where new layers of sorrows pile up.

— “Thoughts from the Women’s Quarter, to the Tune ‘Nostalgia of the Flute on the Phoenix Terrace’” by Li Qingzhao, translated and edited by Kenneth Rexroth and Ling Chung

 

 

 

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Exhibition view of Hao Liang Autumn Thoughts, Mirrored Gardens, 2021. 

 

 

 

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Hao Liang, Suite: Autumn Thoughts — Sleep Talking, ink and color on silk, 2019-2020

 

 

 

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Hao Liang, Suite: Autumn Thoughts — Sleep Talking, ink and color on silk, 2019-2020, details

 

 

 

The first painting in the series, Suite: Autumn Thoughts—Sleep Talking, presents a dreamlike scene which seems to project how ongoing events will eventually be traced back to the past and projected into the future. A thick sea of clouds floats low and makes the sky look unusually close to the ground; a young man rests under a pine tree, with his eyes fixed on the metropolis in the distance,  the spatial relationships in the painting reflect a certain tension of “awaiting to cross the river”, a common configuration in Yuan dynasty painting. Suddenly, a butterfly flies past the young man, and we may start wondering if it has all been a “butterfly dream” in Zhuangzi’s stories. As “Tune: Sailing Boat”, the first aria in the Taoshu (Suite): Autumn Thoughts by Ma Zhiyuan, goes:

 

    Like a dream pass a hundred years of light and shade;
    Turning my head, I sigh for days gone by.
    Spring comes today, tomorrow flowers fade.
    Drink the cup dry
    Before lamplight goes out at dead of night!

 

 

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   Exhibition view of Hao Liang Autumn Thoughts, Mirrored Gardens, 2021.

 

 

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Exhibition view of Hao Liang Autumn Thoughts, Mirrored Gardens, 2021.

 

 

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Exhibition view of Hao Liang Autumn Thoughts, Mirrored Gardens, 2021.

 

 

“ Hao Liang, Suite: Autumn Thoughts — Dawn, ink and color on silk, 2020

 

 

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Hao Liang, Suite: Autumn Thoughts — Dawn, ink and color on silk, 2020, details

 

 

Between sunset and sunrise, awakening comes in a sudden flash, and the moment of realisation is condensed into an insightful scene: in a crisp, sunny morning between winter and spring, on top of the mountain stands a white pagoda reminiscent of the continuation of history; the man, woman and child looking at the swirling hole in the middle of the lake become so obsessed with the view that they cannot escape from it; it seems that only the stranger at the bottom right of the painting is able to detached himself from this realistic vision and look over his shoulder at us, the viewer of the painting. The swirling hole looks like a human eye—it mirrors what is happening in the mundane world. A self-driving bus glides slowly on the tilting horizon; its destination remains unclear.

 

 

 

 

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Hao Liang, Suite: Autumn Thoughts — Dawn, ink and color on silk, 2020

 

 

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Hao Liang, Suite: Autumn Thoughts — Dawn, ink and color on silk, 2020, detail

 

 

The figure of blindness indicats Oedipus the king, who was so determined to pursue his ambition that he eventually met his tragic fate. In the painting, the tragedy of fate tints the background with a bizarre warm tone and even becomes the straying alien creatures with human-like faces. The scene reminds us of “Tune: The Wind Through Pines”, the fifth aria in the taoshu:

   The setting sun goes west before the eye
   As quickly as the carriage rolling down the height.

The boundless plains in the painting further enhance the theme of blind fate; the shooting star above may leave ephemeral messages that mortal beings like us can never understand and live through.

 

 

 

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Exhibition view of Hao Liang Autumn Thoughts, Mirrored Gardens, 2021.

 

 

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Hao Liang, Poetics of “The Starlets”, ink on silk, 2021

 

 

 

Three or five stars shine bright
Over the eastern gate.
We make haste day and night,
Busy early and late.
Different is our fate.

— “Songs Collected South of Shao, Modern Henan” in “Book of Songs”, Book of Poetry, translated by Xu Yuanchong

 

 

 

彷彿若有光,絹本水墨, As If A Glimpse of Light,畫心尺寸:25.5x43.5cm,裝框尺寸:34.5x55.5x3cm,Ink on silk,2020的副本2-1

Hao Liang, As if a Glimpse of Light, ink on silk, 2020

 

 

       The grove ended at the stream’s source, and there he found a hill. In the hill was a small opening from which a light seemed to come.

—Excerpt from Peach-Blossom Source by Tao Yuanming, translated by A. R. Davis

 

 

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Exhibition view of Hao Liang Autumn Thoughts, Mirrored Gardens, 2021.

 

 

 

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Hao Liang, Arranged Marriage for HeBo, ink and color on silk, 2019

 

 

 

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Exhibition view of Hao Liang Autumn Thoughts, Mirrored Gardens, 2021.

