Early Spring — New Work by Xia Xiaowan
2008.05.10 – 2008.06.29
There is a kind of painting that we can call “paintings about painting,” it means that the artist is using his works––not words––to contemplate the essential nature and the limits of the medium. Xia Xiaowan’s “Spatial Painting” belongs to this category, because his painting exploration is not merely the infatuation with a certain style, or an attachment to some concept, but is a reflection on painting. His approach is to take flat painting, deconstruct it into an image over many layers on a transparent medium and then reconstruct a three-dimensional picture with depth across these “cut sections.” From compact Plexiglas boards to installations on lofty transparent film; from colored pencils to special glass paints; from compressed layers to the separate layers of installation . . . this exploratory process is technical, just as it is visual and ideological. Another level of meaning in “spatial painting” is redefining “sight.” Painted on multiple layers of glass, the shape changes while the viewer moves, producing an important distinction from the traditional ways of viewing painting.