Multiplicity:Fung Lik-yan Kevin Solo Exhibition | Affairs Going On! Ji Wenyu & Zhu Weibing Exhibition: Shanghai

June 9 - July 13, 2019

  Leo Gallery Shanghai is delighted to present a duo exhibition this June: Kevin Fung Lik-yan’s solo exhibition “Multiplicity” and Ji Wenyu & Zhu Weibing’s exhibition “Affairs Going On!”
  
  In the first-floor space of Leo Gallery Shanghai, the seven sculptures by artist Kevin Fung Lik-yan creates a calming, warm and restrained field of “Multiplicity” amidst the white-box pace in the Western-style Ferguson Lane in the Former French Concession.
  
  Born in Hong Kong and received education in Canada, Kevin Fung Lik-yan has decided to devote fully to his art after spending years in his trained profession of engineering. Kevin Fung obtained the Diploma of Contemporary Sculpture from University of Hong Kong in 1993, followed by his studies with the renowned sculptor Tong King Sum. He was appointed by The Leisure and Cultural Services Department of Hong Kong Government as Museum Expert Adviser on 2014, and later awarded by the Home Affairs Bureau of Hong Kong Government to compliment his contribution in promoting arts and culture.
  
  Kevin Fung Lik-yan has his own understanding of the living conditions of modern urban citizens. His art represents the daily routines of the middle class, as well as the challenges and pressures they face. With his own personal experience and feelings integrated into the work, Kevin Fung depicts the living conditions of human beings in general and evoke resonance among the audience.
  
  In his iconic woodcarvings, the warm texture of wood and the delicate feeling of hand-crafting form a strong contrast with the artificial characteristics of cement that is solid and industrial. The work reminds people of Hong Kong where Kevin Fung resides as well as many other cities where the natural environment is gradually taken over by sky-scrappers.
  
  In recent years, he has tried using different medium to create more imaginative space in observing the society. Just as the exhibition theme “Multiplicity” indicated, the exhibition shows the artist’s multi-dimensional perspective on the contemporary urban and social system.
  
  The modern people are easily found lost in frequent population flow, high-intensity living rhythms, ever-changing lifestyles, alienated social interactions, and so on. Undoubtedly, it is a common issue that any modern urban citizens has to deal with.
  
  Kevin Fung Lik-yan is more like a city observer. In his view, it is always interesting to observe a group of people compared to individuals living outside the community. As he said: “It seems inevitable that as city advances the population become increasingly heterogeneous but also polarised into extremes. Some behaves like a herd of animal, each one copying every moves and thoughts of the group while some in the opposite ends seek to live in solitude. ”
  
  He incorporated this kind of delicate observation of human into his own works. The small figures that often appear in suits and pants are his symbolic images, and the figures with blurred faces weaken the perception of individual images. The network structure is reminiscent of a complex social structure: people trapped by a layered network structure, just like the network of this society, criss-crossing the trivialities of each person's life and work.
  
  His works were shortlisted for the Hong Kong Arts Centre Thirtieth Anniversary Award in 2008, the 15th Hong Kong Art Biennial in 2005, “Visual Art Creates Tomorrow” Hong Kong Visual Art Competition in 1993, and the Philippe Charriol Foundation Art Competition in 1996 and 1999. Kevin Fung Lik-yan has participated in a number of local, mainland and overseas exhibitions. Widely displayed in many malls and public spaces across Hong Kong and Mainland China, his work is widely collected by collectors, institutions, colleges and museums.
  
  Ji Wenyu was born in Shanghai in 1959. Zhu Weibing was born in Heilongjiang in 1971. Their major exhibition include Urban Touch, Kunsthalle Faust, Hannover, Germany (2016), Follow! Follow! Follow!, ShangGART Gallery M50, Shanghai, China (2011), People Holding Flowers, ShangGART Gallery M50, Shanghai, China (2007).
  
  For the viewer, “popular” and “absurd”, “ironic” and “delightful” are the characteristics of Ji Wenyu & Zhu Weibing’s works of art. These characteristics are not only seen in Ji Wenyu’s paintings, but also in the soft sculptures co-created with Ji’s wife Zhu Weibing by cloth.
  
  From painting to soft sculpture, Ji Wenyu used "cloth" to find the challenge and breakthrough: "The cloth has its flawed side, but it also has charming features - casual, easygoing, warm, but not easy to be manipulated. It has its temperament and personality. It mixes all kinds of things together and offers infinite possibilities."
  
  Groups of “humanoid puppets” are the common artistic images of Ji Wenyu and Zhu Weibing’s soft sculptures. The memory of the special era of China is reproduced through these ordinary or dramatic scenes. The memory images of the special era continue to this day. In the second-floor space of Leo Gallery, the “humanoid puppets” offer the perspective of an ordinary person as well as the reflection of groups of people in the current society.
  
  Art critic and curator Feng Boyi once stated that the works of Ji Wenyu and Zhu Weibing let us feel direct visual pleasure. However, whenever we are immersed in the absurd scenes, we feel vividly the eccentricity of humanity, the ambiguity of living, and the questioning attitude of social reality: "The absurd way is that they set the context of their work in a dramatic structure and form, expressing The game0like and virtual reality of the rapidly changing Chinese society, while reflecting on the ideological background of 'whatever exists is absurd'."
  
  The artists present a multi-dimensional thinking of the current society in a humorous way. The sensitive approach brings the most vivid and sincere expressions. The works seem to be relaxed and casual, showing China's social transformations and cultural phenomenon during the process of modernization, as well as the loss and carnival, obsession and awakening, progress and regress of people in the past decades.
  
  The exhibition runs till 13 July.