Song Hongquan: Clouds

Song Hongquan

BEIJING

June 24 – August 20, 2017

Cloud 004 云004
2016
White Marble 汉白玉
14 1/4 x 4 1/4 x 4 in (36 x 11 x 10 cm)
 
Cloud 005 云005
2016
White Marble 汉白玉
4 1/2 x 12 1/4 x 3 1/2 in (11 x 31 x 9 cm)
 
Cloud 014 云014
2016
White Marble 汉白玉
5 1/2 x 9 x 8 1/4 in (14 x 23 x 21 cm)
Dumplings 饺子
2010
White Marble 汉白玉
Diameter: 9 in (23 cm)
 

Chambers Fine Art is pleased to announce the opening on June 24, 2017 of Song Hongquan: Clouds. Born in Hebei Province in 1978, Song is the son of a noted stone carver and spent his formative years working on the land, experiences that were later to exert a profound influence on his artistic practice. Direct carving in stone or marble continues to be his primary means of expression and forms from the natural world are his inspiration. He is one of the rare artists in China to have matured outside the academic system, an experience that accounts for the singular purity of his art.

His remarkable technical skills were first announced in After the Stone Age (2011), a group of highly realistic replicas of stone carving tools carved in stone. Paying homage to the history and profession of stone carving, Song presented his credentials as a worthy successor. Although he has not abandoned this approach, his next major body of work Units presented at Chambers Fine Art in 2013 was executed in gleaming white marble and referred not to man- made objects but to forms from the natural world, specifically seeds that he systematically gathered and collected. Once enlarged and executed in marble, the seeds, some of which are scarcely visible to the naked eye, revealed surprising affinities to the human form. Without any direct exposure twentieth century modernist sculpture, Song inadvertently revealed himself to be an idiosyncratic practitioner of the biomorphism that characterizes so much twentieth century sculpture.

In Clouds Song turns to another natural phenomenon as source of inspiration, namely Tabasheer, dried siliceous resin obtained from the nodal joints of certain species of bamboo. Also known as bamboo tears, Tabasheer is widely used in the traditional Ayurvedic system of medicine and in traditional Chinese medicine. Highly valued, it is used to treat conditions ranging from cough to coma and stroke. Song is a believer in the effectiveness of Chinese medicine and on his journeys from Quyang to Beijing, always stops in Anguo City, Hebei Province, to visit Chinese medicine markets and the An Guo Traditional Chinese Cultural Museum.

More complex than the forms of Units, Tabasheer presented new challenges to Song. Unlike the unitary structure of Units, the unpredictable forms of the sections of Tabasheer suggest not only human and animal forms, shells, embryos and other natural phenomena but also clouds, hence his decision to use Clouds as the title of the exhibition and the individual works. Just like clouds, constantly changing, Song’s sculptures seem to be in a state of metamorphosis as the viewer moves around his carvings. In complete contrast to the Cloud sculptures is the installation in the small gallery of Song’s deceptively realistic carvings in granite of traditional Chinese wooden furniture, a low table surrounded by stools set with a plate of dumplings carved from white marble.

前波画廊诚挚地宣布《宋红权:云》将于2017年6月24日在北京开幕。宋红权于1978年出生在河北农村,父亲是当地著名的石雕匠,小时候他常常在地里劳作,这些早年的生活经历都对其艺术创作产生了至关重要的影响。他主要以大理石等石材作为其艺术的表达方式,而大自然中的天然形态成为了其创作的灵感来源。他是中国少有的在学院系统外成熟的艺术家,这也恰恰阐释了其创作中那份独特的纯净。

宋红权在2011年的作品《后石器时代》中用石材凿刻出一组逼真的石雕工具,首次展现了其卓越的石雕技艺。宋红权以此向石雕的历史和这一手艺致敬,展示了他成为石雕匠后继者的资质。虽然没有完全摒弃这一创作理念,他于2013年在前波画廊展出的另一重要系列作品《单位》由晶莹剔透的汉白玉制成,但复制的并非人工制品,而是自然界中的形态,具体来说是他系统收集而来的各类种子。当这些种子,包括那些用肉眼几乎看不到的,被放大几十倍或几百倍、并用大理石展示出来后,惊人地显现出了与人体形态的相似之处。宋红权并没有接触过20世纪的现代雕塑,但作品中却不经意地显示出他作为生物形态主义的实践者,这也是20世纪现代雕塑的重要特点。

在《云》的系列中,宋红权从另一种自然元素——竹黄中寻找到灵感。竹黄一般生于衰败或即将衰败的竹林中的竹竿上,在印度的传统医学阿育吠陀和传统中医领域被广泛运用,主要用于治疗咳嗽、昏迷及中风。宋红权信奉中医,每次从曲阳回北京的途中,他总会在河北安国市逗留,去逛当地的中药市场和安国中药文化博物馆。

竹黄的形态比《单位》里的种子更为复杂,对于宋红权来说是一个新的挑战。与《单位》系列中作品的独立结构不同的是,竹黄的多变形态不仅像人体、动物、贝壳、胚胎等形态,同时也像云。因此他将本系列作品以及展览标题定为了《云》。就像不断变换的云一般,随着观者走过这些作品,它们从不同的角度显现出多种形态。与《云》的系列雕塑截然不同的是,小展厅里展出了宋红权用花岗岩雕刻的中国传统木制家具,其中包括一张矮桌和几个凳子,桌子上放了一盘用汉白玉打磨成型的饺子。

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