WEST LAKE

January 05 - February 25, 2023

Shen Han attempts to pierce the relationship between paint and the body through a combination of pigment stains, supple gestural lines and allusive spaces. Seeming to crumble and dislocate in the image presented, the artist’s interest in the manipulation of fragmented spaces and the nuance between figuration and abstraction structures an invisible order into chaos.

Apposed to an unprimed canvas, Shen Han’s seemingly random pigment stains build a harmonious tone and rhythm, yet without apparent coherence – a fragmented landscape that is not based on any tangible image. Drawn with powerful brushstrokes, Shen’s nimble and graceful lines exude a melodious breath, assimilating arbitrary relationships between marks and shapes and mobilizing through cadenced areas of color.

The propensity and experience of seeing as a mode of reading the image is invoked and intervenes before being, for a time, suspended in Shen’s entangled perspective – the landscape on display becoming, in effect, part of a tranquil frame. Consciousness is continually corroborated and then discarded, creating a link to the fragmented narrative through sensibility and imagination.The interwoven visual elements, embedded in ambiguous configurations and narratives, reveal deep emotions, outlining a contradictory question that can either be perceived as formative or as plunging into a void of uncertainty.

Piercing through the wispy patterns of colour, the oscillating gestures of Shen Han’s latest paintings are presented as gymnastically stretched human forms, generated by the artist’s own rhythm and physical movements in the creative process. In The Cloud Sanguine, the enigmatic shapes merge with each other and seep into the heart of the fluid blocks of colour. The irregular yellow oil paint continuously erodes the territory of the ruddy block as the tendency to empty spaces, implying an overflow of emotions and tension hidden under the vaguely sketched body shape. Paul Rubens’ masterpiece The Abduction of the Daughters of Leucippus is revisited by the artist; a story tinged with violence and passion whose musicality and theatricality are reflected in Shen Han’s rich brushwork, and in his magnificent colour palette. Presented as a whole before being recalled in detail, the artist’s affections and fascinations come through in the form of equivocal clues delivered by Shen’s imaginative brushwork, and coinciding with the viewer’s own memories and subconscious, as the re-representation of personal images.

Shen Han was born in Hangzhou in 1988, he lives and works in Berlin. Graduated from the Berlin University of Art in 2017 with a Meisterklasse, his works were exhibited in the Aurora Museum in Shanghai, Wuhan Art Museum, Galerie Koenig in Berlin and Vacancy Gallery in Shanghai.