since the turn of the twentieth century, the chinese artworld has taken on globalism. some advocate integration, while others insist upon cultural isolation. in his article, let me reiterate: where do we go from here? deeper. we go deeper!, fu lei makes himself clear. absorbing western influence and sticking to one’s cultural guns are mere surfaces. the central issue is one of cultural depth, a depth inhering in an artist’s ontological language and developmental trajectory. so how do we ‘go deeper’? “feelings arise from an unknown place, and have only deeper to go.” this line from tang xianzu’s peony pavilion bridges the divide between life and death, freeing us from the shackles of dualism, pointing out the essence of both life and art.
go deeper is thus the title of our exhibition, drawing a connection between the artist’s creative practise and the rich literary and aesthetic traditions of suzhou, whilst also highlighting cai zhisong’s unremitting pursuit of both chinese and western visual languages, especially in the genre of sculpture. as i see it, cai zhisong’s sculptural language has been particularly adept in addressing the issues of contemporary art and media in light of globalism. this exhibition features the artist’s homeland as well the peacock, wintersweet flower, lotus, and orchid series, all of which reflect cai zhisong’s long meditation on ontological truth and arising circumstance.
perhaps the cultural atmosphere of wu has imbued cai zhisong’s artwork with increasingly aesthetically refined characteristics. these pieces are imbued with the humanism of ancient suzhou, resonating within the atmosphere of the suzhou museum, as we join hands and go deeply into the night.
november, 13, 2021, wangjing, beijing