VW (VeneKlasen/Werner) is pleased to present Visionary Transformation, an exhibition of new works by Zheng Guogu. This is the artist's first solo exhibition in Berlin and features sculptures, paintings, photographs and the 20 minute film Mind Acts Without Attachments, all created between 2011 - 2015.
Zheng Guogu is one of China's most versatile contemporary artists, recognized more by his thematic approach rather than any particular medium. His practice reflects the contemporary world's connection with today's media but also utilizes an intimate knowledge of traditional Chinese, Buddhist and Daoist art.
This exhibition features works from different series which are bound together by a narrative trait. Computer Controlled by Pig's Brain alludes to the impact of commercial mass media and the fictive nature of images. The history of Chinese painting is dissected and its methodology reflects Guogu´s questioning approach to established associations and symbols. The Brain Nerves are not only abstract portraits of the mental space of artists such as Marcel Duchamp and Joseph Beuys, but also measure the sensibility of the brains of the portrayed subjects. The works of the Visionary Transformation series are reminiscent of Buddhist Thangka paintings, yet Guogu aims to distill the essence of the iconographic subject and to transform the material energy of the painting into a mirror that opens up a personal search for truth. The aesthetic resonance of Chakra series is based on the artist´s exploration of the seven chakras. These series of paintings share the will to resonate the energy between the space of the painting and the energy centers within the viewer.
In 2000 Zheng Guogu created The Age Of Empire, now called Liao Garden, as his independent living and working space, facilitating a multi-disciplinary practice that is open to critical observations. The film Mind Acts Without Attachments, presented in the gallery´s cinema, partly documents the life and artistic community generated by this project, allowing the audience to conceptually experience the group's artistic practice as well as witness hints of questioning the status quo of society while blurring the line between fiction and reality.
The opening of the exhibition will be celebrated with an ancient Chinese tea and agar wood incense ceremony, conducted by the artist and kindly supported by P & T – Paper & Tea.
Zheng Guogu was born in 1970 in Yangjiang, Guangdong Province, China, where he also lives and works today. He graduated from the Printmaking Department at Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 1992. Guogu has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout China, North America and Europe and was the subject of solo exhibitions at Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai (in cooperation with Yangjiang Group) (2013) and at BizArt Art Center, Shanghai (2006). His work was included in the Zone of Urgency at the 50th Venice Biennale (2003), the documenta 12 (2007), the Shanghai Biennale (2002) and (2014). Guogu is the recipient of the 2006 Best Artist Award of the Chinese Contemporary Art Awards (CCAA).