The Great Metaphorist

Guo Hongwei

BEIJING

September 12 – October 19, 2014

The Destiny of the Great Metaphorist 大比喻家天命图

2014

Watercolor and ink on paper 纸上水彩和墨

39 1/4 x 59 1/4 in (100 x 150 cm)

The Quest of the Great Metaphorist 大比喻家求真全图

2014

Watercolor and ink on paper 纸上水彩和墨

39 1/4 x 59 1/4 in (100 x 150 cm)

The Royal Plaque of the Great Metaphorist 御题大比喻家牌匾

2014

Watercolor and ink on paper 纸上水彩和墨

29 1/2 x 59 1/4 in (75 x 150 cm)

Chambers Fine Art is pleased to announce the opening on September 12, 2014 of The Great Metaphorist by Guo Hongwei. Born in Sichuan province in 1982, Guo has achieved wide renown for his mastery of the watercolor technique, culminating in the large-scale watercolors exhibited in Painting is Collecting I, II, III at Chambers Fine Art in 2012. In these as in his works in other media, the metaphorical associations of the objects he represents have always been of particular importance to him, a way of thinking about the world that reaches a climax in his new exhibition, The Great Metaphorist. Turning away from the objects from the natural world that hitherto he has depicted with scrupulous fidelity, he uses as the thematic core of this exhibition the twenty minute drive that he makes several times a day between his house and studio in Beijing. 

In a humorous fictional account of the circumstances that led to the creation of this multi-media work, Guo describes a visit to a fortune-teller who informed him that the drive on July 17 would determine his destiny. Reflecting on this he observes that “your character determines how you drive a car, and essentially how you live your life; a short ride to work may well be a mirror of your life.” When he starts paying attention to this daily routine, he is astounded at the richness of what he observes.

Playing the role of the fictional artist/poet who by profession is alert to the richness of metaphorical associations, Guo muses aloud on the connections between his life and art and this daily drive. The main part of the exhibition consist of a five-screen video, four elements of which combine the fictitious script with random events that happen on the road, turning metaphor into a logical mode of connecting random phenomena. The fifth screen shows the collaboration between the artist/poet and the freestyle rapper Xiao Laohu Jfever. Using what he sees on the road as inspiration, the rapper comments on what he sees, revealing the hidden connection between things through his improvisations. In another video work – The Great Metaphorist: Fortunetelling – the artist collaborates with a fortuneteller who comments on the relationship between daily life and karma.

Supplementing the videos is a new group of paintings based on maps of the artist’s journey from his home to his studio which are treated in a variety of styles, indicative of the wide range of the artist’s life interests. In a new series of prints based on the covers of the many books the artist consulted in preparation for this project, the artist redesigned them as metaphors of the contents of the books and the viewing aesthetics of the time. 

In this latest body of work Guo Hongwei abandons his habitual methods of expression in an attempt to achieve a grand synthesis of his multifarious interests which include not only the visual arts but literature, performance and contemporary music.

At the opening of the exhibition on September 12, there will be a live performance by rap singer Xiao Laohu Jfever.

前波画廊诚挚地宣布将于2014年9月12日起举办郭鸿蔚个展《大比喻家》。1982年出生于四川的郭鸿蔚以其精湛的水彩画技艺而闻名,也完美体现在2012年其在前波画廊的系列展览《收集者I,II,III》中的大幅作品中。在他的艺术创作中,事物的隐喻联系对他来说尤其重要,而在本次展览《大比喻家》中,他将自己对世界的隐喻性理解推向了一个新的高潮。离开了其一直以来所热衷的对自然事物的描写,本次展览中他以每天几次在家和工作室之间20分钟的车程来作为主题核心。

在一件多媒体作品中,郭鸿蔚通过一个幽默的虚构故事,描述了他去算命的一次经历。算命先生告诉他7月17日的车程将会决定其人生。反思着这件事,他发现,“性格即决定你怎么开车,又决定你怎么面对人生。所以,看你怎么开车走完一段路,就也看得出来你怎么应对生活。”当他开始留意每天的来回车程后,所观察到的生活的丰富多样性令其震惊。

通过一个艺术家皆诗人对比喻丰富的联想,郭鸿蔚联系到其人生、艺术创作、以及每天的往返车程之间的关系。展览主体是一个五屏影像,其中四面屏幕将虚构故事和路上发生的偶然事件巧妙结合在一起,使比喻变成一种将随机现象联系在一起的逻辑方法。第五个屏幕展现了艺术家兼诗人与青年说唱歌手“小老虎”的共同合作。用路上发生的一切作为灵感,说唱歌手通过即兴创作将事物之间某些隐匿在深处的联系揭示出来。而在另外一件影像作品《大比喻家——见相起卦》中,艺术家与一位算命先生合作,对日常生活和因果报应之间的关系作出了评论。

结合着这些影像作品,郭鸿蔚创作了一系列的新的相关绘画,内容均是艺术家从家到工作室的路程图。每件作品以不同的风格出现,展示了艺术家广泛的生活兴趣。同时,郭鸿蔚还将以一些书籍封面作为灵感来创作一系列的版画作品。这些书籍均是展览前期艺术家做主题研究时所用到的相关资料,郭鸿蔚通过重新设计封面以隐喻书籍的内容以及当时的审美理念。

在这次的展览中郭鸿蔚摈弃了其以往习惯性的表现手法,尝试着将他广泛繁杂的兴趣更加宏观地结合在一起,其中不仅包含视觉艺术,也包含文学、表演艺术以及当代音乐。

在9月12日展览开幕当天,说唱歌手小老虎将在画廊作即兴创作演出。

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