November 22, 2019 - February 21, 2020
Sunzen Art Gallery
MON - FRI 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
SAT 11 AM - 6:00 PM
Curated by Lam Wong, Viahsta Yuan
Drawing inspiration from the ancient Chinese wisdom and the spirit of philosophical enlightenment, Ren Zhong: Twin Wings to the Glory exhibition delves into the symbiosis between humans and nature – how we relate to the idea of cohabitant and living creatures from both inner and outer polarities. Featuring 38 new exquisite paintings by the Chinese contemporary GongBi (Meticulous tradition) painting master. Sunzen Gallery is delighted and honoured to present Ren Zhong’s first exhibition in Canada.
In May 2019, Ren opened an exhibition in Beijing Xingtan Art Museum, titled “Devouring Snow, Basking Ink” （齧䨮·晞墨）. “Devouring Snow” refers to the story of a historical diplomat of the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) Su Wu (苏武), where he devoured snow along with his clothes and bedding to survive during detention but remained faithful and persistent to his mission and homeland. “Basking Ink” is an act in ink wash painting, where the work needs to be dried under the sun before finishing. This oftentimes denotes to the lifelong waiting and practicing towards perfection. Looking through the art history of China, you may recognize snow, along with winter bamboo, as a common theme illustrated by generations of artists from now and then. From the legendary Snow Bamboo by Xu Xi from the Song Dynasty to Bamboo in Snow by modern master Dong Shouping, the toughness and endurance of this oriental plants have inspired many. Ren Zhong is one of them, being moved by the persistence and dedication shared between both Su Wu and the Winter bamboo, he vowed to devote to his own faith - beauty - regardless of the time and hard work it may take.
In Chinese painting, plants and landscapes are never as simple as they are, the symbolic meaning and story behind have fertilized so many artists. As they cherish the fortitude of the bamboo in the snow, they admire the grand nature that has nurtured these species. Such earnest respect to nature not only reveals in paintings, but also roots deeply in Chinese culture and everyday life. From dining habits to “feng shui (风水)” - the Chinese geomancy, the ancestors tailored their lifestyle to cope with nature. They only bring seasonal foods onto the table, meanwhile nurturing the expectation for a different flavour in the next season. They select the display according to feng shui, believing that a steadier armchair will bring luck and help endure a rough Winter. They appreciate the gifted, but also embrace the unexpectedness with their own wisdom.
With a deep admiration in mind, Ren meticulously outlines the beauty of nature with his hair-thin brush. With the spirit of Su Wu, he tirelessly observes and traces every single vein on the leaf of a snow bamboo. Featuring 38 pieces of exquisite works, Ren borrows from the ancient wisdom and creates a tranquil corner on the busiest street of Vancouver. Drawing inspiration from the Solar Terms and philosophical enlightenment, this exhibition delves into the symbiosis between humans and nature – how we relate to this cohabitant and living creatures from both inner and outer polarities. The immersive installation of the exhibition – including interior settings, projection and tea ceremony performance – encourages the audience to withdraw themselves from the distractive and occupied metropolitan life for a moment, to reconcile and embrace the beauty of nature and the spirits reside within.