"Title: Safe House" Cao Taiping Solo Exhibition
City: Beijing
Duration: 2017-05-20 ~ 2017-06-25
Opening: May 20, 2017, 4PM
Venue: Cheng Center for Contemporary Art
Address: 798 Art Distriction, B01, Beijing
Participating Artist(s): Cao Taiping

We are pleased to announce the opening of the first solo exhibition of artist Cao Taiping in Cheng Center for Contemporary Art, “Safe House,” on May 20, 2017. The exhibition showcases Cao Taiping’s latest works from 2016 to the present. Cao Taiping graduated from the Oil Painting Department at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2015, and has been living and working in Beijing since completing his MFA.

Cao Taiping is an artist who persistently engages with the concept of “self doubt” and the “negation of his previous work.” He boldly breaks away from the practiced techniques of his academic training as a painter, and relies on a genuine painterly sensibility. While continually exploring a dominant thread, and experimenting with new materials and modes of expression, his style transcends the habitual and the static to give rise to a new creative appearance.

From 2014 to 2016, Cao Taiping produced his “Go Barriers Series.” The barrier, in the context of everyday life, marks a boundary and a physical barrier whose purpose is to prevent others and so-called outsiders from entering private or non-public spaces. On a spiritual level, “barriers” offer an update to human customs and the social psychology of “collective consciousness.” Cao Taiping sharply captures this image and its implied social significance as he renders it on the picture place. Using course brush strokes and minute angles to build layers of perspective that are surrounded by barbed wire, the works create an almost monumental illusion of vision.

In the works that follow this series, namely those in the current exhibition, Cao Taiping continues and strengthens his exploration of the concepts of danger and boundaries, using yellow and black colors that carry a sense of warning across his large canvases. These unadorned colors, with a flow of pigments splashed and sprinkled over on the canvas, play with the absorption and reflection of light; even the traces of streaks present elements that enrich the possibilities of the two-dimensional work.

The concept of a “safe house” is intended to prevent danger that might arise from a situation, but also to provide shelter from the possibility of unknown risk. The title of this exhibition, “Safe House,” conveys how the artist consumes and satirizes situations of danger, and comments on the intangible boundaries between the external and inner worlds of the artist. Barbed wire, caution tape, exposed coils, and the warning signs of yellow and black, for Cao Taiping, all reveal signs of ubiquitous danger; the boundaries of separation and the use of visual modes function to suppress the senses of the viewer. The works draw on a strong expression on the canvas, as well as the unavoidable stress on the flat surface, to invoke a critical experience for the viewer.

The exhibition will last until 25th June.


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[Editor] 张艳

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