Exhibition Beijing

Zhang Tian mu's solo exhibition "Pathless Garden"
2015.6.18(Wed) - 7.13(Mon)

On June 18th Tokyo Gallery + BTAP is very honoured to present an exhibition of works by Zhang Tianmu,Pathless Garden. On display will be 20 pieces of Zhang Tianmu’s new tempera works.

For those familiar with Zhang Tianmu’s creative output, her recent works have displayed a surprising and unexpected direction: those dreamy, symbolic girls of hers are no longer visible, while the grass, flowers, birds and beasts which originally played supplementary roles in her paintings have become the main characters. However, the original meticulously maintained sweet and pleasant atmosphere—that of a girly “scarlet dreamscape”—has dissipated, while the sense of the eerie, deficient, and uncertain shroud the picture plane.

We can say that this group of paintings by Tianmu is a contemporary transformation of the traditional themes of “birds and flowers”, while what she has adhered to is far from an orderly traditional path but rather more of an appropriation—probing completely unexpectedly deep within tradition, sparking a small subversion which changes the character of the work. She has keenly grasped the particularities of the “instructive” points in the “mutual transformation of fish and birds” [yu niao hu hua 鱼鸟互化] and “ducks and rocks as one” [ya shi yi ti 鸭石一体] in the original works, yet in her own pieces, these have become claws growing out of the edges of leaves, or flowers blooming in the mouths of giant serpents. If the original work is said to express the philosophical meditation of “Zhuang Zhou wakes up from a dream, having dreamt of being a butterfly” [and not sure whether he was Zhuang Zhou or a butterfly], then Tianmu’s paintings remind us of our anxieties and insecurities about life itself within the context of modern biological technology.

Zhang Tianmu has not used painting to intervene into a sociological critique of values, but rather placed herself within the process of painting, naturally and spontaneously facing the relationship between painting and the self, and that between the self and social life. At the same time, as an Other “viewing”, we have also been transformed into a relational metaphor: Zhang Tianmu’s painting constructs a “peach blossom springs” [a traditional rustic utopia in Chinese literature] of a closed inner world.

The exhibition’s opening will be held on June 21, 2015 at 3pm. Tokyo Gallery + BTAP cordially invite you to attend.

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