Li Songsong's first Hong Kong solo exhibition on view at Pace Gallery

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Li Songsong's first Hong Kong solo exhibition on view at Pace Gallery
Installation View. © 2014 Pace Gallery, All Rights Reserved.

HONG KONG.- Pace Hong Kong is presenting artist Li Songsong’s first Hong Kong solo exhibition. After the resounding success of his 2013 solo exhibition We Have Betrayed the Revolution at Pace London, listed by the Huffington Post as one of the Top Ten Contemporary Art Exhibitions of the Year, this solo exhibition presents more of the artist’s latest sheet metal works and powerful, distinctive oil paintings.

Since 2003, Li Songsong has been developing a unique expressive technique marked by fragmented color fields and thick brushstrokes, and has now entered into a new creative phase. Li Songsong’s paintings contain recognizable images as well as directed spatiotemporal settings. In essence, the images in his paintings are images and photographs collected from mass media. These source images are reconstructed and deconstructed in a painstaking process that strips them of their clarity as visual signs, certain details generalized or omitted to transform the image into a form of cognition dependent on social and temporal background. This cognition is open, flexible and malleable. It belongs not only to the artist, but to every viewer as well, and is essentially different from the commentary that stems from a unitary perspective. In this process, deconstruction and reconstruction become a creative thread through which Li Songsong understands reality.

Li Songsong’s practice is in a certain sense unique. He begins by defining limited rectangular areas, and then divides the visual content of the image, but this process does not follow a particular order or set of steps. Instead, he unconsciously fragments and assembles the picture, sometimes on a canvas, and sometimes on an aluminum sheet. Within the layout of an image that once contained narrative content, the artist adds elements of disintegration, delay and difference. He does not complete his works within one unitary period of time, instead executing his creations in separate times, separate areas and with different color tones, a process in which the artist consciously dissolves his self-awareness in order to explore and express. Also worth noting is the thickness of the color fields. The brushstrokes, sometimes hesitant, sometimes halting, yet always solid, repeating, forceful and intentionally disconnected, seem to be alluding to a unique visual logic regarding smearing and depiction, concealment and re-creation. Forged through a process of dismantlement, smearing, stacking and rejoining, the concrete image evolves into a new direction that is neither figurative nor abstract, and not subject to the framing of concepts.

In his selection of subject matter, Li Songsong takes topics related to himself, which, when set against a backdrop of the connections between the individual and the group, as well as highly historic social events and circumstances, describe the artist’s subjective choices. These subjective choices are not limited to the perceptions of a particular nation or region but belong to a global context, forming contemporary information that blends historical cultural resources with open perspectives, notions of equal dialogue and an experimental spirit.

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