Xiao Wang: Hyperfoliage
Organized by González Jassan
The Java Project
252 Java Street, Brooklyn NY
February 13 – March 7, 2021
González Jassan, in collaboration with The Java Project, is pleased to announce Hyperfoliage, an exhibition of new work by Brooklyn-based, Chinese artist Xiao Wang. For his first solo exhibition in New York, Wang has created a series of paintings rendered in brightly-hued colors and thin glazes that reimagine the tradition of Romanticism and the dynamics between landscape, power, expression.
Wang is best known for cinematic paintings that weave together realistic narratives and naturalistic techniques with surreal elements of dream or fantasy. Wang’s subjects, which he refers to as “actors,” are often friends and loved ones—as well as self-portraits of the artist himself—commonly placed in constructed scenes that linger between commonplace activities and whimsical poses. The artist states, “I want to connect them by creating a “same-ness” in their psyche, as if they are all haunted by the same experience and the same anxieties.”
Flora and landscape play a big part in Wang’s practice. Most often, the actors in his paintings are found interspersed with plants that have exotic or disturbing qualities. Living in California, Wang encountered endless species that range from cacti and succulents, to fig trees and towering pines. Over time, his personal almanac has expanded from his travels across the country and abroad, and have taken different connotations based on lived experiences along the way. The artist states, “I paint vegetation with distorted forms and colors, depicting plants as uncanny, sublime, and supernatural beings. Simultaneously, I portray human figures with feelings of confusion and resignation, putting them at the mercy of the landscape.”
Wang’s visual and conceptual references range from Romanticism, The Symbolist Movement, and Magical Realism. Inspired by the sense of feeling lost and uncertain that many of those artists explored in the context of rapid social and cultural change, Wang wants his paintings to speak to contemporary anxieties in the face of ideological uncertainty and environmental crisis.
In conjunction with Hyperfoliage, Wang’s work is currently on view in the group exhibition “A Collective Escape” at Deanna Evans Projects, Brooklyn.