Wang Shuye Towards the Absolute Perceptual Dimension that Precedes Cognition
Tokyo Gallery + BTAP is pleased to announce Wang Shuye’s solo exhibition Towards the Absolute Perceptual Dimension that Precedes Cognition. This second solo exhibition at Tokyo Gallery + BTAP (Tokyo) will present nine new works from the A Spate Time Nude Identical series.
Wang Shuye was born in Heilongjiang Province, China in 1963. After graduating from the Central Academy of Arts & Design [now Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University] in Beijing in 1989, Wang moved to Japan in 1990 and spent the next ten years devoting himself exclusively to the spiritual pursuit of art, exhibiting no work until his 2001 solo show in Kamakura. Since then, he has been showing his works mainly in Tokyo and Kamakura, including a retrospective exhibition at the Ikeda Museum of 20th Century Art in 2009 entitled The Affirmative Vision – The World of Wang Shuye. Since 2017, he also has a studio in Beijing's 798 Art Zone, the heart of China's cutting-edge art scene, and continues to create works guided by an unyielding spirit of inquiry from his current bases in Kamakura and Beijing.
Since the early 1990s, Wang has been exploring the possibilities of a new visual space in painting in terms of an “absolute perceptual dimension that precedes cognition.” His paintings employ oil paint and ink to produce countless brushstrokes, which accumulate to allow profound scenes of tranquility to emerge. These visual spaces correspond to a world that exist prior to becoming an object of cognition and liberate vision from the shackles of human values. They dismantle the concept and act of “seeing,” remove all human knowledge and emotions as impurities, and present “seeing” anew before our eyes.
The new works showcased in this exhibition depict the city of Ginza. Wang makes the conscious decision to take things that familiar to us as his subject matter and attempts a departure from our cognition. Viewers experience the cityscape they have just seen in a perceptual dimension that differs from the everyday. These new works also present Wang’s new attempts at introducing multiple colors that tend to lead to cognition, as well as linear elements that are characteristic of urban environments.
Please take this opportunity to experience Wang’s artistic world that points to a new possibility of painting.
As long as the world is an object defined by human cognition, the world we see is nothing but a reflection of human beings themselves. The different truths of the world can never be touched. For me, the moment I renounce the relativistic cognition and awareness of daily life to experience and express an absolute perceptual dimension that precedes cognition, is the moment where I transcend my selfhood and its worldview, and I come into contact with another form of the world that is concealed by that worldview. This state is oriented not towards individual things in the world, but the world as a whole—the world presents itself in its full openness. That is that primordial state of perception. The world’s original eternity, infinity, and self-sufficiency make their appearance everywhere. It is through such experiences that I liberate myself from the fundamental lack in perception that is bound to my own position, and I attain a moment of true peace.