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Red Cat 紅貓

Recent Sculptures by Jiang Shuo 蔣朔

Exhibition Period: 24th November – 7th December 2011

Cocktail Reception: 24th November 2011, 6:00-8:30pm (Artist present)

One of China’s leading contemporary artists, Austria based sculptress Jiang Shuo will return to Plum Blossoms Gallery in November for an exhibition to unveil new additions to her acclaimed “Red Guards” creations with her latest series – Red Cat.

Jiang Shuo’s works reflect both her personal experience as a young Red Guard during the Cultural Revolution and her observation from abroad as her motherland gradually emerged into today’s capitalistic machine. Witnessing the contrast between yesteryears and today in ideals and values while noting that the extreme manner reflected in pursuing these goals remains uniformly hysterical, Jiang Shuo examines these ironies and with a dose of sarcasm she vividly presents her observations in her Red Guards creations.

In her recent Red Cat series, Jiang Shuo uses the imagery of a red cat as a symbol and portrayal of this particular era in China. As Jiang stated, “Cats have special meanings to Chinese people. They are a symbol of hopes and wishes. Compared to Westerners, Chinese keep cats for more practical purposes. Farmers own cats to keep rats away and avoid their harvests from being stolen.  Merchants keep cats not only for rat proofing but they believe that cats invite fortune and consider that they bring good luck. The power of cats in bringing wealth was advocated by statesman Deng Xiaoping in one of his most famous maxims: "It doesn't matter whether a cat is white or black, as long as it catches mice!" It established a new social phenomenon signifying that ‘Everyone is a merchant and money making is the only path’.

The show will also feature a selection of unique and editioned “Red Guards” sculptures created from 2008 to 2011.

Born 1958 in Beijing, Jiang Shuo studied sculpture at the Central Academy of Arts and Design. Jiang Shuo, the first sculptress in China to complete a master degree, taught sculpture at the Academy upon graduation until 1989, when she emigrated to Austria with sculptor husband Wu Shaoxiang. In the same year, Jiang Shuo and Wu Shaoxiang set up their joint studio. Since then, Jiang Shuo has widely exhibited around the world, with her works regularly sold in important auctions in Hong Kong, Singapore and New York. Her artworks can be found in major private and museum collections, including Hong Kong Museum of Art and The Art Collection of Swiss Bank. Her large-scaled commissioned sculptures can be viewed in Hong Kong at the lobby of The Langham Place Hotel and the concourse of MTR Lok Ma Chau Station.