Xing Wanli: There Are More Things
Xing Wanli: There Are More Things

Curator & Artists

20240323 - 20240616







From March to June 2024, X Museum presents you Chinese artist Xing Wanli’s solo exhibition, ‘There Are More Things’ in Galleries 1 to 4. The exhibition borrows its title from The Book of Sand by Argentinian writer Jorge Louis Borges, whose mysterious styles of narrating and abrupt ending provide an open space for interpretation. The term ‘There Are More Things’ itself also suggests multiple possibilities may exist even in a linear event, which also contributes to the complexity of the exhibition.

The exhibition presents more than 40 works created by the artist in recent years, which are inspired by literature, movies and games, such as Haruki Murakami’s The End of the World and Cold Wonderland and The Assassination of a Knight Commander, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, and Thomas Pynchon’s The Rainbow of Gravity, etc. Some of the new works in the exhibition departed from the clues found in the novel 1Q84. The artist extracts various sceneries and imagery from the book, such as the two moons in the sky, the car on the highway, and the little people …… and further combines these with his real-life experience, allowing reality come to exist with fiction, and exploring how commonalities connect and contest with specialties.

Using texts from literature as anchors, the artist blends images and memories for visual presentation. Color blocks forming the backdrop are intertwined with ambivalent figures and objects. Random elements and symbols make the picture rich and even more noisy. Such randomness puts the work in an unstable state, as if in ‘the garden with forking paths’, where one is free to choose the path leading to memories.

Henri Bergson wrote in Matter and Memory, ‘to paint is not to remember, and there is no doubt that memories, once they have become actual memories, tend to live in pure and simple images and are no longer associated with the past…’Memories that exist as pure images are phantoms of the past, which cannot be fully described. This makes it necessary for the artist to replace the image of the past with a new image to reproduce the memory. The image reproduces the text, the memory transforms the image, and again, at the end, what we see is a combination of fiction and reality, a mixture of imagination and feeling. By exploring ‘Text’, ‘Image’ and ‘Memory’, Xing brings a variety of images to his works, as well as a multi-dimensional space to contemplate. When we describe our memories, how much of it is related to the actual events, and how much is a fabrication of lost fragments? It is precisely this chaotic nature of memory that inspires the artist to explore, with tentative strokes traversing the unfamiliar paths. As described in 1Q84, the two worlds that exist simultaneously – words and images that originally existed in different times and spaces – are interwoven into a private paradise through the mediation of memory.

About the Artist

Artist Xing Wanli, born in Chengde, Hebei in 1992, studied at Sichuan Fine Arts Institute and Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts, and now lives and works in Chengdu. His works have been collected by X Museum and other institutions, his work Assassinating the Chief of the Knights was chosen for the ”Cultural City of East Asia 2019 Toshima Award”. His solo exhibitions include: ‘Far Oasis’, Keyi Gallery, (Hefei, 2021); ‘The Shape of Story’, MoMo Art center, (Xi’an, 2019), and major group exhibitions include:’The World as Will and Representation’, Keyi Gallery(Beijing, 2023); ‘How many times, I have left my everyday life’, 69 Art Campus, (Beijing,2022); Qingjin Plan of ‘Sputnik Lovers’, (Beijing, 2020), etc.

His works point to the non-linear narrative structure of literary works and invoke the semiotic image processing of the relationship between the materiality of the referent and the mental representation of the referent. He uses real-life experiences to reorganize and transform these words into scenes with ‘memory’ as the main theme. His images emphasize the echoing of words and sensual experience, and the fragmented elements correspond to the inspirations in life, constructing a series of open-ended schemas that transform from reality to preconception and then record the transformation process.

About The Artists

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