Plum Blossoms Gallery New York:   Plum Blossoms Gallery Hong Kong:
Tianyuan Space Station   Tianyuan Space Station ¡V Air
Recent Photography and Paintings by Li Tianyuan   Recent Photography by Li Tianyuan
February 25 ¡V March 26, 2005   March 9 ¡V 19, 2005
555 West 25th Street, Ground Floor New York, NY 10001   G6 1 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 10:30am - 6:30pm Sunday and Monday Closed   Hours: Monday ¡V Saturday 10:00am ¡V 6:30pm Sunday and public holiday Closed
Plum Blossoms Gallery is pleased to present Li Tianyuan's first solo exhibitions in New York Tianyuan Space Station, consisting of recent photographs and paintings and in Hong Kong, Tianyuan Space Station ¡V Air, consisting of his recent photographs.
Li Tianyuan, like many contemporary artists in China today, defies conventional expectations by using a variety of media to express his creative vision. His Space Station series of photographic triptychs have become widely recognized after inclusion in 2004's influential curated exhibition Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China, currently traveling through 2006. Utilizing satellite imaging and microscopic magnifications to view the subject from polar extremes, these triptych portraits redefine the individual in space, reflecting the changing modes of perception and self in a technology-driven, rapidly developing new China, while also drawing upon a lineage of Buddhist Chan (Japanese: zen) philosophy that understands existence as a cosmology of opposed but mutually interacting relations, such as the yin and yang. Through their employment of precise technological coordination, the Space Station triptychs meditate upon the dynamics of place and happenstance, creating a uniquely 21st century type of mandala.
Li Tianyuan's latest photographs, expansive landscapes shot with a large-format camera further illustrate the artist's taste for combining deadpan humor with conceptual investigation. Playing between horizon and immediacy, these photos address emptiness (kongqi) through strange, unsettling detail: scarations, tears, obfuscations, evaporations, lead pipes and kissing fish, all residual reminders of extinguishing experience and the transitions between corporeality and transparency.
Included in exhibition for New York are also Li's paintings that are quirky perceptual studies of positive and negative volumes. Using active brushwork and subdued hues, Li Tianyuan¡Xoriginally trained as a painter¡Xcreates disorienting planar landscapes that suggest both futuristic reveries of outer space and tightly controlled geometric abstraction. Deliberately open-ended, they are visual ko-ans that call upon the viewer to discern an always escaping meaning, challenging, likewise, subjective interpretations of place and projection.

Li Tianyuan graduated from China's Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1988 and has since established his own studio at an artists' village in the countryside on the outskirts of Beijing. Currently teaching at the prestigious Qinghua University (Beijing) arts program, Li Tianyuan has exhibited previously with Beijing's Red Gate Gallery and was included in 2004's curated exhibition Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China, traveling internationally through 2006. Other recent group exhibitions include Landscape, at Xray Arts Center, Beijing (2003); Dreams and Portraits, Eastlink Gallery, Shanghai (2002); Virtual Future, Guangdong Art Museum, Guangdong (2001); Art and Science, China National Art Gallery (2001); and The Third Gender-Net Art, Beijing (2000).

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