|Wang Zhibo, 'Springs II', oil on canvas, image courtesy of Edouard Malingue Gallery Hong Kong|
A: When they appear in the work of Wang Zhibo, an emerging artist about to burst onto the international art scene with a solo exhibition at the Armory Show in New York next month following a show at Edouard Malingue Gallery in Hong Kong.
Her work has previously been shown at the Chongqing Art Museum, the Today Art Museum in Beijing, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei. She is certainly a painter worth watching, and her vision is original and compelling.
Graduating in 2008 from the China Academy of Art Oil Painting Department in Hangzhou, Wang Zhibo works in a highly academic style to represent a slightly disturbing vision of the landscape of modern China. Parks, fountains, trees and garden vistas - all are such distinctly traditional elements of Chinese literati painting. In these works, however, the trees and rocks possess an appearance of unreality, as if they are part of a landscape designed by a computer program for a property developer. Beautifully painted, with great control of her palette and her medium, she makes us see the world around us in different ways. Skies are murky, and the light so ambiguous that one cannot tell if it is day or night. Adding to the surreal ambience, these landscapes include palm trees, fences and balustrades, emphasising the sense of artificiality. This is a constructed world.
|Wang Zhibo, Green Fault, oil on canvas, 157 x 180, image courtesy Edouard Malingue Gallery|