Clusters of Memory
The medium of ink is frequently associated with classical Chinese art but in Zheng Chongbin's works, the medium evokes an experimental quality which transcends chronological and geographic determinations. By looking holistically at time as a continuum rather than as starkly contrasted traditional and contemporary eras, his paintings and installations defy singular interpretations. They exist in a nexus including Western and Eastern art of various time periods, such as Chinese figurative painting in ink from centuries past, and current American artists whose work he was first exposed to upon arriving in the United States
The paintings in the exhibition are not intended to be viewed in isolation, but instead as integral components of the total installation. The surfaces of the paintings can be read as maps to the structures suspended from the ceiling. The paintings' strong linearity and matrix-like forms resonate with Asia Society Texas Center's Yoshio Taniguchi-designed architecture, and its light, space, and sounds. The sculptural clusters in turn respond to the architecture, using its rectilinear strictures as a supporting grid for their catapulting, airborne movement, and resulting transformation of the space.
Clusters of Memory incorporates elements such as ink, water, acrylic, paper, and light to emphasize memory in its physical form as a neural function, and in its less concrete forms as shared experiences and transmitted remembrances. The juxtaposition of digital and natural components renders the presumed boundary between organic life forms and technology more permeable, perhaps suggesting a greater, unified whole.
Zheng Chongbin invites the viewer to consider the multivalent relationships between themselves and his work, based on the personal references they bring to the experience of being immersed in it; as well as the effects of physically hearing it, viewing it, and moving themselves in relation to it. Instead of considering solely the perspective of the featured art being the object of the viewer's gaze, the artist creates an environment in which both perceptions of space and self may shift.
Asia Society, Houston, Texas, U.S, Oct 28, 2017 - Jul 8, 2018
3095 Kerner Blvd, #D
San Rafael, California