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Observing My Distant Self: Kang Chunhui

May 25 – August 18, 2024

Observing My Distant Self: Kang Chunhui marks the artist’s premiere solo exhibition at INKstudio, offering an immersive journey into a crucial juncture in her artistic development. The exhibition unfolds in two distinct sections: “Observing My Distant Self” and “Undeniably Me.”

Occupying the entirety of our ground floor, Observing My Distant Self 73°40E96°23E 34°25N48°10N, 2019-2023, is an expansive eight-part multimedia project responding to Kang’s childhood dream in the form of a metaphorical pilgrimage to the Western Regions. Eight 6’6”-long videos place an aspect of Kang’s artistic practice in spatial dialog with a location in Xinjiang selected by Kang for its historical, sociological, and cultural significance. On her pilgrimage Kang makes eight stops: the Kumtag Desert, Lop Nur, Bosten Lake, Tarim Poplar Forest, Kuqa Old Town, Tianshan Grand Canyon, Kizilgaha Beacon, and the Kizil Caves. Throughout her journey, Kang explores the boundaries between place, history, memory, self and creativity, conceiving them not as rigid territories but as expansive areas for exploration, exchange, synthesis and transformation.

On our third floor, Kang debuts new works in her Post-Modern synthesis of historical Central and East-Asian polychrome painting styles. In Kang’s latest works in her signature Sumeru series, she continues her alchemical exploration of mineral and organic red pigments through the form and metaphysical theme of the fold. In The Hidden Protagonist No. 2, 2022-2024, she transcends the boundaries between Imperial bird-and-flower and religious figure painting while exploring resonances between Eastern and Western mythologies. In The Hidden Protagonist: Mount Fuchun she transgresses the traditional boundary between xieyi or “calligraphically expressive” and gongbi or “meticulously descriptive” painting while interrogating the dialogical relationship between self and history through the landscape.

Kang Chunhui is a female visual artist born in Urumqi and educated in Seoul who has entered the hallowed grounds of the literati landscape—populated since its inception exclusively by men—to assert herself as a contemporary woman artist with an uncompromising, distinctly feminine vision. She describes her approach as a form of homage, not to the masters of the past, but to her own emotional connection to nature itself. In the end, Kang Chunhui, undeniably herself, ends up her own “hidden protagonist.”

To learn more and view works, click here.



Bingyi: The Eyes of Chaos

Extended through April 28, 2024

Bingyi’s third solo show with the gallery debuts her latest grand, speculative narrative about Art and its relationship to Nature, Literature, History and Politics as retold or reimagined from a woman’s point of view.

Bingyi tells her story through two bodies of work resulting from her investigations over the past five years into the origins of the ink monochrome landscape in China: The Eyes of Chaos: Temple of the Matriarch of Painting—the organic development of Bingyi’s land-and-environment art practice into historical landscape painting; and Dream within a Dream within a Dream—a speculative, archaeological reconstruction of the life of Hua, the “Matriarch of Painting.” Hua, it turns out, was not only a visionary woman artist but a philosopher and political thinker who, in the Northern Song, created an alternative aesthetic system that de-centered the Patriarchal, Confucian, Brush-centered and Humanistic mode of literati landscape painting and, from a Woman’s point of view, re-centered the expressive possibilities of brush and ink on Ink and Water, on Taoism and on Nature.

An architectural designer, curator, cultural critic, and social activist, Bingyi has developed a multi-faceted practice that encompasses land-and-environmental art, site-specific architectural installation, musical and literary composition, ink painting, performance art, and filmmaking.

To learn more, click here.



Kelly Wang and Ren Light Pan: New Material Practices in INK Art

March 14 – 22, 2024

Kelly Wang (b. 1992) and Ren Light Pan (b. 1990) are two emerging New York-based women artists who are redefining the material practices of Ink art. In one of her featured paintings, Brush Rest, Wang uses newspaper twisted into strands and sculpted into two-dimensional and three-dimensional landscape forms to transform the normally passive, absorbent ground of ink art—namely, paper—into an active, material inquiry into human society and nature. In contrast, Ren Light Pan, in her Sleep series paintings, uses the heat of her body and the physical, material properties of ink and water—namely, diffusion, absorption and evaporation—to indexically record her physical body in its sleeping state.