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July 23, 2022

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Collage art is part of the bigger picture

IT is rare to see “collage” as the theme of an exhibition.

But David Hockney, one of the most influential artists in the world, once said “collage of Cubism is an important invention of the 20th century art. Collage art breaks through the law of linear perspective since Renaissance, no longer pursues the illusion of reality, but questions and subverts the human rationality represented by perspective.”

The exhibition “For a Bigger Picture,” underway at APSMUSEUM through October 18, features collage works created by 12 artists including big names such as Yang Fudong, Zhang Enli and Yu Ji.

Although the participating artists are active in different aspects of contemporary art, they used the form of “collage” skillfully in their creations.

It is suggested that visitors spend more time observing these works.

At first glance, they might seem normal. However, on close inspection of the labels, visitors would be surprised to find old pictures, used clothes, fashion magazine pages or even bark as various elements in these collage works.

In the “Hair” series, artist Zhang Enli cut out the images of hair in magazines with varied colors and shapes, and created layers of overlapping “visual whirlpool.” In the gaps between or around the swirls are scattered lines drawn by pencil, just like another depiction of hair, which, according to the artist, “not only breaks the visual unity of the hair, but also changes the density.”

One of the spotlights of the exhibition goes to “Worship the Star and Moon” created by Ling Yun and Yang Fudong.

Yang, one of the best Chinese video artists on the international art stage, worked with his wife on this tiny collage piece in 2021.

On careful reading of the materials applied into this work, visitors will find paint, ink birch bark and watercolor paper.

The person depicted on bark is reminiscent of Western religious painting. In fact, “Worship the Star and Moon” is an epigraph name of the Song Dynasty (960-1279), indicating the worship of the moon by ancient Chinese women who believed that the moon could receive their love and thoughts.

“The pandemic really freezes time, and we have more time for reading and drawing,” said Yang. “Actually the name of the work popped up in mind as soon as the work was done.”

Gu Zheng, the curator of the exhibition and also one of the top art critics in the area of photography, said: “These works reflect the profound influence of ‘collage’ on contemporary art which expands its definition. This exhibition hopes to invite visitors to think further about its new possibilities in the 21st century.”

Gu’s word unwittingly echo with Hockney’s saying that “collage is a bigger picture.”


Exhibition info

Date: Through October 18 (closed on Mondays), 10am-10pm


Address: 3/F, L+Mall, 889 Pudong Rd S., Pudong New Area

Tip: A negative nucleic acid test result done within 72 hours is required for entry.


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