TREE ART GALLERY, PARIS

XIAO Xing & HU Xiyue

STANDING IN THE CENTER OF THE CONTINENTAL SHELF

16 December 2022 – 2 February 2023

TREE ART GALLERY’s first exhibition 「Standing at the Center of the Continental Shelf」was opened on the evening of December 16th, 2022. The exhibition invited Chinese artists in France, XIAO Xing and Hu Xiyue, who brought more than ten paintings and a virtual reality video work.

As a new generation of Chinese artists in France, XIAO Xing and HU Xiyue stand out from the crowd of Chinese artists with their unique perspectives and interests. Their study experience has allowed them not only to be familiar with various histories, but also to keep an eye on the hot topics of today’s society. Their works are based on their own interests, and while they continue to delve deeper into their research, they use various art forms to present their thoughts and encourage viewers to think independently based on their works. In addition, their experiences and backgrounds allow them to bring different perspectives, and their presence is an important power in the development of Chinese contemporary art.

Their points of interest may be personal and small in terms of their work, but the issues they engage with accordingly are vast and great. While we often say that artists are dipping into their own worlds, these two artists are quite social in nature. This quality is rare in today’s fast-moving society, especially in the world of art, which is more of a consolation to the spiritual world. While scientists may receive more attention and support for the same direction of research, artists, whose main form of expression is art, are easily overlooked, a phenomenon that is particularly serious in Chinese society. Looking at the development of contemporary art in China over the years, there is no denying that progress has been meteoric. However, this field still does not receive enough attention, and restrictions are increasing. Art can be free in thought, but it is bound in expression.

In addition to the paintings in this exhibition, the two artists are gradually focusing on multimedia art. They are very concerned about the development of the field of virtual reality, which is also a typical social issue, and they have expressed many of their thoughts and opinions through multimedia art. From the perspective of the general environment, the discussion of such a topic is inevitable, because it will gradually become closely related to the daily life of most people. As the artists say, the road to autonomy is the most difficult in the exploration of this field of virtual reality. It also seems to be an issue that has to be taken seriously with the continuous development of society and technology. The study of multimedia art and virtual reality is indeed a very new art form compared to traditional art forms such as painting and sculpture, and has gained a lot of exploration and attention in both the Eastern and Western worlds. Such artists and art forms will be a fresh blood to inject into the art market and even the whole industry.

The continental shelf is like a giant, and the cave is the interior of its body. The game of searching for the center of the continent never has a result, because the land is actually an island in constant motion and metabolism.  Standing at the Center of the Continental Shelf  connects the human imagination with the imagination of machines, placing technological objects and the human society built on them in the context of biological history.

The interest in the interconnection of the two worlds, the real and the virtual, was sparked by the familiar gaming experiences of their childhood, which led to the inspiration for XIAO Xing and HU Xiyue’s creation. The constant exploration and research in the real world took root in the virtual world. Through their exploration in games and on canvas, they deeply explored the way symbols live in both worlds. They realized that the world of the game, whether it is the shaping of a character, the depiction of a blade of grass, or even the transformation of the sun’s light, is composed of 0 and 1. The world of the game is the world of symbols. Although the numbers themselves do not have meaning, they will produce corresponding meanings after being placed in a specific environment. In the game world, these two simple numbers contain great power, and through the artificially regulated code and the relationship between the layers of code application, an artificially specified and unexpected virtual world can be built.

XIAO Xing, Symbols Losing Power II

XIAO Xing, Les symboles perdent leur pouvoir II, oil painting, 50x40cm, 2020

XIAO Xing, Map II

XIAO Xing, Carte II, oil painting, 60x50cm, 2020

In the world of painting, contingency is almost unavoidable. Just as one cannot step into the same river twice, the same brush cannot draw two identical lines, each one perfectly illustrating “existence is justification”. If a painting is deconstructed and the elements that make up the picture are seen as separate symbols, without the context, they will lose their connection to the painting itself, and they will no longer even have the meaning given to them by the painting. Withdrawing from the virtual world, which corresponds to the real world, XIAO Xing and HU Xiyue engage in a practice of trying to grasp the ungraspable through painting. Whether it is the mathematical symbols in natural disasters, the three journeys of ancient sculptures, or the maps with unmeasured borders, the regenerative crossing of famous paintings. All of them highlight the artist’s questioning of the power of symbols and the exploration of their rational way of existence.

Works

XIAO Xing, Symbols Losing Power I, 50x40cm, 2020

XIAO Xing

Les symboles perdent leur pouvoir  I

2020

XIAO Xing, Symbols Losing Power II

XIAO Xing

Les symboles perdent leur pouvoir II

2020

XIAO Xing, Symbols Losing Power III

XIAO Xing

Les symboles perdent leur pouvoir III

2020

XIAO Xing, Lunch at the bottom of the sea

XIAO Xing

Déjeuner au fond de la mer

2021

XIAO Xing, Anthropocene

XIAO Xing

Anthropocène

2020

HU Xiyue, Geological Time-1

HU Xiyue

Temps géologique I 

2020

XIAO Xing, Time Sequence

XIAO Xing

Séquence temporelle

2019

XIAO Xing, Map I

XIAO Xing

Carte I 

2020

XIAO Xing, Map II

XIAO Xing

Carte  II

2020

Artist