Mémoire de Xicheng / Xicheng Memory — Zhang Litao
Mémoire de Xicheng / Xicheng Memory
Past: February 12 → March 1, 2015
Xicheng is a popular area of the city of Chengdu where Zhang Litao spent a part of his life.
In the artist’s paintings, the atmosphere of this area seems heavy, charged by these buildings from the communist period, when sharing was more important than individual comfort.
However, some transparency appears. Would it be an image of this superposition of generations of human history experienced by China?
This is, at least, the story of a cultural phenomenon, where the habits, when a decision is taken, are to change and to destroy everything in order to rebuild, unlike the West, where the old buildings are preserved and often restored over time.
Xicheng District, like many traditional ones in China, is led to an aggressive makeover in which any trace of its history is erased to mark this split, this step towards the future. All this mimics the Chinese history which itself saw each dynasty disappear in favor of the next.
As though assuming his history, or as a sweet inspiration, Zhang Litao gives us the gift of this experience, where his vision of happiness can be found under a simple stone or a decrepit concrete wall.
It’s all about the level where we place comfort.
When we grow in an difficult environment, in the eyes of some, we have to make huge efforts to capture energies, nothing is guaranteed. The most important thing finally appears to be this capturing task.
Happiness can be hidden behind a scene of desolation, it can also be hidden behind this lead loaded lunar scene.
What if the melancholic reference related to the mix of blue and gray could present a kind of path to serenity?
By offering us his feelings, through his life in Xicheng, Zhang Litao shakes up our references.
Mémoire de Xicheng — Zhang Litao Opening Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 6 PM