Stage 4. Participating Artists:
Li Xindi, Ma Jianfeng
"Collaboration, Not for Perfection, but for Contamination" is an experimental art project in line with Rafael Domenech's first solo show in China "Imperfect Fragments of an Uncertain Whole."
We are honored to have artists Li Xindi and Ma Jianfeng joining us to contaminate the exhibition "Collaboration, Not for Perfection, but for Contamination" for the last stage of the parallel art project in the name of "Liberate".
Looking back on the career of artistic creation of the two artists, although they have been upholding the identities of painter and sculptor respectively, they have never intended to restrict their practice to the two designated options. Instead, they are committed to liberate identity, which is the first semantics of the title for Stage Four of the experimental art project. Their respective means of liberation are embodied in the deliberate use of unconventional materials (such as daily living materials, exhibition materials including cardboard and plastic cloth for Ma Jianfeng, Dutch flannelette as an unexpected sculpture material for Li Xindi), which goes against the common perception of the normative media of sculpture and painting, as well as the working paradigm of sculptors and painters.
Ma Jianfeng's paintings do not preset goals and are often "impulsive" in nature. The choice of materials seems to come from instinct, which comes at the artist’s disposal, hence often conveying a sense of naivety and primitivism. The presentation of painting is also not fettered by tradition, displayed rather often in the form of sculpture installations. The sources of graphics that can be painted are also extensive, including natural scenery and people of all nationalities. These paintings with multiple themes are presented in various forms inside the exhibition, invading the walls, tabletop or in the air. The bright colors of the paintings add freshness to the original monochromatic space.
The site-specific creation of Li Xindi extends his habitual artistic language and methods. The Dutch flannelette and adhesive strip sticking on the ground appeared in his previous work transform into new existence: the flannelette on tabletop echoes with that on surface of the walls. In order to change its color and morphology, we can either distinguish the difference by sight, or intervene with our hands by touching. The fluorescent tape on the ground seems to be guarding the original lighting device in the exhibition space. After absorbing enough light in the daytime, it will become the dominant existence in the dim void at night. The creation of Li Xindi is forbearing and restrained; however, the elusive subtlety in his creation contains the reflection to every instant moment.
In this project, the title "liberate", a concept with military indication, puts their works (and the contaminated exhibition of Rafael Domenech) into a new context. The topographic map spreading on the tabletop of the original exhibition through Li Xindi's intervention is similar to a public square or battlefield, and the holes in the table are like waterways and peninsulas. Together they form an area planning map similar to the sand plate demonstration for achieving liberation. Here, the three-dimensional art books (by Rafael Domenech), cardboard box painting installations (by Ma Jianfeng) and cactus sculpture (by Li Xindi) turn into monuments in the space, each speechless, but seems to foretell the future in which a new era will arrive.
Or perhaps all of the discussion is nothing but imagination. "Liberate" may be just an overview, but we believe that it is the essence leading to free creation. In the final phase of the parallel project of "Collaboration, Not for Perfection, but for Contamination", after inviting 27 local artists to develop their works at the site of Raphael Domenech's solo exhibition freely, we still adhere to the unwavering idea, which is the premise and final path of "contamination": liberation of identity, liberation of self, liberation of art, and liberation of exhibition.
Li Xindi, born in Beijing in 1996, now lives and works in Beijing.
Li majored in sculpture at School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His installations works critically pose questions and comments on the nature of art institutions and their roles in producing culture and defining aesthetics in contemporary society with unexpected parody and non-sequitur humor.
Ma Jianfeng, born in Zhejiang in 1983, now lives and works in Beijing.
Graduated from China Academy of Art, majored in Mural studies. Acquired the title of “Protege of Master Burkhard Held” at Universität der Künste Berlin. Ma insists on painting as his major form of art-making, and his works concern the relations between painting and space.