Contemporary art inspired from ancient Chinese myth on show

Source:Global Times Published: 2011-1-4 8:35:00

By Wu Ziru

Artist Ling Jian is holding his solo exhibition at the Today Art Museum, displaying an array of new works he created in the last two years.

Entitled Moon in Glass, the exhibition has altogether 10 oil paintings and two large-scale installations, all inspired by the ancient Chinese myth of a beautiful goddess living on the moon with her favorite rabbit.

The high points of the exhibition, without doubt, are the two shining fiber-glass installations–one a large rabbit, and the other, a large magnificent phoenix crown–both hanging from the hall's ceiling.

The two installations, resonating with the ancient Chinese myth, perfectly render the artist's intention: Make tradition encounter present-day reality.

"Times are changing, things are also changing, but there is something in our hearts that never changes," the artist told the Global Times at the opening of the exhibition. He believes that, in some respects, people of today share the same spirit as their ancestors.

Sharing the limelight at the exhibition are another two paintings, called White Rabbit and Black Rabbit, both in the shape of a moon. On careful observation, one would find that the beautiful eyes and red lips of the two rabbits are that of some fashionable women.

"It's kind of weird," commented an onlooker surnamed He, after looking at the Black Rabbit for a while. "The rabbit seems no longer as pretty as it is in the myth."

Born in 1963 in Shandong Province, Ling Jian has lived and worked in Europe since the 1980s, and recently returned to Beijing to continue with his art. He has been very successful in the Western art world, with his works widely exhibited in galleries and museums in recent decades.

The exhibition is scheduled to run until January 16. Another series of Ling's works, also under the same title, will be on show at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) from January 15 to March 9.

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