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9 September, 2011
Guan Donghai & Zheng Xuewu - Xuanwu
Guan Donghai & Zheng Xuewu - Xuanwu      9 September - 21 October 2011

In ancient times, astronomers divided the sky along equatorial lines into 28 regions, each of which was called one Xiu 宿 or Lunar Phase. This belt of constellations roving irregularly across the sky divided into four directions with seven constellations each. The seven constellations in the east are called Qinglong青龙 (blue dragon), those in the north are named Xuanwu玄武 (black tortoise), the west Baihu白虎(white tiger), and the south Zhuque朱雀(red bird).

As the exhibition title the artist’s have chosen to use the term Xuanwu 玄武 which references:
(1) Xuanwu玄武, the constellation located to the North and is sometimes referred to as the Black Warrior of the North (北方玄武, Bei Fang Xuan Wu);
(2) These constellations are mentioned in a poem known as Da Dong 大東 (Big East) in the earliest collection of Chinese poems, The Book of Songs or The Odes 詩經, coinciding with one of the characters of Donghai’s name and the title of Xuewu’s works, Eastern Realm.

Guan Donghai and Zheng Xuewu both grew up in the northern part of China, Heilongjiang, each shows a degree of the northern temperament in their works. Known for their strength, honesty and forthrightness the people of the Heilongjiang Province hold their integrity in high esteem and this shines through in the artwork created by each artist.

As part of Xuanwu, Guan Donghai will be showing three newly completed works from his Weapon Series.

Guan Donghai reflects:

‘I want my works to have a certain strength and power so I am constantly looking for those elements that will convey my desire to embody these in the glass medium. I use the application of different colours and forms in order to achieve that sense of power. Using the ancient Chinese gates and weapons as inspiration, I have used the abstract form of these to freely create my sculptures and giving expression to my feelings.’

I hope to create a bridge with the ancient people through my work. The ancient way of creating weapons is considered as sacred, it is looked upon as if the creator has injected their soul into the weapons thereby attaining a spiritual state of union between human and weapon; a spiritual state of union that is as natural as claws and teeth to the body. Ancient weapons are considered to be living, a state that I hope to achieve in my works.

In this Xuanwu exhibition, Zheng Xuewu will be showcasing five works from his Eastern Realm Series.

In the Eastern Realm Series Zheng Xuewu has been exploring the blending of folk art and the work of traditional masters. He has travelled extensively through the north eastern provinces of China examining woodblock prints, cloth dolls, clothing, jewellery and religious icons along with the traditional masters and draws on all to create work uniquely his own.

Zheng Xuewu comments:

‘My goal is to take the treasures of the people in my left hand and the masters of yesterday in my right hand and to clasp them together. I then want to blend them to create the Zheng Xuewu of today.

Using immediately recognisable organic forms such as tree branches & rock formations Zheng Xuewu composes paintings with a strong graphic element, giving a nod to his printmaking practise, and creating paintings with contrasting tones and an appealing harmony. His habitual way of working is in series and continues exploring themes within a series for many years with the Eastern Realm Series being his primary focus of recent times.

The two artists Guan Donghai and Zheng Xuewu share a geographical heritage, a sympathetic aspect in their art practice and now a joint exhibition.

Opening Reception : Friday 9 Sep 2011, 7pm to 9:30pm
Exhibition Period: 10 September - 21 October 2011
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 6pm

KORU1, Koru Contemporary Art
16th floor, Unit 1604, Hing Wai Centre
7 Tin Wan Praya Road, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
*** Car Parking available ***
For directions to the gallery please click on the link below :
View Location Map (from Aberdeen Tunnel)
View Location Map (from Pokfulam)

Mark Joyce phone +852 2580 5922 email: info@koru-hk.com
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