Ink Asia 2018: Cao Xiaoyang
28 September - 2 October 2018
Booth: J1-J3, Hall 3, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
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Private Preview and Vernissage

Friday, 28 September 2018

Exhibition Period

Saturday, 29 September 2018 – Tuesday, 2 October 2018


Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hall 3




Cao Xiaoyang

Hanart TZ Gallery is proud to present Cao Xiaoyang’s solo exhibition at Ink Asia 2018.

Cao Xiaoyang’s unique practice explores the possibilities of charcoal on paper to create intricate, atmospheric images of the world of shanshui (Chinese landscape art). Cao’s exhibition at Ink Asia will feature outstanding works created over the last decade, including his newest work, a monumental scroll measuring 2.5 metres in height, completed in 2018.

About Cao Xiaoyang

Cao Xiaoyang was born in 1968 in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu province. He received both his BFA (1994) and MFA (2002) from the Printmaking Department and is currently the Head of The Foundation Studies Branch of the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou. In 2014 Cao Xiaoyang had his debut solo exhibition The Twenty-Four Solar Terms at Hanart TZ Gallery in Hong Kong. In 2016 Cao was invited to participate in Beyond the Globe: Eighth Triennial of Contemporary Art—U3 in Slovenia, and in Shanshui: A Manifesta, the opening exhibition of the Gongwang Museum of Art in Hangzhou. In 2017 Cao had his major solo exhibition The Moments In-Between: Cao Xiaoyang’s Works on Paper at the China Academy of Art.

Artist’s Statement

For me, shanshui involves two different layers of investigation and two different types of work.

My art can be divided into two categories: the first comprises realist paintings from nature; and the second, paintings from memory, a ‘mnemonic’ of shanshui. When creating a realist landscape painting, I often spend three to four days sketching outside in nature, facing the mountain at different times of the day, and watching as nature’s mysteries unfold one after the other, and then are hidden again, until gradually everything melds into one. As the clouds gather and the mists spread, the composition of the mountain undergoes myriad transformations; it is full of an endless vitality. But this sense of endless vitality does not refer to the form of the mountain within the overall landscape, but rather to the way the plants and grasses are able to flourish and grow, and all myriad things to follow a divine pattern of life. And so the exploration of ‘shanshui’ is not so much about landscape itself, or the historical experience of shanshui painting. For us—for whom there is no path of return to the primeval—shanshui is more than just a cultural signifier or an iconic form; rather, it is a method of investigation and experimentation for maintaining awareness of and concern for this world, and for understanding life and the endless experiment of existence.

The ‘Twenty-four Solar Terms’ are the coordinates between man, heaven and nature. The myriad changes of the four seasons guide us towards a way of understanding life and the endless cycle of being. Most of my artwork unfolds from within the thematic context of the Twenty-four Solar Terms, expressing my thoughts and observations about the inter-relatedness of life in the human and natural worlds. The attitude and creative methodologies of my art are also my way of responding to the theatre of shanshui, where life’s myriad performances unfold in our world.

(Translation by Valerie C. Doran)

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