Rossi & Rossi is delighted to announce Same: Difference, an exhibition that aims to highlight the individuality of artists by presenting works that have been constrained by a single constant – the size of the artworks, which are all A4. The title of the show is derived from the informal, often dismissive, phase “same difference” (each word is of course the antonym of the other) indicating the belief that despite apparent differences two or more things are, in essence, the same. In separating the two words with a colon, however, the aim is to highlight the sameness and, paradoxically, the differences between the artists and their works in light of a constant. Eleven contemporary Asian artists from various countries and resident across the globe have been invited to produce works that measure 29.7 x 21 cm – the size of an A4 sheet of paper.
The A4 format was chosen because it belongs to a series of paper sizes that has been adopted around the world for official and everyday use. The main advantage of this series is the aspect ratio of 1:√2, which allows for easier scaling up or down into the next paper size. Its functionality makes an A4 sheet of paper an everyday object, one that is seen every day, the same in every office, banal and unexceptional. However, it is the intervention of the artist which makes the difference, as well as each artist (and work) being different from the other.
As such, the exhibition is a playful demonstration of how these artists can, in spite of restrictions, transform the everyday and the standardised into highly distinct works that incorporate different skills and techniques, while addressing different themes and issues. The exhibition features works by Benchung, Konstantin Bessmertny, Faiza Butt, Heman Chong, Christopher Doyle, Gade, Kesang Lamdark, Nortse, Tenzing Rigdol, Tsherin Sherpa, and Palden Weinreb.
In many ways Same: Difference is also a call to arms – an opportunity to prove to those who often airily dismiss Asian contemporary art, that Asian artists and their works have a vitality and pertinence equal to that of ‘Western’ contemporary art. The techniques and materials incorporated in the works included – ranging from cloisonné to photo collages, old Tibetan prayer flags to melted plastic as well as more traditional material such as gold leaf, acrylic and graphite – demonstrate how these artists are no different from any other, all are highly imaginative, determined and creative individuals, producing intensely personal and inspiring works of art. Same difference really…