“BUTTERFLY MIRROR”Wang Xiaoshuang Solo Exhibition
City: Shang Hai
Curator: Xu Sheng
Duration: 2014-09-13 ~ 2014-10-12
Opening: September 13,2014 16:00
Venue: S.O Art Space
Address: Room 111, Building 8, No.50 Moganshan Road, Shanghai.
Participating Artist(s): Wang Xiaoshuang
Host(s): S.O Art Space

Wang Xiaoshuang's Portraits

    Xu Sheng

In general, portrait is the representation of a person or a group of people, mainly face or full figure. It depicts not only the appearance, but also the temper, even the spiritual connotation of the time. It is based on the characteristics of the independent objects, as well as artists. There are some other works, such as the two chairs of Van Gogh, or Wu Zhen’s old trees, also can be regarded as portrait to watch. This suggests a wider area of portrait.

Today, if we take the portrait as the guide of way of seeing, let it lead us through the art history, what can we really see? Before think about this question, we must first go beyond the general definition of portrait and try to understand the essential.

The spirit of portrait comes from the artists’ touch to the character’s spirit and soul, and to express a sense of sublime desire. This desire, originally from the portrait of the original -- such as statues and totem. Today, it is abstracted as a kind of artistic beauty. Contemporary art doubt the value of art itself, and through the external idea, concept, as well as the social value, philosophical orientation, innovation, these external scales make arts back to an instrumental rationalism. The portrait was also born as a functional art, but today, its spirit has been beyond the initial function and become the artist's own pursuit and need. It comes from the communication between artists and objects, as well as artists to rely on their own creativity and exploration of this communication. This communication is inward, when the artist gives the object spirit at the same time. This is to inhibit self consciousness, and thus to eliminate the interference of the external context. This way of understanding is abstract and help us to shake off the shackles of traditional portrait and go into the perceptual level. On this level, some contemporary artworks like installations or videos can be seen as portraits as well.

Wang Xiaoshuang's paintings are typical portraits without any innovation on media or contents. As any forms can no longer carry born stands on ideologies, painted portraits become once again the direct expression of the essence of portrait. What's more, Wang Xiaoshuang's choice is based on her natural spiritual preference, so she puts her desire of expression all in her subjects in the paintings.

The subjects in her paintings are created with similar facial figures and characters which change only with her inner needs without any model. In the series of “Moods”, all persons look at somewhere while implying that they are being watched. In the “Dissociation” series, it seems that the persons have got rid of visions from outside the canvas and live quietly in their own world. This situation may be implying the inner needs of the painter. And then it won't be difficult to understand the moods of the paintings in other series.

Seeing the above, the figures in the paintings are from the self-conscious of the painter, whose paintings are not typical self-portraits but reflecting her emotions as a psychological mirror. It can also be said that Wang has made her inner world visible as human figures on the canvas. It is common that in contemporary paintings the portraits are not about others but the painter.

When an artist chose the portrait as his/her subject, bold discovery on oneself is always needed with huge courage to explore the depth of the soul where beauty and danger can both be found. Only after this can the canvas be linked to heart with continuous practices. On this level, Wang Xiaoshuang's paintings are to be improved as a young artist's works. And she has already entered a spiritual world under the process of construction and felt the ever growing power there.


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[Editor] 刘建兰