 

 

 

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Hao Liang, Suite: Autumn Thoughts — Ten Hours, ink and color on silk, 2020-2021

 

 

 

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Hao Liang, Suite: Autumn Thoughts — Ten Hours, ink and color on silk2020-2021,details

 

 

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The title of this painting is inspired by the film Metropolis (1927) directed by Fritz Lang.  A clock that has ten hours appears in the film. It is built this way so that there will be one more workday per week for the workers. The ten-hour clock indicates capitalism’s alienation of the working class from their humanity. The structure of the spider web  is imbedded in the night view of the metropolis, and the two become intertwined ; the centre of the web is a  kind of void.

  No matter how rich you may be,
  Don’t live in luxury!
  O happy days and nights cannot forever last.
  No matter how hard a miser’s heart may be,
  The breezy moonlit days will soon be past.

 

 

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Exhibition view of Hao Liang Autumn Thoughts, Mirrored Gardens, 2021.

 

 

 

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Exhibition view of Hao Liang Autumn Thoughts, Mirrored Gardens, 2021.

 

 

05.套數·秋思--牛羊野 ,Tao Shu - Autumn Thoughts I,絹本重彩, Ink and color on silk,216.6x152.6cm,2019-1Hao Liang, Suite: Autumn Thoughts — Pasture, ink and color on silk, 2018-201

 

05-1.套數·秋思--牛羊野 ,Tao Shu - Autumn Thoughts I,絹本重彩, Ink and color on silk,216.6x152.6cm,2019-1

05-2.套數·秋思--牛羊野 ,Tao Shu - Autumn Thoughts I,絹本重彩, Ink and color on silk,216.6x152.6cm,2019-1

Hao Liang, Suite: Autumn Thoughts — Pasture, ink and color on silk, 2018-2019 ,details

 

 

After going through a process of sleep talking, divination, idealism and realism in previous paintings, with Suite: Autumn Thoughts—Pasture, we are back to a prehistorical state—it seems that everything has returned to their peaceful, original form. Does it present the ruins of history? Or does it feature a glimpse from outer space at the future habitat of human beings? The layering, rolling clouds, and the undulating land, demonstrate the artist’s skilful integration of Yuan painting into the modern technique of modelling. Behind this seemingly peaceful scene is the artist’s concern about the fate of human beings, which does not only resonate with the poem by Ma Zhiyuan, but also echoes with the concerns of many other artists and scholars, such as Zhao Mengfu, Wu Zhen and Ni Zan, who also lived through rapidly changing times between the Song and Yuan dynasties. They all once attempted to get a glimpse into the future, and that future now becomes the present that we inhabit.

 

 

(The quotations of the Taoshu (Suite): Autumn Thoughts by Ma Zhiyuan are translated by Ma Yuanchong,)

 

 

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Exhibition view of Hao Liang Autumn Thoughts, Mirrored Gardens, 2021.

 

 

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Exhibition view of Hao Liang Autumn Thoughts, Mirrored Gardens, 2021.

 

 

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Hao Liang, Drowned Man, ink on silk, 2020-2021

 

 

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Exhibition view of Hao Liang Autumn Thoughts, Mirrored Gardens, 2021.

 

 

 

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Hao Liang, Poetics of “Drinking Wine”, ink and color on silk, 2019

 

I picked up a chrysanthemum by the eastern hedge, Off in the distance gazed on South Mountain.

 — “On Drinking Wine, No. 5” by Tao Yuanming, translated by Stephen Owen

 

 

Wandering in the exhibition space of Autumn Thoughts, we encounter with these micro-paintings from time to time, approaching the world from an animistic spiritual perspective, the artist looks for a poetic art form resembling the use of synaesthesia in literature. In this form, whether from a macro or a micro perspective, the allegories and the human longings, the appearance of plants and the fading of time, the trajectory of planets and the spiritual texture of tangible objects, echo and integrate magically with one another. The artist may gain his inspirations from a poem that occasionally comes to him, or from living beings that he encounters in reality. The twinkling light, the flooding emotions, the looming images, the world of languages, colours and lines that we see and experience in his art become inextricably intertwined—they are all part of the theatre of spiritual realisation.

 

 

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Exhibition view of Hao Liang Autumn Thoughts, Mirrored Gardens, 2021.

 

 

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Exhibition view of Hao Liang Autumn Thoughts, Mirrored Gardens, 2021.

 

 

Texts©2021Authors
All works of art by Hao Liang © the Artist
Photo: Wen Peng
Courtesy of the Artist and Vitamin Creative Space

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Autumn Thoughts
Solo Exhibition of Hao Liang

Time: From 23Jan 2021 on
Venue: Mirrored Gardens ( Hualong Agriculture Grand View Garden, Panyu District, Guangzhou )

Mirrored Gardens Opening Hours:
Wednesday through Sunday, 11am – 5pm,
Closed on Mondays, Tuesdays

Thank you for your interest in visiting Mirrored Gardens. In light of public health concerns surrounding COVID-19, Mirrored Gardens is currently open by appointment only, please find more details here:
https://mirroredgardens.art/%e9%a2%84%e7%ba%a6%e6%9d%a5%e8%ae%bf/

 

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