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6 February - 3 March 2019


Chang Xugong Chen Weimin Feng Zhengjie Hai Bo Lu Hao Luo Brothers Qi Zhilong Curator: Catherine Benz


Delmar Gallery is pleased to present a second exhibition drawn from the extensive private collection of the late art dealer, Ray Hughes, and his son Evan. The first exhibition held in 2017 focussed on Hughes’ West African art collection, unparalleled in Australia. This exhibition shifts the focus to Chinese contemporary art of the mid to late 1990s, zooming in on a trend in art that was emblematic of its time, Gaudy Art. Ray Hughes first travelled to China in 1997. From 2000 to 2008, he and Evan returned there 13 times and presented 10 exhibitions by Chinese contemporary artists in their Sydney gallery. Ray established a reputation for championing contemporary Chinese art, which he found so compelling because of the massive social and economic changes that China was undergoing. He wanted to see firsthand how artists were responding to these changes. Following the collapse of the pro-democracy movements with the Tiananmen Square massacre on 4 June 1989, some artists that had been at the forefront of the “New Wave” of Chinese contemporary art in the 1980s went into exile and others retreated from making provocative work. Various trends and styles emerged, but most often cited are the movements “Political Pop” and “Cynical Realism”. While Cynical Realists withdrew and focussed on the individual, Political Pop artists chartered the transition from a communist to a consumerist society, often using irreverent portrayals of Mao in their imagery.

“Gaudy Art” was coined by a prominent Chinese art critic, Li Xianting, for a series of exhibitions he curated in 1996, amongst them “Gaudy Life” and “Models for the Masses”. “Gaudy” in Mandarin is “yansu” – “yan” means garishly coloured and “su” means vulgar. Li had identified “yansu” as a development from Political Pop, where artists were using high key colours and imagery from popular culture to parody the emerging consumer culture and pervasive ‘get rich quick’ mentality. Several of the artists in the current exhibition were included in these 1996 exhibitions – Qi Zhilong, Chang Xugong, Luo Brothers and Feng Zhengjie. The exhibition is divided into two sections. The first reflects on the Cultural Revolution, which Mao launched in May 1966, demonising traditional Chinese culture and unleashing horrific violence throughout the country. Hai Bo’s poignant diptychs serve as a context for the nostalgia of Qi Zhilong’s portrait of a Red Guard and the biting criticism in the Luo Brothers’ portraits of revolutionaries. The second section groups together works that satirise how rapidly the appetite for Western brands and consumer goods replaced communist zeal in the general populace, once Deng Xiaoping announced “to get rich is glorious” and China opened its doors to the free market. Catherine Benz Curator, Delmar Gallery Trinity Grammar School


LUO BROTHERS


QI ZHILONG


ROY JACKSON


Artist unknown Soviet Architectural Rendering 1939 gouache on paper BO 10 HAI x 30.5cm


Erich Buchholz (1891 - 1972) Composition 1921/71 screenprint, published by Panderma Editions - Carl Laszlo, Basel ed. 23/75 LUO BROTHERS 32 x 36cm


JOHN PEART HAI BO


QI ZHILONG CAMILLA CASSIDY


ILDIKO KOVACS

HAI BO


LU HAO


ILDIKO KOVACS


LU HAO


LUO BROTHERS


LUO BROTHERS


FENG ZHENGJIE


CHANG XUGONG


WEIMIN LUO CHEN BROTHERS

CHEN WEIMIN LU HAO


GEORGE SHAW CHEN WEIMIN


ELISABETH CUMMINGS


EXHIBITED WORKS CHANG XUGONG (b1957)

HAI BO (b1962)

Portrait of Ray Hughes as an APEC forum delegation member 2005 machine embroidered silk, 100 x 79cm

They Series 1999 chromogenic prints, 41.5 x 60cm, diptych

Untitled 2000 machine embroidered silk, 100 x 79cm Untitled 2000 machine embroidered silk, 100 x 80cm

They Series No. 5 1999 gelatin silver print, 41.9 x 62cm, diptych They Series No. 6 1999 chromogenic print, 39 x 58cm, diptych

Untitled 2007 machine embroidered silk, 95 x 89cm

LU HAO (b1969)

Untitled 2006 machine embroidered silk, 150.5 x 180cm

Flower, Bird, Insect and Fish Series - Fish Tank 1999 plexiglass, 41 x 50.9 x 110.8cm

Untitled 2007 machine embroidered silk, 64 x 145.5cm

Flower, Bird, Insect and Fish Series - Flower Vase 1999 plexiglass, 26 x 132 x 94cm

CHEN WEIMIN Have fewer children, get rich faster 2003 acrylic on canvas, 144 x 129.5cm Enrolling now, 2006 acrylic on canvas, 139 x 120cm FENG ZHENGJIE Kitsch Mao in Blue 2001 oil on canvas, 150 x 149cm Romantic Trip No. 25 1999 oil on canvas, 158.5 x 196.5cm

LUO BROTHERS 100 Family Name Primer 1992-93 coloured pencil on paper, 79 x 54.5cm each, 3 works 100 Family Name Primer - Madly Changing Name 1992-94 pencil and ink, lacquer, 119 x 99.5cm each, 2 works 100 Family Name Primer, Madly Changing Name 1992-94 pencil and ink, lacquer, 79 x 183cm 100 Family Name Primer, Madly Changing Name 1992-94 pencil and ink, lacquer, 79 x 183cm

100 Family Name Primer, Madly Changing Name 1992-94 pencil and ink, lacquer, 80 x 72cm Welcome the World Famous Brand 1996-2000 collage and lacquer on wood, 65 x 55cm each, 5 works Welcome the World Famous Brand 2000 collage and lacquer on wood, 122 x 244cm each, 2 works Welcome the World Famous Brand 2001 watercolour and ink on rice paper, 120 x 55cm each, 2 works Welcome! Welcome! 2001-2002 lacquer on wood, 65 x 55cm Welcome! Welcome! 2003-2007 painted wood, 65 x 55cm Welcome! Welcome! 2003-2007 painted fibreglass, 95 x 77 x 77cm Welcome! Welcome! (baby boy with koi) 2003 -2007 painted fibreglass, 83 x 75 x 75cm Welcome! Welcome! (high on Coke) 2003 - 2007 painted fibreglass, 106 x 50 x 44cm QI ZHILONG (b1962) Untitled (Chinese Girl Series) c2001 oil on canvas, 200 x 170cm


Published on the occasion of the exhibition GAUDY ART FROM THE HUGHES COLLECTION held at Delmar Gallery, Sydney 6 February - 3 March, 2019 Curator: Catherine Benz Copyright remains with the authors. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited. Photography by Silversalt.


Alex Selenitsch (b. 1946) lines on MATTER 2011 laser prints open edition each 29.7 x 21cm

Profile for Society of the Arts & Delmar Gallery

Gaudy Art from the Hughes Collection  

Exhibition held at Delmar Gallery, February 2019. Curated by Catherine Benz.

Gaudy Art from the Hughes Collection  

Exhibition held at Delmar Gallery, February 2019. Curated by Catherine Benz.

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