Hao Liang: Eight Views of Xiaoxiang

Hao Liang: Eight Views of Xiaoxiang

Hao Liang: Eight Views of Xiaoxiang is a catalogue produced to review the exhibition of the same name held at UCCA in 2016. The catalogue is split into two volumes. 

The first volume includes reproductions of the eight large compositions in ink on silk by Hao Liang, who recreates this time-honoured titular landscape in Central China and uses each image to explore the dramatic sublime of the contemporary ecological landscape. "Xiaoxiang", a common theme in ancient Chinese literature, has become a motif in shanshui painting since the Song Dynasty and finds a number of visual representations and reinterpretations across East Asia, including Japan and South Korea. The motif has inspired painters including Dong Yuan, Mi Fu, Muqi, and Wen Zhengming. Hao Liang recreates Xiaoxiang in a way distinct from those by previous painters — his works seem ancient yet bizarrely contemporary, looking to deconstruct any literal sense of time and space. 

The second volume includes essays by the curator Sun Dongdong and Pan Yanlin, as well as an interview with the artist by Philip Tinari. Discussions revolve around how the visual representations and interpretations of "Eight Views of Xiaoxiang" are constructed and evolve over time; how the artist observes the aesthetics and the systematic methodology of traditional shanshui painting; how he deals with the question of modernity in Chinese painting, and how he conducts his research-based study like a cultural archaeologist.

About Hao Liang

Born in 1983 in Chengdu, Sichuan province, Hao Liang studied at Sichuan Fine Arts Institute and received a bachelor and a master of fine arts in Chinese painting. He lives and works in Beijing.

Hao Liang fuses tightly the exercise of his own perception and the practice in Chinese ink painting, not only does he dig into the investigations of the ontology of Chinese ink painting within its history, but also experience the reconstruction of surreal narratives from the survival of the present time. For Hao Liang, the painting surface is not simply a material vehicle embodying space and time, but a medium for contemplations of such; the process of practicing Chinese painting, is more than a journey that unites painting technique and life experience, it is also a reflection on the individual exploration of one's relationship with the world. The unique world view constructed through Chinese ink paintings enables him to traverse and reflect upon the past and future, while speculating time and space, perceiving and measuring anew the position of human itself within history and the universe.


Image and Text: UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, 2020


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