Past Exhibition

Wang Mengsha – Gardens

24 Sep - 05 Nov  |  2016
Wang Mengsha Catalogue
Artist talk starts at 4:30pm

As part of South Island Art Day on 24 September,
there will be two dance performances at the gallery: 3pm & 5:30pm
Free shuttle bus available from Central to Alisan Fine Arts,
visit for more info

Also participating in Hong Kong Art Week-Art Day at South Island, Nov 5, Sat, 12-7pm
visit for more info

Wang Mengsha Explains “Gardens”
In 2014, Alisan Fine Arts presented “Beyond the Jade Terrace”, showcasing four standout female artists, including Wang, from China whose ink paintings offer a refreshingly new aesthetic sensibility. “Gardens” marks our first solo show for Wang, on display are 11 ink paintings created between 2014-2016 featuring images of Chinese maidens and beauties, children, plants, rocks, butterflies, and still life portraits. She was inspired by the scenery and gardens from her hometown in Taihu, as well as ancient paintings. The paintings on display are simply composed and are suffused with open spaces and strong colours. She was inspired by ancient literati painting albums, and dream-like backgrounds, creating a distinctive juxtaposition between the two. The exhibition title, “gardens” showcases scenes from beautiful Chinese garden, expressing the dreams of contemporary women, and can be understood as a spiritual garden.

Wang writes that:
“The theme revolves around gardens and courtyards, and many of the paintings are depictions of the lives of people from ancient times. In fact, the paintings are also of what people imagine to be the most ideal lifestyle. In China, ‘gardens’ are a welcoming and mysterious place. They symbolize nature, while simultaneously possessing humanity’s dreams. Generally speaking, a Chinese garden has white walls and dark grey tiles, scholar rocks, carved railings, marble steps, clear spring water, cultivated flora and a diverse wildlife. The people, animals, and vegetation are a microcosm of the world -each with their own role- wandering in this secluded sanctuary. If ‘gardens’ is the theme, then what is depicted -the flowers, grass, trees, rocks, human, and animals- is ‘the language of emotions’. It is as if people use these spaces to encapsulate their ideal lives in a dream. From the past to the present, people yearn for for a utopian land, to hold themselves above worldly concerns. These paintings express this very feeling, and the wish to lead a private and leisurely life.
When painting I utilize pale and misty or bright colours to bring viewers into a world that they have never experienced before. Sometimes I use white spaces to represent overtones like in a musical piece, because they linger in one’s mind. Or I completely fill in the space with bright colours to express the spectrum of my emotions. I portray a space that has passed by, but in fact exists in the deep recesses of our dreams. The way in which I express shapes and colours draws from a contemporary vocabulary, and the paintings reflect on philosophy and aesthetics.
For me, ‘Gardens’, as a subject could become a cultural phenomenon in the future, and there are opportunities for further study. I will endeavour to continue exploring this subject matter in my art.”

About the Artist
Wang Mengsha is a talented new addition to the international art scene, who has shown remarkable talents from the start of her career. In 2009 she was selected as one of “China’s young artists most deserving of immediate media attention.” Her ink paintings are skilled depictions of demure court maidens and beauties (shinǚ) from the past. Her brushwork is calligraphic in nature and she uses a variety of colours. Stylistically her work is refreshingly new and refined. At present, she has become one of the most contested feminist artists in China today. As a young artist, she uses this perspective and adopts a sense of humor to innovatively combine aspects of traditional paintings of court maidens and beauties with landscape paintings (shanshuihua), drawing them into a new artistic realm. Over the years, she has had over 40 solo and group exhibitions in important art museums and galleries, and last year her works were sold at Poly Auction Hong Kong bringing her to the attention of a new generation of collectors.
Born in 1982 in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, Wang grew up in an artistic family. In 2006 she graduated from the Xi’an Academy of Fine Art, having studied animation. Since then she has completed advanced studies at Griffith University, in Queensland Australia, and the University of Southampton, in the United Kingdom. After returning to China, she became a full time artist. She has been honoured with many awards, including in 2009 when the Beijing magazine “Chinese Painting” selected her as one of “China’s young artists most deserving of immediate media attention”. In 2011 Bazaar Art selected her artwork as one of their 100 most favourite artworks of the year. In 2013 the Beijing magazine “National Arts” awarded her the Golden Star Prize. She currently lives and works in Beijing. She has exhibited at the University of Edinburgh Library, in England, Galerie 99 in Germany, the China Cultural Centre in Tokyo Japan, International Art Centre in Jeju Province South Korea, the Today Art Museum in Beijing China, the Shanghai Art Museum in Shanghai China, and the College of Fine Art Nanjing Art Institute in Nanjing China.

Catalogue available