I’ll be installing the “red” exhibition at Gallery 180, next weekend. This year, fourteen Artists were selected to exhibit fifteen works of art, in our annual National Juried Exhibition. The selected pieces range from the cleverly symbolic paintings of Lorraine Sack and Richard Laurent to the powerful, geometric, color-saturated photograph of Jennifer Jackson and steel sculpture of Michael Stanley. The show includes two beautiful still life paintings by, Catherine Maize as well as an amazing photorealistic portrait by Ming Zhou. The amazing diversity of work—presented in this exhibition of national fine artists—provides a beautiful and creative look at the use of "red".
Above is an image by Ming Zhou, titled “In Front of the Fireplace”. After doing a little more research on the artist, this beautifully-painted 16 x 20” oil painting is seems to be a study from the past. Ming Zhou’s current work is much more whimsical—but with an edge. The new work is a comment on the “Tasteless” manners of China’s new middle class. From her web site:
“My work is a critique of China’s New Middle Class’s tasteless manners. The New Middle Class in China have attempted to use “good taste” as a means of distinguishing themselves from the masses. However, that “good taste” has been usually associated with certain status symbols, in particular famous Western brands and popular leisure activities. China’s New Middle Class would blindly mimic things from the West in order to present themselves as members of the middle class. Meanwhile, they would pay no attention to the deeper, spiritual aspects of our traditional Chinese culture. They would parade our own traditional culture, wear traditional garments, and stage cultural festivities only for purposes of entertaining and pleasing Western eyes, and no more. And, in doing so, the New Middle Class would devalue the very cultural richness they purport to convey.”
“…My artwork's intention is to bring about self-awareness among China’s New Middle Class. I try to tactfully remind them that the cultivation and creation of any culture is long-term project; they should pay attention to a culture’s inner spirit instead of mindlessly assuming it and no more.”
Take a few minutes to review Ming Zhou’s new work at: imageming.com. You can also get a glimpse at some of the older academic work. Her observational skills are quite wonderful.