Rui Zhang: Summer Show                 
21 July—25 August 2018          

For the first time, current works by the Chinese artist Rui Zhang will be shown in the gallery. In the first cabinet there are three works by the young artist on display, which challenge our visual habits in a refreshingly iconographic and pictorial-spatial way.

In open, unsecured pictorial spaces, the pictorial elements are placed on the same map and flow kaleidoscopically into one another. Transitions thus become indissoluble connections. The flat background lacks horizon and gravity, only the many elements and fragments, sometimes cryptically, sometimes openly referential, hold their place. It is not always easy to clearly identify the parts; body fragments are lined up with banners, pop cultural icons and terms. The allegorical, luminous cards are held together and connected by strong, fresh colours. Despite noise, abundance and density, the arrangement never loses itself in chaos. Instead, it presents itself textually as a synthesis, whose allegories and connections want to be understood and attract violently immersive.

The text-like nature of the arrangements sometimes evokes associations with wall inscriptions from Egyptian graves. Rui Zhang gives us a text in a language that is pictorial, but often remains encrypted. Born in China in 1989, Rui Zhang grew up between the [cultural] worlds, in a time of political and cultural reorientation of a country that was opening up and in which preserved set pieces of old Chinese traditions meet the remains of the Mao Zedong era and Globalization 2.0. In her large-scale works, the artist reacts to the shock of accelerated cultural hybridization. In her visual language, the most diverse references flow into one another, shifting and overlapping, forming large-scale fabrics that oscillate between the named wall surface and the cloud. Zhang develops patterns and breaks them up into counter-patterns; there is only a hold when concentrating on one point, but the contexts remain ambiguous, while all parts search for integration.

Rui Zhang's pictures show a probing of the differences and a feeling for similarity and identifiability. She presents moments of appropriation in metaphors of incorporation and breaking up. Superimpositions allow depths to emerge and withdraw some signs from visibility again. In her pictorial worlds, the artist gives us insights into what she occupies and absorbs, inspires and perhaps even wants to let stand for just a moment. At the same time, these cultural artifacts are images of a cosmopolitan process of locating and trying on. They are the conscious reactions to the cultural vortexes of a networked and increasingly dense global cultural landscape.

Rui Zhang *1989 in China
2006-2010 Studies at CAFA, Beijing, Bachelor of Arts
2012-2017 Study with Prof. Wolfgang Ellenrieder and Prof. Aurelia Mihaian
University of Fine Arts Braunschweig [HBK], Diploma
2017-2018 Master student studies with Prof. Wolfgang Ellenrieder,
University of Fine Arts Braunschweig, [HBK]
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